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HOW TO BE A HERO: TRAIN WITH THE SAINTS is fresh, clear, and useful

When Julia Harrell’s new book, How To Be a Hero: Train With the Saints (Pauline Kids, 2017) arrived in the mail, my shoulders slumped for a minute. I just didn’t expect much from it, based on the cover. Happily, my first impressions were way off! It’s a manual on the virtues for kids age 9-11 (although I… Continue reading HOW TO BE A HERO: TRAIN WITH THE SAINTS is fresh, clear, and useful

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I got the displaced person blues

What are you watching, reading, and listening to these days? Here’s mine for the week. Apparently I have the blues of some kind or other, what do you know about that. *** Watching: Peter Gunn, a jazz-powered, noir, private eye TV show from the late 50’s. I’m only watching with half an eyeball, if that, but every… Continue reading I got the displaced person blues

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But then, one summer, everything changed! 5 offbeat books from my childhood

Friday is usually “What’s for Supper?” day, but this week we had hamburgers, tacos, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, spaghetti, tuna noodle, and pepperoncini beef sandwiches for supper, and no end of chips and carrot sticks. We had good reasons for eating cheap and easy all week, but I just couldn’t bring myself to write 900… Continue reading But then, one summer, everything changed! 5 offbeat books from my childhood

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The return of Darwin’s immediate book meme!

Remember back in the old days, when bloggers used to help each other out? Mrs. Darwin Catholic is still pulling her weight. Check out her immediate book meme, which, rather than getting you to cast your mind back over influential books in your past, asks questions about “the books you’re actually reading now, or just… Continue reading The return of Darwin’s immediate book meme!

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And in His hand, the golden ball

I’m not sure if you want to cry, or what; but if you do, you might consider reading Tomie dePaola’s The Clown of God. (If you don’t own the book, you can hear and see it read aloud in this video.) Quick summary: In Renaissance Italy, a ragged street boy falls in with a travelling show troupe, and… Continue reading And in His hand, the golden ball

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Additions, corrections to Greg Popcak’s book Holy Sex?

Gregory Popcak and I were chatting the other day. He’s thinking of writing a second, revised edition to his book Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving. If you have read it, are there things you would like to see included in any future editions (certain problems addressed, topics discussed, sections refined)? Even… Continue reading Additions, corrections to Greg Popcak’s book Holy Sex?

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Additions, corrections to Greg Popcak’s book Holy Sex?

Gregory Popcak and I were chatting the other day. He’s thinking of writing a second, revised edition to his book Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving. [img attachment=”78026″ size=”full” alt=”BLOG – SIMCHA – holy-sex-cover” align=”aligncenter”] If you have read it, are there things you would like to see included in any future… Continue reading Additions, corrections to Greg Popcak’s book Holy Sex?

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Reading, watching, listening to …

I’m reading … When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris Sedaris is the master of the short, comic, grotesque personal essay.  Are his rambling ideas connected, or is he just really good at making it seem like they are? I don’t know, but I die of envy. A little David Sedaris goes a… Continue reading Reading, watching, listening to …

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I’m reading, I’m watching, I’m listening to . . .

I’m reading . . .  Havana Bay by Martin Cruz Smith.   Fourth in the Arkady Renko series that began with the brilliant Gorky Park, about which I said this: Maybe because it was so popular when it came out, or maybe because the author’s name is so snazzy, I somehow assumed that it was a… Continue reading I’m reading, I’m watching, I’m listening to . . .

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I’m reading, I’m watching, I’m listening to …

I’m reading . . . A Case of Conscience by James Blish (1958). It turns out that the bland title has prevented anyone else in my house from picking this book up, and they had no idea it’s a Catholic science fiction adventure novel about a biochemist Jesuit who is on an alien planet collecting information about… Continue reading I’m reading, I’m watching, I’m listening to …