Monthly Archives: May 2013

Remember Me?

Westminster Abbey, West Door, Four of the ten ...

Westminster Abbey, West Door, Four of the ten 20th Century- Mother Elizabeth of Russia, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Archbishop Oscar Romero, and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello, folks.

Let me first apologize for my absence the past two weeks or so. Life has a way of throwing things at you and you have to deal with them whether you want to or not. The objects thrown this time had to do with the business my wife and I own. It wasn’t fun but we got through it.

Anyway, just because we had to deal with business emergencies didn’t mean I stopped my book-hunting habits! A junkie’s a junkie after all. And thanks to the Prescott DAV Thrift Store, I came up with some finds this past week.

My favorite is “The Harper Collins Book of Prayers: A Treasury of Prayers Through the Ages,” compiled by Robert Van de Weyer (Castle Books, 1997.) At just over 400 pages, it has an abundance of prayers, poetry and meditations. Unlike many other prayer collections, this one is arranged by author rather than topic, which I really appreciate. Such spiritual luminaries as St. Augustine, Karl Barth, Henri Nouwen, Ignatius of Loyola, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Origen are included. There are even sections with Aztec, Sioux and Kalahari Bushmen prayers. Amazingly beautiful words here.

I also found two wonderful books on church history which are aimed at younger audiences. “The Church of Our Fathers” by Roland H. Blainton (The Westminster Press, 1950) and “I Will Build My Church” by Amy Morris Lillie (The Westminster Press, 1950) look to be for the 8 to 12 year old age range and have great illustrations, especially “Church of Our Fathers.” Thumbing through these books, I was reminded that much of the Church’s history is a grand tale of adventure. Today’s Church should be telling these stories to its young members. Talk about exciting and inspiring!

To complete the historical theme, I picked up a copy of Paul Johnson’s “A History of the American People,” (HarperPerrenial, 1999.) Johnson is a British historian who writes about America out of admiration rather than contempt, a refreshing change. His dedication explains his view:

This book is dedicated to the people of America – strong, outspoken, intense in their convictions, sometimes wrong-headed but always generous and brave, with a passion for justice no nation has ever matched.

If only more schools would use this as a textbook instead of the one by, say, Howard Zinn.

That’s all for now, folks. Again, sorry for not being more consistent but life is what it is. I’ll try to be better. In the meantime, keep reading!

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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Book Hunting


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Old School Book Report

Jr High Literature Book TwoLast week my wife and I happened by an estate sale near our house, Now really, who can resist those? We sure didn’t. Unfortunately, it was the last day of the sale and much of the really good stuff (as far as my wife was concerned) was already gone or paid for. Luckily for Old Book Junkies like me, a lot of treasures are overlooked by the non-book lovers. And I thank them for their ignorance!

I snapped up two books this time, neither of which is particularly valuable except for the interest I have in their subjects. The first is an old literature textbook called, fittingly enough, “Junior High School Literature, Book Two,” (Scott, Foresman and Company, 1928.) I love thumbing through old textbooks to get a feel for what was being taught in our past and how. This literature book offered a nice view into what was being taught in our public schools 85 years ago.

The book was divided into four parts: The World of Nature, The World of Adventure, Freedom and Democracy and Literature and Life in the Homeland. Four parts, and two of them dedicated to the life and philosophy of the United States. How many of today’s textbooks could claim that?

Selections include “The American Boy” by Theodore Roosevelt, an explanation of the American experiment by Daniel Webster, an excerpt from George Washington’s farewell address, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry W. Longfellow and Walt Whitman’s “Pioneers! O Pioneers!”

The other volume was Albert Schweitzer’s autobiography, “Out of My Life and Thought,” (Henry Holt and Schweitzer BiographyCompany, 1949.) One of the last century’s most brilliant men, Schweitzer was a theologian, philosopher, musician and doctor. He was well known for his book “Quest of the Historical Jesus” and other volumes on theology. At 274 pages, it should be a crisp read.

That’s all for now, folks. Have a great week!


Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Book Hunting


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