Category Archives: On My Bookshelf

On My Bookshelf: Cloud Atlas

I’ve spent over a week with David Mitchell’s thoughtful and intriguing Cloud Atlas. The book has been highly praised in critics’ corners. I noticed the film release a few months ago. But a book is nearly always better than its … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Understanding Variable Stars

As years pass, various interests wax and wane in astronomy. Some might says fads come and go. Early in the 20th century, there’s big interest for finding that second Earth–a blue and green planet somewhere in the universe where maybe aliens like … Continue reading

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The Brightest Stars

I’ve been reading quite a bit in 2013, including some books on astronomy. In the next few weeks, I’ll take a look at some volumes currently on my bookshelf and assess them for readability by the general public, for amateur … Continue reading

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More Solar System Drama

My second Solar System science fiction book in the past four months: Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds. I first read two or three of his early novels about a decade ago. Last appearance on my bookshelf was about five … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Mariette in Ecstasy

I think I’m a few decades late to Ron Hansen’s coming-out party. And it’s likely most of my Catholic readers have already read this book. So you’re likely not going to need my recommendation. I’m going to touch on some … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Loving Work

I started this great book by Mike Hayes before I went to bed Thursday night at the conference. I finished it on the plane home the next day. Mike is well known in the blogosphere as the co-founder of Busted … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: The God Who Won’t Let Go

Readers may have noticed one or two quotes in recent posts from Father Peter van Breemen. His book The God Who Won’t Let Go is a distillation of a series of talks he gave at a Benedictine monastery in 1998. … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Martian Summer

I just finished Andrew Kessler’s Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission. This book gives a peppy, irreverent, and informative inside view of the 2008 mission to the polar region of Mars. … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Mirror Earth

For the past twenty years scientists have been finding planets outside the solar system. Michael Lemonick’s book is an excellent introduction to the science, as well as the story behind it: real people conducting extra-solar exploration. It’s logical that astronomers find … Continue reading

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Indulgent 2312

I’m going to begin with what’s good about Kim Stanley Robinson’s new novel 2312. Ideas. Not all are original to the author, but that makes them no less awe-inspiring. On Mercury, close to a half million people live in a … Continue reading

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The Unconsoled

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into once I began turning pages of Kazuo Ishiguro’s 1995 novel. Soon it became clear that I was reading very fine prose soaked in a surreal melancholy. But I was also caught in a … Continue reading

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Old Ground and New, Ignatian Style

James Martin’s book The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything has been on my bookshelf for the past week. It’s a popular seclection in our parish library, and I find much to recommend it. Four-hundred pages is a daunting length if … Continue reading

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More Foundation Novels

When the “second” Foundation trilogy came out in the late 1990’s, I was looking forward to the reads with great enthusiasm. I enjoyed the original novels, certainly. And while the original author was now dead, the Asimov estate had engaged … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Phases of Gravity

I thought I was picking up a new book. On the cover, one of astronaut Alan Bean’s striking paintings was catchy for a volume that didn’t have the SF tag at my local library. Sure enough, it was SF mega-author … Continue reading

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Helping Or Not

Just this week I encountered two significant books from the parish library. They’ve been hovering around the new book shelf for some time. They impact things I’ve done and things in ministry I plan to do. If you read either … Continue reading

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