I got a half dozen new books this week. My friend Donna took me to lunch today and gave me books, plus this big Happy Birthday cookie (yes, as you can see, I turned 70 today).
The Pillars of the Earth, a novel by Ken Follett (1989), tells the story of Philip, "a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known." BN.com says, "As a new age dawns in England's twelfth century, the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral sets the stage for a story of intrigue and power, revenge and betrayal." The back cover promises "a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state and brother against brother." This sounds like one for the World Religions Challenge.The next two books came from the library:
Jimmy Carter's Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis (2005) may also work for the World Religions Challenge. Like in the other book Donna gave me, Carter "puts forth a passionate defense of separation of church and state, and a strong warning of where the country is heading as the lines between politics and rigid religious fundamentalism are blurred. Many of the "moral values" he examines are under fierce debate: preemptive war, women's rights, terrorism, civil liberties, homosexuality, abortion, the death penalty, science and religion, environmental degradation, nuclear arsenals, America's global image, fundamentalism, and the melding of religion and politics.
I can't put the next book down -- it's that good. My online book club will discuss it in May, and I posted a teaser about it yesterday.
Bare Your Soul: The Thinking Girl's Guide to Enlightenment, edited by Angela Watrous (2002), came from the library. I've already started reading this one for the World Religions Challenge, based on this from the back cover. It may even work for the Women Unbound reading challenge. "Whether raised within a specific belief system or warned against all things religious, women today have been left with questions and conflicts that dating guides and pop feminism can't resolve. This essential collection includes narratives from skeptics, reformists, and neo-traditionalists alike, representing a wide spectrum of traditions and practices -- from Buddhism to Islam, Judaism to Goddess worship, Catholicism to atheism, and many others. Wise, compelling, and open-minded, Bare Your Soul offers a provocative look at the ways in which a new generation of women both celebrate and repudiate religion -- and, ultimately, find answers that fit."
House Rules by Jodi Picoult (2010) is a novel about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. "He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject -- in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do ... and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions" ... and then they charge him with murder.I'll have to explain why I call this last book a "new" one at my house. Although I bought it in 1977 (I wrote the date in the front of the book), I never got around to reading it and it's been in a box in a storage unit for several years. I've been sorting out old books and taking them to trade at the used book store, but when I came across this one, I set it aside to read first.
Son of Man by Robert Silverberg (1971) is science fiction, though the blurb on the back cover sounds more like what I prefer to call speculative fiction. "In the beginning there was no Brooklyn, no St. Louis, no Shakespeare, no moon, no hunger, no death ... In the beginning the heavens, the seas, and the earth belonged to more intelligent species than a man called Clay could ever have dreamed possible in his own time ... but his own time as a man had passed, and now his time as the son of man had come!"What new books have you gotten this week?