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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

Island in the Sea of Time

Island in the Sea of Time - S.M. Stirling Although this book held my interest (fun concept; characters that you cared about; well thought-out and detailed descriptions of the potential problems that we take for granted), I can't really recommend it because there was a lot that I found objectionable, offensive, and even disturbing.

Sometimes, there are sex scenes in sci-fi novels - what you do not expect are scenes of the following: rape, lesbianism, S&M, bestiality/rape. These scenes could easily have been removed or at least re-written for broader audience appeal. As such, they are not just (at a minimum) offensive but, in some cases, disturbing.

Additionally, there is a great deal of latitude given to the Bronze Age paganism, casting some as very evil, but others as "nature-based", and therefore admirable or "good". This "some are good, some are bad" is extended to the Christian churches sent back in time. In that sense, there is some fairness/equality, but there is definitely the feeling that the goodness of the pagans and the madness of the evangelical Christians are given more pages/words than their opposites. While a couple of Catholic priests and some other "mainline" Christians are depicted as "good people", Christian morality is viewed as passe while the evangelical Christians end up inciting a riot and commiting arson "in the name of God's judgment".

The problem-solving of trying to remain somewhat modern with bronze age means was very intriguing. Also, the descriptions of battles (both tactics and strategies) were very well done. Overall, this would have been rated 3 or even 4 stars, but the scenes of sexual depravity and depiction of Christians as homicidal fanatics means that I honestly cannot recommend this book to anyone I know.