I did not expect to enjoy this book and yet I discovered I could not put it down. One of the best books I have read in years, it opened my eyes to a d...moreI did not expect to enjoy this book and yet I discovered I could not put it down. One of the best books I have read in years, it opened my eyes to a different world view. All to often we forget the vast differences in cultural, religion and everyday life that exist among different peoples. This helped me to be mindful of that. Great read.(less)
This book is a short and concise guide to making prayer a part of your daily life. It explains that this does not mean we must always be talking to Go...moreThis book is a short and concise guide to making prayer a part of your daily life. It explains that this does not mean we must always be talking to God or reciting a memorized prayer but that there are ways in which we can make each action in our life a prayer, an offering to God. (less)
I discovered this book quite by accident while I was walking through the library looking for something else. I noticed a display on naval stories and...moreI discovered this book quite by accident while I was walking through the library looking for something else. I noticed a display on naval stories and picked this one up. It looked quite good and so I checked it out. I read the entire thing in two days. I decided to look online to see if the author had any other books and that is when I discovered that this was a part of a very long series about the main character and this book was number 8 in the series. I immediately reserved the first book from the library.
I emailed the author and told him how much I enjoyed his book and much to my surprise he emailed me back the very next day. That was quite a nice thing for him to do.
The book is set during the days of the great sailing ship's and the main character is an officer in the British Royal Navy. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and especially anything related to the Navy. The reading is not difficult as long as you can work your way around some naval terminology. I enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction or naval stories. But start at the beginning of the series :) Although the book can be read as a stand alone novel without any back story necessary :)(less)
Louis L'amour is a great storyteller. I haven't found a single book of his that I didn't enjoy. This one was better than most even though it went outs...moreLouis L'amour is a great storyteller. I haven't found a single book of his that I didn't enjoy. This one was better than most even though it went outside of the normal expectations of his writing as it was set in modern days and not the old west. Entertaining read.(less)
First started reading this book about a year ago when my friend sent it to me and recommended I read it. I got through about a quarter of the book and...moreFirst started reading this book about a year ago when my friend sent it to me and recommended I read it. I got through about a quarter of the book and set it aside. I couldn't figure out why my friend had sent me a trashy, historical romance.
A month or so ago he brought the book back and said I needed to read it. I figured that since he was telling me a second time I must have missed something the first time around. For that first part of the book I was still wondering what the heck was going on and why my friend, a grown man, was telling me to read this crap.
Then I hit the middle of the book when the main character goes through a metanoia and suddenly I realized my friend was a genius. I couldn't put the book down after that and would recommend it to anyone who likes to be challenged in your perceptions about books and about yourself.
Glittering Images is a story that could easily describe almost all of us. It describes how a man builds up a "Glittering Image" personality for the world to see, all the while struggling to cope with numerous issues and keeping his "real" self hidden from the world.
The book is filled with a lot of interesting historical material related to the Church of England at the turn of the last century. I am big on historical fiction so this was one aspect of the writing that I enjoyed.
Being a former seminarian for the Roman church, I was intrigued by the theological and practical similarities and differences which were represented here. Even early 1900's Anglican theology was considerably more liberal than Roman Catholic practice. The discussion about divorce was particularly intriguing.
Then we get into the psychology. I read a bunch of other reviews on this book and was surprised at how many people didn't get past the surface content. This book is deep. Much deeper than most novels and probably a significant challenge for the passive, unexperienced reader.
Perhaps I was able to appreciate the in depth analysis of interior turmoil because I related to it so closely. My own life has been filled with the need to project my "Glittering Image" for fear that the real me would not meet up to the expectations of those around me. I was very impressed by the step-by-step process through which our protagonist travels on his journey to spiritual and mental freedom. Often the most harrowing slave-master is our own mind.
This is the first Susan Howatch book I have read but I plan to pick up the rest of the series and I hope that they challenge my perceptions as much as this one did. Highly recommended.(less)
This is the second book in the Howatch series about the Church of England. I enjoyed it just as much as the first.
Our protagonist, Johnathan Darrow, i...moreThis is the second book in the Howatch series about the Church of England. I enjoyed it just as much as the first.
Our protagonist, Johnathan Darrow, is a character from the first book. He is a priest who has led an interesting life and who struggles with difficult issues. When we met him in the first book, he was the abbot of a Fordite monastery and that is where we pick up in this story as well although it is some years passed.
Mr. Darrow has some very unique psychic powers which have at different times through Christian history, been attributed to mystics. He is very charismatic and has become accustomed to using his talents to help others but also for some small gratification. Darrow's chief sin is pride. He is proud of his abilities and sometimes sees himself above others because of it.
I will not spoil the tale by revealing the storyline but I will tell you some small things. Mr. Darrow has skeletons in his closet! He has daddy issues and mommy issues and wife issues and children issues. He is more than 60 years old and yet he can't decided what he wants to be when he grows up.
In short, he is quite like many of us, with the hidden mysteries of our personal lives that we like to keep hidden from the world and which impact us in ways that most people could never imagine. He is proud and arrogant and does like to admit his faults.
Of all the characters in all the books that I have read throughout my life, I identify with Jonathan Darrow more than any other. He is a man who wants to live a spiritual life for God. He wants to understand his relationship with his parents. He wants to be a better father to his children. He wants to overcome his personal struggles and find peace.
Just like the first, this book is not for the amateur reader. You are going to be challenged by them and you can't simply ignore the challenging parts and think it is an enjoyable story. Howatch's books are like a small child who keeps poking you in the side. Eventually you have to acknowledge the poking, it won't go away until you do.(less)
I had this book listed in my records as being read back in 2002. I never read the whole series and frankly didn't even remember reading this one. I fi...moreI had this book listed in my records as being read back in 2002. I never read the whole series and frankly didn't even remember reading this one. I finally obtained copies of all the books in the series so decided to read it.
OSC is one of my top five authors and I am usually pleased by whatever he has to offer up. This book is no different. It is the story of humanity on a planet called Harmony some 40 million years after Earth's recorded history. The characters were interesting to me although it took me a little bit of time to get used to the names and some of the particulars of the cultural environment.
Like many of OSC's books there are undertones of conservative, Christian ideas throughout. The Oversoul is an all-knowing and benevolent super computer in the sky who watches over humans and guides them through their lives.
It is kind of a mix between fantasy and sci-fi but should be good for readers who like a little of both without going to deep into either one.(less)
Was assigned to read this as a part of my Master's program. Well worth the time. Highly recommended for anyone involved in leadership or who desires t...moreWas assigned to read this as a part of my Master's program. Well worth the time. Highly recommended for anyone involved in leadership or who desires to be a better leader.(less)