Category: Review

Review: Ancient Christian Worship

Posted January 22, 2015 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: Ancient Christian WorshipAncient Christian Worship by Andrew B McGowan
Publisher: Baker Academic (2014)
eARC (320 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2015 Alphabet Soup, Read 2015

Synopsis

This introduction to the origins of Christian worship illuminates the importance of ancient Christian worship practices for contemporary Christianity. Andrew McGowan, a leading scholar of early Christian liturgy, takes a fresh approach to understanding how Christians came to worship in the distinctive forms still familiar today. Deftly and expertly processing the bewildering complexity of the ancient sources into lucid, fluent exposition, he sets aside common misperceptions to explore the roots of Christian ritual practices–including the Eucharist, baptism, communal prayer, preaching, Scripture reading, and music–in their earliest recoverable settings. Students of Christian worship and theology as well as pastors and church leaders will value this work.

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Review: A Book of Uncommon Prayer

Posted January 21, 2015 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: A Book of Uncommon PrayerA Book of Uncommon Prayer by Brian Doyle
Publisher: Ave Maria Press (2014)
eARC (128 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2015 Alphabet Soup, Read 2015

Synopsis

Acclaimed, award-winning essayist and novelist Brian Doyle—whose writing, in the words of Mary Oliver, is “a gift to us all”—presents one hundred new prayers that evoke his deep Catholic belief in the mystery and miracle of the ordinary (and the whimsical) in human life.
In Brian Doyle’s newest work, A Book of Uncommon Prayer: 100 Celebrations of the Miracle & Muddle of the Ordinary, his readers will find a series of prayers unlike any of the beautiful, formal, orthodox prayers of the Catholic tradition or the warm, extemporized prayers heard from pulpits and dinner tables. Doyle’s often-dazzling, always-poignant prayers include eye-opening hymns to shoes and faith and family. In Doyle’s words, “the world is crammed with miracles, so crammed and tumultuous that if we stop, see, savor, we are agog,” and the pages of his newest book give voice and body to this credo. By focusing on experiences that may seem the most unprayerful (one prayer is titled “Prayer on Seeing Yet Another Egregious Parade of Muddy Paw Prints on the Floor”), he gives permission to discover the joys and treasures in what he often calls the muddle of everyday life.

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Review: The Web

Posted January 16, 2015 in Reading, Review / 2 Comments

Review: The WebThe Web by Megan Chance
Series: The Fianna Trilogy #2
Publisher: Skyscape (2015)
eARC (384 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2015 Alphabet Soup, 2015 Mythology, Read 2015

Synopsis

The Fianna, legendary Irish warriors, have been magically called from their undying sleep to aid Ireland in its rebellion against Britain. But the Fianna have awakened in New York alongside their bitter enemies, the Fomori. A prophecy demands that a Druid priestess—a veleda—must choose between these two sides. Grace is this veleda.
But being the veleda means she must sacrifice her power—and her life—to her choice. On one side are her fiancé, Patrick Devlin, and the Fomori. On the other are the Fianna—and the warrior Diarmid Ua Duibhne, with whom Grace shares an undeniable connection. Patrick has promised to find a way to save her life. In three months, at the ancient ritual, Diarmid must wield the knife that kills her.
Grace doesn’t know whom to trust. As dark forces converge on the city, she struggles to discover the truth about her power. Can she change her own destiny? Can she escape the shadows of the past and reach for a future she could never have imagined?

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Review: Loved as I Am

Posted January 15, 2015 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: Loved as I AmLoved as I Am by Miriam James Heidland
Publisher: Ave Maria Press (2014)
eARC (128 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2015

Synopsis

When Sr. Miriam James Heidland’s life as a successful college athlete proved unfulfilling, she went searching for something deeper and ended up falling in love with Jesus. By charting her own journey toward wholeness, Heidland invites young Catholics to pursue their own relationship with Jesus.
Although originally full of athletic ambition and goals for a career in sports news, Heidland was transformed in a very slow but deep way during her undergraduate years, moving from party girl to bride of Christ. In
Loved as I Am: An Invitation to Conversion, Healing, and Freedom through Jesus, Heidland helps readers learn from her experience of seeking love in the wrong places and instead finding it in Christ. She shares her struggles—learning she was adopted, battling alcoholism, and healing from childhood sexual abuse—as signs of hope that anyone who desires to know Christ can find him and be loved intimately by him in return. By bringing readers into Heidland’s healing process, Loved as I Am provides a gentle and subtle template for finding peace and freedom in Jesus.

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Review: The One

Posted January 12, 2015 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: The OneThe One by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Publisher: HarperTeen (2014)
Audiobook
{7 hours and 25 minutes} (323 pages)
Rating:
Also by this author: The Elite, The Heir, The Selection Stores: The Prince & The Guard
Also in this series: The Elite, The Heir, The Selection Stores: The Prince & The Guard
Reading Challenges: 2015 Alphabet Soup, Read 2015

Synopsis

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

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