September 26th, 2013

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Yesterday evening, I finished reading Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie, a murder mystery set in Roman Britain, somewhat before the construction of Hadrian's Wall. Not as good as some mysteries set in the Roman Empire, but almost.

I followed that this morning with Osprey New Vanguard #45: Union Monitor1861 – 65, moderately interesting. There are actual photographs from the period and later, which was interesting. One of the last of these vessels was taken out of mothballs and joined a parade of ships before being finally scrapped. I continue with my prejudice against the American Civil War as a topic, though, and so I didn't much enjoy reading this book.

Books 51-60.

51. Delio - Clare Of Assisi: A Heart Full Of Love
A great book about a saint who said a lot with very few writings left behind; definitely got a clearer picture and a lot of inspiration.

52. Kincaid - Among Flowers: A Walk In The Himalaya
Gathering flowers to bring home, well told. Loved this. :)

53. Thompson & Maloney - The Game Of Mah Jong Illustrated
Clear and simple instructions on this game, and although I don't think I will get to play it ever, I really wanted to have a guide on the game, and this does the job very well, with good pictures.

54. Hirschstein - The Pocket Idiot's Guide To 108 Yoga Poses
Ignoring the 'om' stuff, the illustration and guides to each pose was clear and I'd recommend this book :)

55. Wigginton & students (eds.) - A Foxfire Christmas: Appalachian Memories & Traditions
Probably the best for those seeking to make their Christmases follow their lifestyle of increased simplicity, and for those wanting to know past history, it's a heartwarming, short good read for every reader.

56. Ward - The Sayings Of The Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection
Although we can't (and shouldn't) follow all the various tips included in the sayings, this might inspire us to lead a better life anyway. I definitely got something out of this. My book was not the Penguin version; I liked the alphabetical order-style a lot.

57. The Song Of Roland (Merwin transl.)
Each scene reads like it should be accompanied by some picture; and the story itself is pretty much one piece of a mirror showing the conflict between Christianity and Islam, and some misunderstandings Europe had on the latter (like thinking it was a god-goddess, two-god religion, and getting some names wrong), much like they must've had on Jewish people. Anyway, it was a slim, not-heavy read, and certainly part of our history, however exaggerated or invented - part of the truth(s) always shine through :)

58. St Nicodemos Of The Holy Mountain - A Handbook Of Spiritual Counsel (English translation)
I did get some views on how to appreciated wild nature and a few other things, but one really should buy it only after reading it, for the following reasons:
not really showing the down side of asceticism, not quite understanding how hunger works, the somewhat funny belief that too-good food could make one change to another belief or make one gay (really?), not really believing in the benefits of baths - and thinking that good monks always smell good without it, being against keeping pets or favorite plants, believing that secular songs were all bad and immoral, frowning on laughter of *any* kind (just because Jesus was never mentioned laughing doesn't mean he didn't), the use of the word "effeminate", believing that one thinks with one's heart (brain doesn't do it), that Bible writers' humanity never influenced their writings, that the Fathers could never do wrong
That said, I still could read all of it, got those good hints out of it, and got some view on Greek history, so it was worth reading. Will still go in my 'donate to the library' pile anyway.

59. Darton - Sock's Feline Miscellany: A Purrody (Finnish translation)
Various cat facts, with some facts that involve Finnish cat owner world included. And not just about domestic cats, but for example the evolution family tree and some animals and other things that just have cat-sounding names without being feline at all. Interesting and light read.

60. Venerable Fr. Germanus - The Life Of St. Gemma Galgani (English translation)
A bit long-feeling sometimes, but definitely through, picture of the saint's life, much more so than with many other saints. And inspiring. :)
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Books 174-175: Blood Eagle and The Cadaver Game

Book 174: Blood Eagle (Jan Fabel #1).
Author: Craig Russell, 2005.
Genre: Police procedural. Euro crime.
Other Details: Paperback. 496 pages.

Two women are killed in the same horrific, ritualistic manner. The murderer taunts the police with e-mails. It seems clear that a serial killer is at work, selecting victims at random and living out some twisted fantasy. But, as Jan Fabel and his murder team investigate further, nothing is as it first seems. They are drawn into a dark half-world of Viking myth and legend, of obscure religious cults, of political intrigue and of a violent struggle to seize control of the city. And as Fabel desperately races to track down the killer before more killings take place, he and his team come face to face with a cold, brutal menace they could never have predicted. A greater evil than they could ever have imagined. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.

Not one for the faint-hearted, this proved a dark and grizzly police procedural set in Hamburg Germany and it had me on the edge of my seat for the duration. I also enjoyed the mythological element and was pleased to read that this is an ongoing theme in the series. Russell does a great job of capturing his German setting and I was interested to read that he received an award from the Hamburg police for his depiction of their service, the only non-German to do so. .

Extract from 'Blood Eagle' - from author's website.

Book 175: The Cadaver Game(Wesley Peterson #16) .
Author: Kate Ellis, 2012.
Genre: Crime Thriller. Police Procedural. Historical and Contemporary Murder Mystery.
Other Details: Paperback. 384 pages.

When the decaying body of a murdered women is discovered in a suburban house, DI Wesley Peterson has problems establishing her identity. But as he digs deeper, he has another more disturbing case to investigate - the naked bodies of two teenagers have been found with gunshot wounds at the foot of a cliff. Both cases become stranger when Wesley realises they are linked to a sinister manhunt, mirroring events from the Napoleonic Wars. Why did the teenage victims take part in an on-line game called 'Blood Hunt', which they were eventually persuaded to play for real? Then a skeleton is found near the place where the teenagers were last seen alive and Wesley finally has to face a terrible truth...and a hunt to the death - synopsis from author's website.

Another intriguing mystery combining past and present murder mysteries set in South Devon. The chilling premise of the Blood Hunt felt as though it actually could happen: a dangerous form of LARPing. My only quibble was that there was very little character development for Wesley and his colleagues. I now only have one more book in this series to read though I have plenty of other series of crime thrillers to keep me happy.

Book #50: Can You Hear God? by Joyce Sibthorpe

Number of pages: 124

In this book, writer Joyce Sibthorpe talks from her own personal experience and the testimonies of her family and friends about how God can speak to you if you are able to listen for His voice. Inevitably, this doesn't involve literally hearing a voice talking from the sky but hearing Him talking to you in your heart and giving you instructions about how to live, even warning you of danger.

I found it to be challenging stuff, especially as when I read this book, I felt that I just have no time for this, and the book has made me want to start finding time. Overall, this was an enjoyable book and I could sense that the writer had a lot of experience with communication with God. A recommended book for Christians and anyone interested in finding out about the Christian faith.

Next book: The Last Continent (Terry Pratchett)