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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
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11 March 2005

Book Notes

So, as usual, I’m late to the party. Apparently it was quite the fashion statement back in December to take up the 50 book challenge. If you’re fashionably late also, the rules basically call for you to come up with 50 extracurricular books to read all year, posting your list of finished books as you go. Seeing as how it’s March already, I’m playing catch up. That’s OK. I’m up for the challenge.

I’m going to leave out books I’ve already read this year, except the one I just finished. So here goes:

Just Finished:

A Time to Kill – John Grisham

Books in Progress:

Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can’t Kick Militarism – Joel Andreas
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
The Everlasting Man – G.K. Chesterton
The Politics of Jesus – John Howard Yoder

On Deck:

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith – Anne Lamott
The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
V for Vendetta – Alan Moore
Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life – Sissela Bok
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – Edward Albee

Interesting that I just finished Grisham’s A Time to Kill, given the courtroom shooting in Atlanta earlier today. And, yes, that's about all that’s interesting about Grisham’s first novel.

If you haven’t read it, or seen the movie, A Time to Kill is about a black father whose daughter is brutally beaten and raped by two rednecks in the deep South. The father takes revenge by brutally gunning down the two men (in a courtroom). The rest is a combination of walking one-dimensional clichés as characters, poorly written dialogue, superfluous adverb usage and excessive telling instead of showing.

If you can look past its literary sins, A Time to Kill presents some pretty frightening ideas. Grisham obviously sympathizes with the father here. So are we to assume it’s OK to gun a man down in cold blood if he rapes your daughter? Is this what Grisham, the moderate Southern Baptist, is preaching? If so, he’s not far from the territory of other American Christians, many of whom seem to advocate Jerry Falwell’s “blow them away in the name of the Lord” mentality.

So what happened to “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well?"

I guess we’re not supposed to take that part of the Bible literally. Just the bits about locusts with teeth like lions. Maybe they should start selling Grisham in Christian bookstores. Seems like he’d fit right in.

Comments on "Book Notes"


Blogger jvpastor said ... (3/12/2005 07:34:00 AM) : 

"Vengance is mine says the father..."

And people call me a literalist? Anyway, I jumped on board this 50 book thing, and mainly I just like to see what others are reading. I mean amazon just doesn't seem like a good barometer (or as Kramer would say, "it is pronounced thermometer") for what is worth reading.


Blogger Gretchen Ross said ... (3/12/2005 10:36:00 AM) : 

Have you ever read the Nag Hammadi Library Gospel of Thomas? If not you should add it to your list. Actually they are historical documents so they've been published online:


This gospel was written while Jesus was still alive and is believed to be the oldest known, and was excluded from the bible. Although when you read it you can see that Matthew tweaked alot of the Thomas stuff into his gospel.

Its a very good read and I read it everynow and then for inspiration.


Blogger Gretchen Ross said ... (3/12/2005 10:37:00 AM) : 

Also, a book I just finished reading is by R Gary Patterson, check out his website to get an idea of his books, they're awesome:

eh, I dont have a link but its linked on my blog somewhere. Im too lazy to find one right now because I havent had coffee yet lol


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (3/13/2005 09:47:00 PM) : 

JVPastor - Yeah, I saw your list. I've read Moby Dick and Amusing Ourselves to Death is on my list.

Gretchen Ross - I've heard of the Gospel of Thomas. Not sure I buy into the age, but either way, it's always been interesting to me to look at the books that didn't make it, and at the books that the Protestants ripped out. Old Testament books that didn't make it are really fascinating to me, like a couple of extra books about Adam and Eve. Stuff like that has such a mythical aspect.

I Googled R Gary Patterson and he looks interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.


Blogger Gretchen Ross said ... (3/14/2005 01:37:00 AM) : 

Yeah, the Patterson book I read was awesome. It was all about strange coicidences, murders, suicides and occult stuff in rock and roll. I learned that Jimi Hendrix went on record saying he lived a past life in Atlantis as a Merman, That Tupac Shakur died on Buddy Holly's birthday and anyone who comes into contact with Buddy Holly dies or has miserable luck for some reason. Alot of stuff about Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, Crowley, Marianne Faithful, Elvis and how their lives, and deaths, all strangely tie together, from Elvis all the way to Kurt Cobain.

You know this Patterson guy should start paying me! LOL I work cheap ;)


Blogger jvpastor said ... (3/14/2005 09:40:00 AM) : 

Good suggestions, I don't know if I can struggle through MD or not, but I'm willing to try.

I'm really enjoying the Hauerwas book I picked up it is my first of his, but excellent so far.

I haven't read the gospel of Thomas, it is probably worth the read. I know there are disagreements about its authenticity, but that won't stop me, I'm a madman!


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