Saturday, October 31, 2009

Book Reviews

"Evening in the Palace of Reason" by James Gaines was an excellent read. The only draw back for me was that I did not know all the music lingo like: cannon, or counter-point, or catabasis, or fugue.. you get the point - I am musically illiterate! But the really great thing about this book was the contrast between Fredrick the Great & Bach (the chapters alternate between the two) and how they both represent the clash of two very different worldviews. Bach was a product of the reformation, a deeply religious man that was hard as nails (he had terrible relationships with everyone especially his sons) and Fredrick who was a product of the enlightenment & the age of reason - severely abused as a child he turns into an exact image of his father. The book is centered on the one event in which Bach (a few years form death) is called on to play for Fredrick and unbeknownst to him Fredrick has written an impossibly complicated musical piece with three (count em three) fugues. Bach plays the piece perfectly on the spot basically blowing everyone away. Gaines writes very well and really brings history alive - if you can read it and not download a bunch of Bach's music (which I am listening to as I write this) you are a better person than me.

"The Reason for Sports" by Ted Kluck was a big disappointment. I thought it would be a Biblical argument for way sports is important - how God can use it to draw us to Him - and how we as Chriatians can participate to the glory of God and use it in a redemptive way. What it turned out to be was a complication of the author's articles in the Christian sport's magazine "Sports Spectrum." Plus Kluck comes across as very snug and not even a fan of the sports he is covering. He sounds judgmental & his cynical point of view wears on the reader. I was disappointed

"Angel Time" by Anne Rice was a quick read. I read it basically in one night (no World series Friday night) and it was pretty good. It was the story of a hit man turned assistant to an angel (I know sounds wacky). Rice writes about redemption & forgiveness even for Lucky the Fox who kills without remorse. It involves time travel & monks (but I don’t want to give it all away). It a good book to pick up when you want something fun & engaging but there is a lot of violence depicted in it. I am interested how it will be received because of its very strong message of redemption & its obvious Christian bent.

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