Thursday, October 4, 2018

Travel from your chair

Book on Ignatian pilgrimage offers much for travelers, stay-at-homes

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If you've ever made a pilgrimage, or you wish to, then this book will interest you. It answers the question: What can a pilgrimage do for me?
"On the Ignatian Way" is a hybrid of prayers for pilgrims, testimonies and word pictures that put you on the road itself. As you progress through the chapters, you, too, will feel a sense of movement. Beautiful photographs underscore a sense of being a traveler as you read.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Sultans, commanders come to life in battles important to Catholics

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Michael Greaney ties political, social and psychological factors into his riveting history of Turkish military incursions into Europe. After opening with the 11th-century's Battle of Manzikert in Anatolia, the author spends the rest of the book examining military clashes in eastern Europe and the Mediterranean during the Ottoman's zenith from 1462 to 1621.
The author's focus on the individuals who played pivotal roles in these confrontations -- emperors, sultans, popes, commanders and knights -- makes this history vivid and memorable. Military commanders could often make or break a battle or siege.

Friday, August 31, 2018

ABC’s from Monks Can Help Anyone’s Spiritual Journey

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If you've ever wanted to sit down and pick the mind of a monk -- a man or woman steeped in the church's monastic tradition stretching back to the desert fathers and mothers -- then this is the book for you.
Perhaps a better subtitle for it would be "A Sampling of Monastic Wisdom" by by Benoit Standaert, OSB, because there is plenty of wisdom to be had in this sizable hardback, complete with a ribbon marker.
From Abba to Zero, the 99 entries here explore many topics that are spiritual, philosophical, poetic and also inclusive. While most entries are from the Christian tradition, there also are topics from Judaism (Tsimtsum), Islam (Dhikr) and Taoism (WuWei.)

Friday, July 13, 2018

For your summer reading: Inspire yourself and others

In summer, we sometimes find ourselves with time to spare for serious reading.
At The Observer, we receive books to review from time to time. We also bring books back from conferences we attend.
Recently, we’ve collected several non-fiction books we found interesting enough to share with our readers. (And we're giving them away, too. Enter at
These five books are both inspirational and instructive.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Baseball comic book a well-pitched delight

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Baseball and comic books, two colorful American originals, come together in "The Comic Book Story of Baseball: The Heroes, Hustlers, and History-Making Swings (and Misses) of America's National Pastime" (Ten Speed Press) by author Alex Irvine and illustrators Tomm Coker and C.P. Smith.
This factually jam-packed and beautifully designed book is suitable for most older teens and adults. Still, parents should be cautioned: Baseball is a sport that has always included rough and crude language, a couple of instances of which are reproduced here (censored with asterisks).

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Tragedies and blessings have taught Roma Downey to 'seize the moment'

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By Greg Erlandson | Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- One of Roma Downey's life lessons came from her mother's cabinet full of broken china.
The well-known actress and producer of three popular biblical movies recounts an experience growing up in strife-torn Northern Ireland. A British armored car rolled up her street, and the vibrations caused the glass shelves of her mother's china cabinet to collapse. All the china plates and bowls she had been saving for that special occasion came crashing down.
As a young girl, Roma saw her mother holding the pieces and crying. All that beautiful china had been saved for some future meal or some future guests, "but for what?" Downey asked during a recent interview with Catholic News Service. The lesson is to "seize the moment," she said. Don't put things off. It is all a gift."

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Great Caesar's ghost! Superman turns 80

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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Look! Up in the sky! It's Superman! And he's 80!
The year 2018 marks eight decades since the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics No. 1. It also sees the arrival of issue 1,000 of the "Action" series. DC Comics is celebrating these milestones with a special expanded edition of Action Comics as well as a book, "80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition."
Action Comics No. 1,000 costs $7.99, while the book is priced at $30. Both are suitable for readers of all ages.