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John McChesney-Young

Joined 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Theology, fantasy and science fiction, science, history, classics, general bibliophile

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The Spare Man (Hardcover, 2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

Hugo, Locus, and Nebula-Award winner Mary Robinette Kowal blends her no-nonsense approach to life in …

Entertaining "what if Nick and Nora went to space?" mystery, complete with adorable small dog, and cocktail recipes at the start of each chapter. The author researched the physics of space travel for her ship and the main character is disabled - the dog is a companion - which is a welcome change from standard fare.

American Psychosis (2022, Grand Central Publishing) No rating

A fast-paced, rollicking, behind-the-scenes account of how the GOP since the 1950s has encouraged and …

Well-written history of the relationship between conservative extremism and the Republican Party. I was surprised to find missing from the bibliography Kevin Kruse's One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America, which I think provides a useful additional facet to the story. One other quibble I have is that the endnotes consist of chapters-by-chapter summaries of sources used, largely secondary. Although I can understand the desire to keep the page count at a reasonable number and it's true that I wouldn't have followed up on many, if any, of the references I would have liked for them to be present. But overall a fascinating and lively (if depressing) book.

Finding home (1997, Cowley Publications) No rating

As a de jure Roman Catholic but de facto Episcopalian I had thought this book might succeed in extricating me from the claws of Rome but alas, it didn't. The majority of the conversion stories I found strangely unappealing, concentrating on why the converts found the RCC uncongenial rather than what made the Episcopal Church positively attractive. They're two sides of the same coin and can't be separated, with unacceptable aspects of the RCC being contrasted with the opposite in TEC, but only the last couple of chapters leaned toward a positive approach, in my opinion. I found it interesting that Matthew Fox's story (the last section before an afterward) devoted attention to how the Episcopal Church was a broad enough tent to include him despite incautious theological formulations.

The Wrath & the Dawn (2015, G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group) 4 stars

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every …

Readers, be warned that the ending is quite a cliffhanger, so make sure you don't have to wait to read the sequel if that sort of situation bothers you. Personally, I would have liked less melting romance and more stories told by the main character but I recognize that I'm not the target audience - I generally avoid romance as a genre (it's not them, it's really and truly me).