The difference between the common dismissive use of the word “myth” and its meaning in the study of religion is pointed to in the title of a book written by Mircea Eliade, one of the greatest scholars of religion in the twentieth century Myth and Reality. In the modern world, myth and reality are commonly seen as opposites: we speak of myth or reality. Eliade’s point is the opposite: myth and reality go together, myth being the language for talking about what is ultimately real. For Eliade, myths are true, even though not literally true.
I have read the first chapter in full as it is his introduction and explanation, but I am not going to read the rest of it at present (time .. time ..). However, these further chapters look fascinating and I hope that I can come back to this book in the future.(less)
(the blurb from the book) An imaginative tribute to the journey we must all make through the loss of innocence into adulthood, John Connolly’s latest n...more(the blurb from the book) An imaginative tribute to the journey we must all make through the loss of innocence into adulthood, John Connolly’s latest novel is a book for every adult who can recall the moment when childhood began to fade, and for every child about to face that moment. It is a story of hope for all who have lost and all who have yet to lose. It is an exhilarating tale of grief and loss, loyalty and love, and, most poignantly, the enduring power of stories in our lives.
Yes and no. I think sometimes he was just trying too hard, or putting too much ‘meaning’ into it. Maybe just a little too clever… I quite enjoyed it, but I won’t be going around recommending it.
* 3 months later: At our Reading Seals meeting on Friday, a friend started talking about this book but she couldn't remember the title. I realised I'd read it too, and remembered it with the same kind of enthusiasm with which she was talking (which doesn't quite fit what I said here... so I think my enthusiasm was that I'd read it too, as I couldn't remember much clearly). I must borrow and browse it again as I'm going to meet up with her in a couple of weeks.(less)
I picked this book up from somewhere-I-don't-know-where last year because the blurb fascinated me...:
Anna Klane entered hospital gifted, intelligent,
...moreI picked this book up from somewhere-I-don't-know-where last year because the blurb fascinated me...:
Anna Klane entered hospital gifted, intelligent, precocious - the ten-year-old daughter of a genius. But on the operating table, as they probed her brain for the tumour, somehting in her died. When she came out she was different. She passed all the intelligence tests, but deep down something was missing... her soul. Anatol Klane knew it immediately he saw his daughter. And he knew there was only one thing to do. She was a machine - totally suggestible, with no conscious will. He gave her a gun and told her to blow her brains out. She did. Now Klane, a brilliant scientist, is on trial for murder. His only defence: to prove the existence of the human soul. ...,
I've googled the book, and found bits of it being discussed under "ethics", and bits misquoted... Here's the author's reply:
Simon, Tom Thanks for your contributions and comments. Looks like my "Mark III Beast" chapter from "The Soul of Anna Klane" has been morphed a bit. The original critter had no fur--- (Fuzzy wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?) Fake fur would not have been consistent with the stark simplicity of its creator's style. "Anna Klane" was written as an introduction to ideas which may have been offered prematurely, 30 years ago. These are developed on the website: beon-cpt.com They are for those curious about the origins of existence and the nature of consciousness--- curious enough to press the limits of their current beliefs. Terrel Miedaner Posted by: Terrel Miedaner | January 13, 2007 11:51 PM
The author's name leads to an interesting link, connected to the copyright owner of the book - The Church of Physical Theology Ltd. Intriguing. And a short film made of part of it. (less)
Once again I have no idea where I got this from. It may have been one that Dad passed on ... but he hadn't written his name in it. This was originally...moreOnce again I have no idea where I got this from. It may have been one that Dad passed on ... but he hadn't written his name in it. This was originally published in 1949, under pseudonym above - the actual author is John Creasey.
It's a bout a self-indulged young(ish) man who hates his stepfather but who nevertheless passes him his heart tablets when he could have simply left him to die. Still, it must have been the stepfather's time, because only a few hours later he's dead, strangled. Of course, the suspicion falls on our "hero" - and the circumstantial evidence is strong. There's also the motivation - everybody knew he hated him!
According to my records, I've not read a Dean Koontz before. However, my records only go back properly to September 2002 so I could have read others b...moreAccording to my records, I've not read a Dean Koontz before. However, my records only go back properly to September 2002 so I could have read others by him before that. None of the titles listed on the Also By page ring bells, but then I've been known to read a book all the way to the last few pages before realising that I'd read it before, so bells don't usually ring for me.
My daughter gave me this book to read. I can't remember where she got it from - maybe her brother for Christmas? - but she passed it on saying I'd enjoy it, and I did. I tend to avoid bestsellers but I think I do that out of snobbery - some part of me saying that I'm "better" than the masses because I enjoy arty novels and feminist novels and science fiction (actually, that tends to get lookd down on by art & masses alike!) and real literature and foreign authors .... - but I think I'm getting over that.
This book was fun. It didn't come up to the Times quote on the back - "The master of our darkest dreams" because it didn't once cause me to feel worried or chilled or any of those things that suspense is supposed to do to us - but it was a rollicking good read. The chief protagonist is a really likeable character and his family is wonderful. The descriptions of food are fabulous - I could have gained weight if I wasn't a Weight Watcher (though somewhat lapsed at the moment, I must confess. Interestingly, this book tempted the imagination but might have helped my determination to Get Back on Track), and the insane circus people are quite hilarious. I think they're meant to be sinister, and certainly the descriptions of their murderous acts are suitably nasty, but the whole thing is too fast-paced and with too much humour for any of that to hit the reader.
This quote is on the website
"A master storyteller and a daring writer... he gives readers bright hope in a dark world.... LIFE EXPECTANCY pits good versus evil and carries a persuasive message, about the power of love and family and the miracle of existence... Koontz is a true original and this novel, one of his most unusual yet, will leave readers aglow."—Publishers Weekly, starred review.
but it's much too effusive. I'll have to read another one or two of his books to make a definite conclusion, but at the moment my impression is: fast-paced, fun, thriller-fluff. (less)
What a fascinating book! Alice Sinnott recommended this author during one of her lectures (Reading the Bible - BSTHEO 110) and I get a great deal of p...moreWhat a fascinating book! Alice Sinnott recommended this author during one of her lectures (Reading the Bible - BSTHEO 110) and I get a great deal of pleasure reading recommended books. I can't find off-hand what I wrote about what she said, but obviously I jotted the name down somewhere. I think Kinder only had this one novel (and a couple of non-fiction, one of which I have borrowed and may or may not yet read/browse), but I'm pretty sure the University library had more (though possibly at the Epsom campus). I really need to read The Chosen because it comes before this title. This book didn't need the prequel to make sense, but reading it will give me some "Ahh"s, I'm sure.
So, Reuven is studying for ordination in the early 1950s in New York, at an Orthodox University. His father is a Reformed theologian and his best friend Danny is a Hasidic Jew. At the start of the book Reuven is interested in a young woman, who later marries Danny (not an issue of jealousy or anything ), and who is the niece of a highly controversial writer who no longer believes but seeks to find truths within the tradition. Also a key player in this novel is the son of the latter, a troubled teenager who finds in Reuven someone to talk to, but represses so much that he becomes part of Danny's psychological practice and an experiment in enforced solitude.
This book had me wanting to read nothing else (though I was trying to read 5 books at once) and won the battle. It also led me back to other titles, though I can't articulate the actual pathway. It had a very satisfying conclusion.(less)
When I first requested this on the library website, I was one of some 70 something requests, and gradually my place went up the line, but the number o...moreWhen I first requested this on the library website, I was one of some 70 something requests, and gradually my place went up the line, but the number of other requests topped at over 300! I think this book was reviewed in The Herald, but I don't remember for sure where I heard of it. Clearly, many others had as well.
This book is excellent. It begins in 1964 (more or less) when an undiagnosed twin is born and the doctor recognises her as having Down's Syndrome. The doctor is delivering his own children (because of a blizzard) and in the stress of the moment is convinced that his wife would be unable to cope, so he asks the nurse to take the baby to a home. The nurse initially complies with his wishes, but can't bear to leave her there. And the doctor, having planned to say nothing of the second baby, tells his wife that there was a baby born dead.
His guilt pervades the whole of the family's ongoing life. Meanwhile, the nurse raises the girl on her own, but eventually marrying the truck driver who helped out that very night when her car broke down. So we have two stories side by side, with possibilities for connection that are never realised, not until the very end when one of them dies.
I popped into the University Library because I wanted to see what they had in the way of books about ecumenism in New Zealand in the last 40 years (my...moreI popped into the University Library because I wanted to see what they had in the way of books about ecumenism in New Zealand in the last 40 years (my essay topic for “Christianity in Aotearoa”), and, because I was dragging round my portable study, I thought that rather than trek around and up and down elevators and round and round looking for an unused computer to search the library website, I’d just browse a bit. Surprisingly it worked to a respectable degree. I found some books that were a little bit relevant (at a pinch) and I found this book, with its wonderful title, and then, having had some success and therefore feeling good about things, I went and found a computer and logged into the website and found some highly relevant books (just a shelf or two away from where I’d been) and a possibly relevant e-journal which I’ve yet to check out. That was on Monday.
So – this book. Another reason I thought I’d have a look at it was because Mum went to school with Bob and his brother Graham, and frequently spoke rather disparagingly of Bob. I think it was because he had a television programme and Mum was thinking, “Who’s he to be on the TV?!” Sort-of the tall poppy thing, I think… or people-from-Taumaranui-shouldn’t-be-in-the-public-eye - - they’re-nobodies, kind-of thing. She’d say something like, “I knew him when he was a boy and he was nothing special,” which is, of course, completely by the by. I mean, who is something special when they’re a kid?! People often don’t even grow into their real selves until middle age or later. Look at me; I’m only just doing something that will have real value for others. So I was intrigued to see whether this bod-from-Taumaranui-who’d-written-a-book was worth reading.
I browsed a few pages of course. I wasn’t going to add another book to my pile unless I deemed it likely that I’d enjoy it, and the couple of snippets I read were quite entertaining:
page 104: “Is that you, Reverend? We were wondering if you’d like to come and … “ “No.” “Thursday afternoon at half past two …” “No.” “That’s settled. We’ll see you Thursday.” Who are these dragon women? Do they have husbands?
Well, I can’t swear that this is one of the snippets that I read in the library, bit it could have been. Here’s another that I’m finding right now on a random opening:
page 34 A minister of a church in the far north of the North Island wrote to tell me that I should use my time on radio and television to preach the forgiveness of sins. He was praying to that end and warned me that unless I did that I would be on the road to damnation and, what’s more, leading others with me. Life must get a bit dull way up there in the north.
He makes some very wry comments, and some quite insightful remarks. His humour is standard and he tells a few old jokes (which I’m sure didn’t originate with him) as if they’re his own stories, but he’s still amusing. There are a lovely couple of stories, about Henry and about Thelma, which I am copying for future reference (I can imagine using them in a sermon to good effect), and I even found a little something to go into my essay!(less)
I picked this book up cheap a couple of months ago, and grabbed it off the shelf this morning to read on the train (because I haven’t downloaded the r...moreI picked this book up cheap a couple of months ago, and grabbed it off the shelf this morning to read on the train (because I haven’t downloaded the reading I’m supposed to be doing for tonight’s lecture). It’s a very simple book – standard plot, fairly shallow characters, basic style – but it was a good light read.
It’s Christmas Eve in new York City, and Catherine is taking her 2 boys to see the sights. Her husband is in hospital with leukaemia and they’re trying to be brave. Also out and about is Cally, the mother of a 4-year-old who spent 2 years without her while Cally was in prison for aiding and abetting her brother, a murderer. Catherine drops her wallet; Cally picks it up without thinking then panics and departs quickly; Brian (the 7-yr-old) follows her because the wallet contains his grandfather’s St Christopher’s Medal which he’s sure is going to cure his father. Back at Cally’s apartment is her brother, laying in wait, and when Brian arrives he kidnaps him, driving north to Canada.
Of course, all’s well that ends well, and there are some quite nice bits about people being kind, and a nice amount of suspense. I read it in one ‘sitting’ - the train to Meadowbank, then walking up the hill (it make the walk a lot easier than on Tuesday! – or was it easier because it was the second time.. – nah, it kept me occupied and not noticing how long the hill was, or how steep – yeah, yeah, bring out the violins), and then finished it off over a cup of coffee. I was thinking I might send it BookCrossing, but I might put it with my Christmas collection instead, because it’s quite small. (less)
I took this off the shelf at the Kinder Library because it's a beautifully illustrated book and just needed to be read. Of course, I've had no time to...moreI took this off the shelf at the Kinder Library because it's a beautifully illustrated book and just needed to be read. Of course, I've had no time to read properly, and anyway, it's more of a reference book than a sit-down-and-read-from-cover-to-cover book. I won't buy a copy, but I will keep a record of it so if I'm ever leading a study on Genesis I can find/borrow it again.
It's a comprehensive look at the religious / mythological / historical world in which the religion of the Hebrew people grew, with maps, modern photographs, and many illustrations of the archeology and art of the times. (less)
I was wondering if I could use some of this for working with a Youth Group. It has some really good content - looking at leadership from the aspects o...moreI was wondering if I could use some of this for working with a Youth Group. It has some really good content - looking at leadership from the aspects of midwifery, choreography, weaving and intercession - but the discussion questions would go better with an older group of people.
* Later - I used it in a parish with a study group. (less)
My daughter had this book from the library, and recommended it highly so I decided that even though I didn't have time, I'd read it. It's excellent. A...moreMy daughter had this book from the library, and recommended it highly so I decided that even though I didn't have time, I'd read it. It's excellent. Alissa's father died when she was young, and she and her mother have never got on since. There's a stepfather and a half-brother, both of whom are fine, but none of the family are central to the story. Each year Alissa and her best friend Evelin make a Christmas night pilgrimage to her father's grave, but this year Alissa falls into a crypt and discovers the body of a dead child, with a plant growing from his heart. Creepy! Then strange things begin happening for her.
This was translated from the German, by Chantal Wright, and done brilliantly. An excellent read.(less)