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Books with a Beu

Jamie Beu, owner and co-author (with his wife) of CatholicFamily.info, is a "cradle Catholic", devoted husband, and father of two girls. He is a regular contributor to his parish newsletter, as well as an impassioned defender of the faith who is able to both support and challenge others as necessary -- all in an effort to build-up Christ's Kingdom on Earth. To this end, he does a lot of reading - not just of religious books (for education and research), but also of secular books, both to decompress as well as to keep a finger on the pulse of pop culture (the better to relate to others, as well as to help restore the culture).

Currently reading

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know
Meg Meeker, Meg Meeker
Dan Simmons
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
'John Townsend', 'Henry Cloud'
Boundaries Face to Face: How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding
Henry Cloud
Jesus of Nazareth
Pope Benedict XVI, Adrian J. Walker
Permutation City
Greg Egan
Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions
Pope Benedict XVI
Is Jesus Coming Soon?: A Catholic Perspective on the Second Coming
Ralph Martin
Prelude to Foundation (Foundation: Prequel, #1)
Isaac Asimov
Autobiography of a Saint: Therese of Lisieux
Thérèse de Lisieux, Ronald A. Knox, Vernon Johnson

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)

Mockingjay - Suzanne  Collins I actually didn't think this was a bad book, except for the last third or so.

The first two-thirds held a lot of promise, with the whole psychological/morale war going on between the districts and the Capitol. Some of the action sequences were really contrived (an arrow taking out a hovercraft? really?), but for the PR war promised to be the most compelling part of the series.

Then, they get to the pods. Really? C'mon! What idiot scatters lethal pods throughout an entire urban center? (not to mention releasing killer mutations that don't care which side they kill first) I can usually suspend disbelief for "futuristic" situations (I'm a huge fan of sci-fi), but I can't suspend disbelief over supposed evil geniuses and chess masters making dumb moves.

Toward the end, though, it really seemed like Suzanne Collins ceased to care about any of her characters by that point in the book. It felt a little odd that she built up a few characters like Finnick just to kill them off with little to no ceremony about their deaths. By the time Prim dies, you're just numb and don't care anymore, because obviously the author doesn't care either! Talk about keeping it real... real meaningless!

There were some interesting twists, but the Hollywood Tactics used in the urban warfare were a little ridiculous and the deaths (not a spoiler, people!) were over-the-top and pointless. Honestly, if the trilogy had ended at 2 books, it would have felt as complete.

On the whole, I'm glad I read it, if only to be in-the-know with pop culture, but it's not something I'm going be like, "That trilogy was so awesome! I'm going to read it again in a year."