book reveiws

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Postby pip » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:43 pm

:roll:
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Postby raisindot » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:38 pm

And since we never seem to stop talking about religion around here, I've been plowing through the more popular books by Prof Bart Ehlman.

He is a professor and religious scholar who was raised as a fundamentalist Christian, got a Ph.D. in theology, and taught in fundamentalist Christian schools for awhile.

But the deeper he started examining the Old and New Testaments, the more he began to doubt his own beliefs. Today, he considers himself an agnostic, no longer considers himself to be a 'religious' person, and specializes in books that examine the various textual and thematic problems he identifies in the Bible. He doesn't do it in a nasty, Hitchins/Dawkins type way; he wishes he could believe in the Jesus and God of the Bible but simply finds their history and construction incompatible with his beliefs. If you like this story of thing, I recommend:

1. Misquoting Jesus: A very interesting history of New Testament authorship, that makes a compelling case that no one really knows what the original "texts" of the gospels were, since the earliest extant copies are dated no earlier than the 3rd century CE. He also provides compelling examples of how later scribes edited and added on to gospels throughout the years, so that what you read today may bear absolutely no resemblance to the original version of Mark, Luke, Matthew or John.

2. Jesus Interrupted: Here he does a "parallel" study of the four gospels to clearly demonstrate the many contradictions and discrepancies between the four narratives of the Jesus story, making a strong case that each gospel author (none of whom were probably alive when Jesus died) had his or her own agenda in creating their particular version, and that these four are only the ones "chosen" out of hundreds of other stories that never made the biblical "cut."

3. God's Problem: Perhaps his weakest book. Here, he makes the argument that he cannot reconcile the Bible's portrayal of a caring and loving god (if you do everything he says, that is) with a god who allows suffering, genocide, disease, war and evil to exist in the world, especially when so many who died were devout Christians and Jews.







Misquoting Jesus, God's Problem and Jesus Interrupted
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:38 pm

Over the weekend on my way down to London, I finished the audio unabridged book of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, I forgot how good the book was,and a few of the things have more or less come to pass, his take on religion is well done with a few neat twists I can't really do it justice with a short review, for me it's the beginning of the cyberpunk novel and him being the godfather of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Crash :)
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Postby pip » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:13 am

Have snow crash sitting on my desk in work. Possibly the next one i read :D
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:37 pm

It's really good Pip, he certainly had some foresight.
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Postby WannabeAngua » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:57 am

pip wrote:Just finished John Connollys 'Samuel Johnson vs The Devil Pt2 - Hells Bells' the sequel to ' The Gates of Hell are Opening , Please Mind the Gap'

In the states the books are called The Gates , and The Infernals .
Definitely Fantasy genre but strikes me as a mix of Good Omens and Eric if they were to be compared to Terry Prtachett Books.
First Books is set in England where the Devil and his Minions have discovered how to open a gate to a small town by harnessing power from the Haldron Collider. Pardon the pun but all hell breaks lose with demons causing havoc while the General of hells army becomes a cross dresser and a few others discover the beauty of english lager . One becomes addicted to wine gums.
All this centres around Samuel and his dog who try to stop all this.

Second book is based around the cross dressing demons attempt at revenge for how the first book ends . She tries to drag Samuel and his dog to hell but also manages to pull in a pair of coppers , four alcoholic psycho dwarves pretending they're elves, and an icecream van driven by Dan Dan the Ice cream man.
More sentimental than the first book and a little slower paced but with very funny and exciting moments well worth reading.
I was particularly impressed with the characters of The Watcher, Old Ram and The Blacksmith.

First book a 9 out of ten and the second one an 8.5 out of ten.

Really enjoyable and not as dark than his previous 'All Age' book - 'The Book of Lost Things'(which is bloody amazing and a 10 out of 10 book based around Grimms fairy tales) or his Charlie Parker crime novels.
Yes i am promoting a fellow dubliner but seriously worth a look. The link below opens the first chapter of Hells Bells from Johns site which readds quite well as a short story in its own rights :D
http://www.johnconnollybooks.com/novels-hells-bells1.php


I looooove John Connollys books :D Book of lost things was amazing. Haven't bought the Hells bells yet, have to get it ASAP.
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Postby pip » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:12 am

Book of Lost Things still remains one of my favourite ever books. Pure Genius :D
He's doing a signing at my favourite bookshop next month :D

Real nice guy :D
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Postby WannabeAngua » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:30 am

pip wrote:Book of Lost Things still remains one of my favourite ever books. Pure Genius :D
He's doing a signing at my favourite bookshop next month :D

Real nice guy :D


*Turning green with envy*

Could you tell him from me that Jo Nesbø is Norwegian, not Swedish.....a couple of newsletters ago he said he was doing - actually can't remember what it was at the moment - something with the Swedish novelist Nesbø :x
Sweden allready has Mankell and Stieg Larsson, please let us keep Nesbø.
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Postby pip » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:47 am

I will. :lol: Did you check out the first chapter of his book i posted :D
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Postby WannabeAngua » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:01 am

pip wrote:I will. :lol: Did you check out the first chapter of his book i posted :D


No, just read your rewiew. I will take a look later on though. :)
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Postby pip » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:32 am

Cool :D
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Postby pip » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:51 am

Book - Monarchy
Author - David Starkey

A non-fiction book detailing the History of the English and then British monarchy from the start of the Tudor preiod under Henry VII to the 21st century.

A very interesting well written and well researched book, David Starkey is a fantastic historian who knows his history. Quite sarcastic at times the book reads well and links the lineage very well together.
Gives a great account of the changes in form, the attitudes and actions of the Monarchs , Parliament , the general public and other leaders throughout the huge changes and revolutions that took place over the period.
Really enjoyed this book and have an interest in the subject matter .
Good well informed opinions and analysis in general. Disliked that he brought it right up to his opinions on Charles as Starkey is a historian and this section at the end didn't fit to well with the rest but doesn't detract from the overall quality.


8 out of ten


Have bought another of his books - Henry about Henry VIII and look forward to it :D
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Postby meerkat » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:55 am

For a fictional read re: time of Henry 8th, try CJ Sansom. Historically accurate and very interesting view of the country under Henry's rule!
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Postby pip » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:58 am

Book - Africa Reich
Author - Guy Saville

A trouser leg of time book based on a similar premise to that of Robert Harris Fatherland.
Britain turned chicken after a massacre at Dunkirk and signed a peace treaty with Germany which carves up Africa between them and allows Germany a free reign in there new and old colonys and eastern europe.
An ex Leggionaire and British soldier of german decent is hired to assasinate one of the German Governors who he has a History with and heads to Africa.
Book is full of action, very bloody and occasionally disturbing.
sometimes manic due to the action and the main character Burton Cole is blessed at repeatedly escaping impossible situations but still highly enjoyable
. Book is well written despite a slightly wooden start and has a decwent twist or two at the end.
The author has created a vivid alternate world which works well in the background.
Took a chance on a debut novel (although the author did sign the book)
but glad i did.I'll see what else comes from his pen in future

8.5 out of ten
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Postby pip » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:00 am

meerkat wrote:For a fictional read re: time of Henry 8th, try CJ Sansom. Historically accurate and very interesting view of the country under Henry's rule!

I like reading both the fiction and non fiction history books so i'll check it out meer. Cheers :D
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