Piles and Philes New Series

10 Oct

Welcome to the Philes!  I’d offer you a seat, but as you can see, nearly all the chairs or other suitable sitting (or writing) surface also happen to be the right size and shape for yet one more pile of books or stack of CDs or DVDs and so is otherwise occupied, including a good portion of the floor. Such an arrangement admittedly makes it a little difficult to navigate, but I like the way it feels: A cross between Yomiko Readman’s penthouse suite, the office of nearly every history professor I have had in college (special mention to Dr. David Franklin, Dr. Gordon Carper, even Rev. Whitley) and a cross-section of the second hand book shops along Charing Cross Road in London, England, with the occasional nod to food and clothing.  Erasmus would look fondly around my house.

This is actually my second concerted attempt at a review blog, whence the subtitle “New Series” -the first attempt was an irregular concern of my youth, but now, as I cross the threshold of my fortieth year, the desire to settle down and actually leave a semi-permanent record denoting some achievement(s) has struck and continues to strike at the confines of my procrastination-induced listlessness that I like to call a life.

Now obviously there are far and away too many books out there already, not to mention the ones that continue to come out, yet alone the vast corpus of periodical literature, visual narratives, shows and documentaries to begin to make the beginnings of a dent of a scratch on the surface of what humanity has produced in terms of the literary, cinemagraphic and intellectual record, and only one of me, but that’s ok, for I promise I shall do the best I can. In fact, I tend to mentally take notes on every book, article (and to a lesser extent visual narrative) I read (or watch), rather good, bad, ugly, or indifferent.

About me.  I suppose introductions are always in order, and at the least are the polite thing way to begin a relationship. Hello! My name is Ignio Monto..  Michael. Michael Lilly. I have  a Bachelor of Arts in History from Berry College, a Master of Science in Library Studies from Florida State University and delusions of grandeur about earning yet more graduate and post-graduate degrees; I have been gainfully employed at the registers of a major retail grocery chain these past 15 years (its amazing how many notes you can take on the back of receipt paper); and an insatiable need to read bordering on compulsion -I figure bringing a book to the movies in order not to waste the opportunity so thoughtfully provided by theatre staff in keeping the auditorium lights on to read a few more sentences, paragraphs, pages before the trailers start counts as at least a little compulsive, but I could be wrong.  And naturally All Your Bases Are Belonging To Us.    unless a review  carries an explicit by-line, it is perfectly safe, natural, and correct to assume (which makes it of course only the second good assumption in the history of the world…the other belongs to Our Lady St. Mary) that all posts have been created, edited, and occasionally grammatically abused by myself.

I am also a committed Christian believer raised in the Anglican tradition, holding dear the Orthodox and catholic doctrines, practices and devotions that have nurtured two millenia of believers, and have recently began expanding my understanding of the Jewish and Hebrew nature of the faith through studies with a Messianic Rabbi. As such, I come upon my reading, not with a “tabula rasa” which any self-respecting post-deconstructionist literary theorist or critic would tell you is impossible to begin with, but with something approaching a Christian understanding of the nature of the world and of right behaviour (my living up to said standards is irrespective of whether I accept that such standards exist). This means, among other things, that yes I will make judgements about characters perceived behaviors and particular when I deem they deviate from healthy, proper moral living. But it also means I will tell you why

The first couple dozen entries will consist largely in playing catch up with my existing work, pointing to and expanding upon reviews previously posted to Amazon, in the order in which they were posted on Amazon. If you want to follow along you can either read each review as we come to it, or read ahead by following the permalinks below of the books I have already reviewed.

1. “God’s Chosen Fast” http://www.amazon.com/review/R1R98GMUWVUS5R/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
2.  “The Complete Jewish Bible” http://www.amazon.com/review/R66CVERFI6YD8/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
3. “This Is My Beloved Son” http://www.amazon.com/review/RQD9GCNQSQT80/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
4.  “The Meaning of Creation” http://www.amazon.com/review/R20W108MQ5RWE7/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
5.  “Will Catholics Be Left Behind?” http://www.amazon.com/review/R2T3SRJBJZSPNX/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
6.  “The Essene Book of Everyday Virtue” http://www.amazon.com/review/RY9XXORXX8U9E/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
7.  “Africa and the Bible” http://www.amazon.com/review/R18ATGAOOAKH2R/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
8.  “With the Lightnings” http://www.amazon.com/review/R31RF3NY5N6HA7/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
9.  “Freehold” http://www.amazon.com/review/R19N5R1ILNPKAD/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
10. “Seeing Christ in the Tabernacle”  http://www.amazon.com/review/R1VHFOAF9LO7B8/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
11. “On Basilisk Station” http://www.amazon.com/review/R2D2NRHI1LFE6K/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
12. “Seeing Christ in the Old Testament” http://www.amazon.com/review/R2QW77K1H0ZO4P/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
13. “Me of Little Faith” http://www.amazon.com/review/R71BKI94QR89Y/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
14. “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy” http://www.amazon.com/review/R3KBA1KB2WLUNS/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
15. “The Highest Tide” http://www.amazon.com/review/R12KYOKY89C1G/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
16. “Eye of the World” http://www.amazon.com/review/R32L1PFWZI7WVK/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
17. “Yeshua” http://www.amazon.com/review/R4FCZET43W3B3/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
18. “Mary Through the Centuries” http://www.amazon.com/review/R29FFXU775OJ6T/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

One more thing, I plan on being the primary blogger, but from time to time I hope to twist the arm of a friend or two to get them to provide guest reviews, to give my poor fingers a break.

So, until next time,  Read on my friends, and stay thirsty

edited for consistency on 17 October 2012

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