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Eyeh Asher "Eyeh" (Ecosse)

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The Lord
The Lord
by Romano Guardini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.22

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not be afraid, 23 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: The Lord (Paperback)
A magnificent book, which radiates soothing inspiration and great Love. No wonder Pope Benedict XVI (in its preface, but also in his latest book, Jesus of Nazareth) still praises it, after half a century from its original publication, stating: "Guardini's book... has not grown old, precisely because it still leads us to that which is essential, to that which is truly real, Jesus Christ Himself. That is why today this book still has a great mission."

A great mission indeed. Transpiring throughout the book, is Guardini's immense love for the Lord, as he presents Him in all His splendour and divinity, and yet as a Man: the Godman. The book is permeated with profound insights and true exegetical realities: it guides the reader to confront this "mysterium tremendum et fascinans" with brilliance and vigour, also stimulating deep reflection on the mystery of God, where human conceptions weigh little - what counts is the realization that Christ forces upon us when He Himself "interprets the Scriptures" and our hearts start "burning within us" (Lk 24:27 and 32).


Eternal Life
Eternal Life
by Romano Guardini
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Meaning of it all, 2 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Eternal Life (Paperback)
Like a patient persistent detective, the author (one of the greatest theologians of XXc, Pope Benedict XVI having been one of his students) discovers from Scripture and Church teachings, illuminating and consoling truths about the afterlife - thus opening for the reader many of the mysteries of death, judgement, and eternal life.

This is a thoughtful and honest study that presents a clear vision - as clear a vision as one can possibly get whilst living! - of the afterlife and helps in the daily struggles of the present life. Moreover, it dismantles the negative myth that Christianity denies the value of this world, only looking at the "future" one...

Guardini writes: "One hears it said over and over that Christianity belittles man and holds the body in contempt, that it denies the value of the world and withdraws the believer from active work into spiritual and religious bypaths. It is difficult to understand how false and unfounded an opinion got and maintained its hold. Nowhere is man looked upon as so great a being as in the Christian gospel; nowhere else is the world of such serious importance; nowhere else is the temporal order of creation so elevated toward God and in God as by and through Christ. The way this was done is untouched by any breath of myth or fable, and the guarantee of its seriousness, its divine seriousness, is the life and death of Christ."


A Marginal Jew: Companions and Competitors v. 3: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (Marginal Jew; Rethinking the Historical Jesus) (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
A Marginal Jew: Companions and Competitors v. 3: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (Marginal Jew; Rethinking the Historical Jesus) (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
by J Meier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £30.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so marginal, really!, 29 July 2011
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(I'm just adapting my review of Meier's 4th volume, since it may well apply to the whole work):

A massive opus, this is the 3rd volume of Meier's '''tetralogy''' - an excellent study of the historical Jesus that even Pope Benedict XVI mentioned and appreciated in his 2-volume book Jesus of Nazareth. It's truly a model of historical exegesis, in which the significance and the limits of the method emerge clearly, positing irresolvable chronological and topographical questions.

The author recognises his constrictive boundaries, but delves deeply into them in order to analyse all possible venues of christological historicity and reconstruct a Jesus who is ultimately incomplete and speculative. But Meier acknowledges this, as he tries grappling with one of the greatest puzzles of modern religious scholarship: granted the fragmentary state of his available sources and the often indirect nature of the arguments he must use, the end result is the best possible portrait a historian can achieve in offering the reality of Jesus of Nazareth as he actually lived and worked in Palestine during the 1st century of our era.


Dante in Love
Dante in Love
by A. N. Wilson
Edition: Hardcover

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving Dante, 16 July 2011
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This review is from: Dante in Love (Hardcover)
An erudite and yet easily readable book on a most complicate topic: Dante's genius.

T.S. Eliot stated that "Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them, there is no third." Wilson tackles with the first, and the task is herculean. However, he's no stranger to feats of this genre, having written a very interesting book on Jesus (which, strangely enough, he later recanted - possibly due to his "re-acquired" faith).
But back to Dante.

With Italian as my father tongue - my mother tongue being semitic - I was quite curious to see how an anglophone would perceive the Supreme Poet's poetical universe and his paramount craftmanship. Having just read another brilliant book on Dante (Dante's Invention by J. Burge), I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one as well, mainly due to its excellent portrait of the Florentine juxtaposed with his contemporary society, since without an understanding of medieval Florence, it would be impossible to grasp the meaning of Dante's great poem, the Divine Comedy.

So, notwithstanding the difficult problem of making people appreciate a masterpiece in translation, Wilson succeeds in doing it and presents a pleasurable work of high biographical/critical standards, interspersed with acute references to modern literature and its profound debt to the Tuscan Poet.

Now go back to the Comedy and re-read it: you'll enjoy it much more after this book, I'm sure. Dante will carry you to a world beyond the limits of reason and the journey will be well worth it - and if you haven't yet read it, well do it now, as soon as you close Wilson's book: every human being should have the privilege, at least once, of seeing, if only for an instant, if only second hand and in translation, a glimpse of the awesome creation this Italian genius has conceived.

"...Now was turning my desire and will,
Even as a wheel in balanced motion,
The Love which moves the sun and the other stars." (Paradiso, 33:143-5)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2011 1:44 PM BST


A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume 4: Law and Love (Anchor Yale Bible): Rethinking the Historical Jesus v. 4 (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume 4: Law and Love (Anchor Yale Bible): Rethinking the Historical Jesus v. 4 (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
by John P Meier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £31.50

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so marginal, 5 July 2011
A massive opus, this is the final volume of Meier's tetralogy - an excellent study of the historical Jesus that even Pope Benedict XVI mentioned and appreciated in his 2-volume book Jesus of Nazareth. It's truly a model of historical exegesis, in which the significance and the limits of the method emerge clearly, positing irresolvable chronological and topographical questions.

The author recognises his constrictive boundaries, but delves deeply into them in order to analyse all possible venues of christological historicity and reconstruct a Jesus who is ultimately incomplete and speculative. But Meier acknowledges this, as he tries grappling with one of the greatest puzzles of modern religious scholarship: granted the fragmentary state of his available sources and the often indirect nature of the arguments he must use, the end result is the best possible portrait a historian can achieve in offering the reality of Jesus of Nazareth as he actually lived and worked in Palestine during the 1st century of our era.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2014 12:39 PM BST


The Great Partnership
The Great Partnership
by Jonathan Sacks
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faith begins with the search for meaning, 2 July 2011
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This review is from: The Great Partnership (Hardcover)
...because it is the discovery of meaning that creates human freedom and dignity. Finding God's freedom, we discover our own." So Rabbi Sacks in ending his Introduction.

A deeply satisfying and much needed book, this is a sharp and intelligent response to the depressingly dry arguments of the "new atheists". The author is disappointed by these and dismisses their simplistic debates, asserting that there is no need to choose between science and religion. He writes that science is one of God's great gifts. Science and religion go together like the left and right lobes of the brain. Or, as he likes to quote from Einstein in one of the book's epigraphs:"Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind."

Rabbi Sacks draws comparisons from different cultures and delves deeply into the history of language and of western civilisation in order to show that the battle between science and religion need not occur, being based on a false dichotomy.
I love the way he writes... "the new atheists do no one a service by their intellectual inability to understand why it should be that some people lift their eyes beyond the visible horizon or strive to articulate an inexpressible sense of wonder; why some search for meaning despite the eternal silences of infinite space and the apparently random injustices of history; why some stake their lives on the belief that the ultimate reality at the heart of the universe is not blind to our existence, deaf to our prayers and indifferent to our fate; why some find trust and security and strength in the sensed, invisible presence of a vast and indefinable love."

Besides its perfect description of man's quest for a reason, this is sheer poetry. And I couldn't agree more with our lyrical Rabbi: I feel exactly as he writes, especially when he affirms that in the great opera of life, science provides the words, religion the music. And who would want a life that is merely a libretto?

It ain't over till the fat lady sings...

This is a magnificent book, a book you feel pulsating through your veins, going right across your heart to the brain of emotions. It tells you to appreciate life, value the Other, love Creation and the created within - no matter *how* it was created.

It's more than a book, in fact, it's a proposition to renew existence in the ancient Abrahamic perspective of the Divine, "ancient" because neglected in this post-modern world of nihilism and egotistical greed. Let's not surrender to the selfish gene, but re-appropriate our lost religious individuality through our love for life, community, family, children, God.

This is what Rabbi Sacks is proposing, a return to God via the Other, as the Other is an image of God. And it's the only image of Him we're going to get, at least in *this* life.

A magnificent book. Believe me.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2011 3:56 PM BST


Deception (Alex Delaware)
Deception (Alex Delaware)
by Jonathan Kellerman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subliminal teasing, 9 Jun. 2011
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If you read between the lines of Kellerman's books, you are taught sensitive morality and gentle ethics. Funny thing is, it happens amongst the most horrifying criminal situations and macabre scenery: this author is clever, simultaneously hard and tender, sharp in his dialogues and plots, his idiosyncratic dress codes and beautiful psychological insights.

I just love it, the way he writes and without much effort (to my mind at least: I'm sure he must suffer through his manuscript's revisions to find perfection) offers you a glimpse of the mind's complexities as applied to common human behaviour. This novel isn't an exception, especially if you like to enter the theatre of teenager cruelty and spoiled elitism.

The story is, as I've come to expect from this writer, brutal and gruesome, involving rape and murder, power and wealth, predators, sexual promiscuity, hidden anguish and deadly sins. All suspense ingredients are there, ably mixed to turn a real thriller into a terrifying nightmare... But our two usual heroes, Alex and Milo, are there to achieve positive closure, with sarcastic humour and the reader's engrossing pleasure - Milo's interviewing skills are a special pleasure to appreciate and, all in all, Kellerman confirms his masterful technique: tell an execrable tale, but with a subliminal constructive lesson to offer.

I always close a Kellerman book with some regret in having finished it, but feeling ultimately good inside, no matter the horrors I have witnessed in reading it: I call that catharsis.


Sixkill: A Spenser Novel
Sixkill: A Spenser Novel
by Robert B. Parker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last but not least, 29 April 2011
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Before he died in January last year, Parker announced: "I am currently writing a book with the working title Sixkill in which a new character joins Spenser's world." Well, this is the book - published posthumously, it sadly is his very last and final Spenserian adventure: I feel like crying, sort of anyway. I've enjoyed Parker's novels for more than three decades and it's like leaving a very dear friend: his Spenser series, begun with The Godwulf Manuscript in 1973, has brightened my readings with its humour, its great dialogues and clever plots. What crime thrillers am I going to read now, so much rubbish flooding the bookshelves?

This last Spenser is great indeed, and I believe Parker's introduction of a new character (a former football-playing Native American named Zebulon Sixkill, from which the homonymous title) was a novelty he was going to develop further in future episodes. Too bad: we just have to enjoy this one and make the best of it.

Briefly, the story goes that a nasty actor is accused of rape and murder, and Spenser is called in by the Boston PD to investigate the case. Enter the actor's bodyguard Sixkill, and to be sure things get complicated, with dark secrets and strange alliances gradually unravelling. Will our hero overcome all odds to successfully resolve this last assignment?

You bet.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 16, 2013 6:23 PM BST


Mystery (Alex Delaware)
Mystery (Alex Delaware)
by Jonathan Kellerman
Edition: Hardcover

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sugar Daddies & Mommies, 8 April 2011
I've been reading Kellerman and his Delaware psycho-thrillers for about 20 years now, and haven't tired yet. Of course, he's had his ups and downs, some stories being better than others, and lately losing some luster - but this one is excellent.

The author is well into his third decade of writing (i.e, check his Deception, Compulsion, The Conspiracy Club, The Butcher's Theatre, et al.), and while I always find a comfortable familiarity with each of his books, I'm also pleased to see that he avoids the formulaic plotting that a lesser talent would have succumbed to by this point - apart from his fixation on meticulously listing what everyone's wearing as soon as they enter the scene (there must be a psychological explanation for this... OCD? eh, eh, eh).

So, anyway, MYSTERY is one of Kellerman's best works to date, with his two main characters - consultant psychologist Delaware and LAPD Detective Sturgis - meeting and greeting all types during the course of a difficult investigation into the gruesome murder (face blown off and other diverse mutilations) of a girl part of an online dating circuit. The pair follow a trail of secrets and deception in a plot that truly keeps you on your toes, with all the cyberspace ingredients so dramatically current in the area of online adult dating and depressing sex commerce.

Delaware ultimately comes through in a denouement where the author quietly and quickly makes a point that we should all take with us, whether we have mysteries to solve or not.

Ok, ok, I'm a Kellerman aficionado and may be slightly biased but, hey, so kill me for it!


The President's Assassin
The President's Assassin
by Brian Haig
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like your style, 30 Mar. 2011
Well, it looks like Haig has sort of semi-retired Sean Drummond and now dedicates himself to writing stand alone novels (which I deeply dislike). And that's a real pity.

I love this series, read'em all books till the very last one (i.e., Man in the Middle), and they are all great fun: fast paced, rich plotting, full of surprises, witty and wisecracking -- just like that other fun guy John Corey, created by Nelson DeMille (check out his The Lion, etc).

I like a bit of humour in the superhero, makes reading more entertaining; and Sean Drummond, Haig's hero, is just that... an entertaining character getting involved in all sorts of mischief. Now, why would you want to retire him? The author, on his blog, says that it's because the series hasn't been selling that well lately. Bullfrog. I don't believe it: Drummond's antics are read the world over, by thousands of aficionados.

Take this story, THE PRESIDENT'S ASSASSIN. It's gripping, it's a powerhouse of action and intrigue, it's got biting wit and 1st class suspense. A shocking conspiracy to the highest level, a mix of legal contortions and political shenanigans. A great story: I enjoyed thoroughly.

So, naturally, I want more. Please?


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