Nathan (vovat) wrote,

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Book Reviews: Fairies and Gods

Inkspell, by Cornelia Funke - The sequel to Inkheart, which I think actually held my interest more than the preceding volume. While Inkheart contained some excellent ideas, it moved rather slowly. There's more actually going on in Inkspell, which takes place largely within the world of the fictional Inkheart book, and raises questions of just how much the original author is able to manipulate events. Just like the first one, however, it makes me wonder exactly what Inkheart (the book within the story, not the one in our own world) was actually about. We see a lot of the characters and locations, but get little sense of the plot.

The Lilac Fairy Book, edited by Andrew Lang - I thought I'd already finished this one a while ago, but then I noticed it still had a bookmark in it. So I finished it up this week, and I enjoyed it as much as the other Fairy Books. I think that, by the time Lang started using more exotic colors in the titles, he also had to turn to more obscure fairy tales, but they're none the worse for that. The copy I have is a decommissioned library edition, so the cover was actually red instead of lilac, more's the pity. Still, you can't judge a book by its cover, right?

Lost Christianities, by Bart D. Ehrman - Interesting overview on how the New Testament developed into its current form, and what ended up being left out. While it didn't provide a whole lot of detail on any particular early Christian movement, it did introduce some topics that I'd like to investigate further in the future. As I said on Twitter, I kind of can't believe I hadn't heard of Thecla before. Incidentally, if you like being annoyed (and who doesn't?), check out this book's one-star Amazon reviews. I think it's impossible to write a book that examines religion from an outside perspective without getting a lot of criticism from fundamentalists who say, in essence, "La la la, I'm not listening!" People say you shouldn't discuss religion, but I've never found that to be true. The real issue is that you can't discuss ANYTHING with someone who's unwilling to examine other viewpoints.

Nation, by Terry Pratchett - Quite different in style from the Discworld books, without as much of the humor that goes into them, but still distinctly Pratchett. There's a lot of interesting philosophical discussion on such topics as religion, politics, and human nature. And the story itself, about a boy who becomes de facto chief of an island nation when a tidal wave kills his countrymen, holds up as well.
Tags: books, religion

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