From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: Jefferson Bass
The Inquisitor’s Key
Inquisitor’s Key is a must-read for fans of Dan Brown and Kathleen McGowan. Avignon, France is the locale for this religious conundrum. The novel centers itself around a stone ossuary in which bones are contained. The legend inscribed upon the ossuary leads the anthropological team to believe that the bones might be the bones of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. Dr. Bill Brockton and his protégée, Miranda Lovelady, follow a convoluted trail in their attempts to prove or disprove the legend written on the ossuary. Not everyone on the team is playing it straight, however, which leads to some dangerous consequences.
From Ellen Druda
Author: Christopher Hitchens
God is not great : how religion poisons everything
The late Christopher Hitchens ended his writing career as one of the world’s best known atheists. If you want to understand his reasons, this is the book to read. Filled with essays that take on the popular organized religious tenants, he takes them apart brilliantly at every turn with a rigorous intellectualism. Hitchens writes like he lived his life: with courage, humor, and a clarity of thought that cuts through dogma like a saber.
From Judith Schroback
author: Roth, philip
This is a sad story about choices we make in our lives. It takes place in the early 40′s and focuses primarily on the polio epidemic. The tragedy hit many families and Mr. ROth is able to make us feel the pain of this awful disease and its consequences. People’s belief in God is questioned as so many youngsters and their families deal with the horrors and hopelessness of polio.
From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Pope, Barbara Corrado
The Blood of Lorraine
It is France, 1894. The Alfred Dreyfus trial is causing anger and unrest throughout the country. Anti-Semitism is rampant. A Christian baby is found mutilated. Magistrate Bernard Martin must find the killer before the entire town riots. When two Jews are killed, is he searching for a serial killer or two separate killers? Are the cases linked or is a coincidence? Martin is pressured by his superiors to quickly solve these cases. He wants to solve them before more victims are discovered. It is a race against time, as Martin unearths truths about himself and the racism that has been lurking below the surface in his community. Tragedy strikes his family and brings Martin to the breaking point, as it slowly drives his wife insane. It is an intriguing time period, with a main character that you could relate to. The interaction between Martin and his sidekick, Inspector Jacquette, adds some comic relief to an otherwise grim historical mystery.
From Joanna, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Galante, Cecelia
The Patron Saint of Butterflies
This month, I read The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante. It is about two girls named Agnes and Honey. Despite their differences, they are best friends. The live at Mount Blessing, a religious commune run by Emmanuel and Veronica. Abandoned there as a baby, Honey is rebellious, resentful towards Emmanuel and Veronica, and longs for a normal life, finding her own comfort at Winky’s butterfly garden. Agnes is the opposite. Firm in her faith, her dream is to become a saint.
When Agnes’s grandmother visits the commune as a surprise, she finds out about the Regulation Room, a hidden room used to beat the “Believers” when they “commit a sin”. She immediately takes them away from Mount Blessing for their own good. Honey is ready to leave without a second glance, but Agnes’s beliefs are firm, and she refuses to leave without a fight. Leaving Mount Blessing was supposed to be a good thing, but it’s the final blow that might rip the two apart.
On a scale from one to ten, I would give this book a solid 9.5. It’s a nice break from the romance and vampires. Reading the book from two points of view (Agnes’s and Honey’s) really helped me understand the characters. I was a little resentful towards Agnes throughout the book, wanting to just knock a brick over her head and be done with it, but she redeems herself. It’s not too hard of a book to read, but it’s not easy either. To read this, you also have to be able to accept some things, such as Agnes’s annoying belief that can kill them all.
Overall, this was a very good read. I would mostly recommend this to girls though, since it’s told from their point of view and deals with those types of things. Don’t let the outlandish storyline stop you, The Patron Saint of Butterflies is a book worth reading.
From Gina Scaglione:
I stayed up late last night again to read Thank God for Evolution by Michael Dowd. I highly recommend this book to anyone contemplating religion in any way. From the doubters to the highly religious, this book has something for everyone. It actually helped me to realize where I belong, which I had pretty much given up on prior to reading the book. Thank God for Michael Dowd:)
From Susan Martin:
Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur, by Frank Houghton
Excellent biography of a Christian missionary to India who served there without furlough for 51 years. Through her efforts, children who would have been exploited in Indian temples, were rescued and raised in a family environment. Houghton gives an in-depth portrait of the remarkable life of a person totally devoted to God. Great reading!