These are quite in depth reviews. Some of the reviews are on this site and some are Ciao where the review is published.
The pictures of books below have links to Amazon beneath them. If you buy a book using a link I will get a small commission for which I will be very grateful.
"Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth." The same can be said of fiction such as this. Asher Lev is a great painter and this novel tells his story, and the trials, tribulations and heartbreak on the way. Through the memories of a four year old Asher we are introduced to the very private world of a Jewish Hasidic community in Brooklyn in the 1950's.
I think it is an excellent introduction into SF for those who, like me, have avoided it because they think they do not like it. Above all it goes to the very heart of some of the most difficult questions that affect humanity in a way that is not pompous, preachy, or academic and the ability to do this is, for me at least, an indicator of the art of good literature and storytelling and makes it thought provokingly memorable.
The Dark Materials trilogy is surely destined to become a classic.
I read all the books over a period of two weeks
and it is difficult to express my admiration for Philip Pullman who has
masterfully created them.
I guess the main reason that I became so hooked on these books was that, apart from being a brilliant read, they concern the things I am most interested in. More...
The Red Tent is a beautifully written novel about Dinah, the daughter of the Biblical Patriarch Jacob. There is only a brief mention of Dinah in the Bible, a traumatic story of rape and vengeance but Anita Diamant has taken this and filled in the gaps. She has carefully woven silk into the rough wool that is the biblical story and created a rich luxurious tapestry of the life of the women.
Graham Phillips leads his readers through a highly readable and interesting quest to discover the most likely historical story of Mary the mother of Jesus. His conclusions are controversial but as with all such theories they remain entirely speculative. I found the historical information given regarding the biblical background well researched and have no doubt that the same applies to the information regarding the Grail legends. The book would be of interest to anyone who is interested in the historical background of Jesus and his family and also to those interested in the legends of the Holy Grail.Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
It is difficult to decide whether Alice should really be classed as a children's book. In this review I discuss this issue. This is more an essay and personal observations about Alice in Wonderland than a review of the illustrated book. But if you read my review and are interested in discovering more details behind this enigmatic story then The Annotated Alice - the Definitive Edition Lewis Carroll, Martin Gardner (Editor), John Tenniel (Illustrator) would certainly be the place to start.Beyond Religion by David Elkins
I can only echo what another reviewer, Joan Borysenko, has said and which appears on the back of the book: "One of the most numinous and thought-provoking books on the soul and the spirit that I have encountered. Accessible, poetic and personal as well as scholarly and well-grounded, this book is a treasure to read and re-read. It will surely become a beloved classic."
I actually read this book because I was interested in Ficino and on a positive note I can say that this book has re-introduced an important but largely forgotten renaissance thinker and indeed the renaissance world to the general public. But overall I have mixed feelings about this book. Although in theory I am not opposed to the ideas it contains I consider Moore's approach to be just a little subversive. I'm afraid it's another very long review.Pagan Paths by Pete Jennings
This is a very long, and some would say 'tedious' chapter by chapter review. So please feel free jump to the conclusion if you get bored by it. Apart from being somwhat prolix I have also been rather harsh in my criticism. However, I feel quite justified in my critique, largely because many people 'believe' what they read, and furthermore it might encourage someone to write a better introduction to the various 'paths'in the future.
Just to show my reviews are not always complimentary.
The Celestine Prophecy is fiction - and very poor fiction at that. Had it been written by the hand of a reasonably accomplished writer who had bothered to do the slightest bit of research the book might have been worth reading. Unfortunately, however, Redfield does not possess any literary skill whatsoever and one wonders indeed if he has any skill at all apart from the ability to fleece the gullible public. Oh dear! - Do you think I am being a bit too harsh? More...HTML Goodies by Joe Burns
This was a ranty moany review because I had been learning HTML and had just discovered the existence of standards. HTML 4.0 which became the official standard way back in 1998 deprecated a few tags including CENTER and FONT - now while this may not really affect anyone for ages it seems to me that a tutorial should at least mention the alternatives and reasons when introducing these tags. But these tags are among the first you learn in the book. Now I am quite new to all this stuff and I find this sort of misinformation confusing and frustrating. If I buy a book to help me learn HTML in 2002 I expect it to reflect the most recent version of HTML or at the very least I would expect an explanation of the different versions. In the brief mention Burns gives to XML he says, "the concern I see coming out of all this fancy new stuff is that it might do damage to the web".
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