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Monday, April 25, 2005
50 Book Challange Update
It's been a couple of weeks since I updated my progress on the 50 Book Challenge. So, here we go...

19. The Gospel According to the Simpsons by Mark I. Pinsky
It seems like one of the latest "trends" in Sunday School/Bible study material is finding TV shows and expanding upon them from a Biblical view point. (It really started back with The Gospel According to Peanuts and has expanded outward). We've had studies based on The Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke and The Beverly Hillbillies. (The last two I just think is stretching it a bit) So, why not The Simpsons? Actually, I've got to admit that Pinksy's examples of Biblical teachings from the popular animated sit-com actually are well done and thought out. You can see some of the theology behind the shows and it certainly might be a fun way to look at Scripture in a group setting. I may use this as a way to teach senior high Sunday School in a few weeks.

18. Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
A hard SF novel that came highly recommended from a variety of sources. Parts of it are page-turningly compellng while there were a few stretches that left me wondering--so when does the good stuff start back up? Characters are not the strongest, but the story does well enough toward the end. There are sequels that I may check out, though I'm not running to the library to find them.

17. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
Considered a classic of science-fiction, this novel was particularily intersting to read around the time of the death of the Pope. In the near future, humanity has been nearly wiped out by nucelar war. The Catholic church is serving as keepers of what knowledge is left. This story is told in three segments and we ask the question--has humanity learned anything? Or are we doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over?

16. Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein
A mystery set at the 2005 final four, complete with plenty of references to some of today's most popular sports personalities. The star player for one of the teams in the final four is being blackmailed to throw the last game and only Steve and Susan, two young reporterers who won a writing contest, can help. It's fun, it's breezy and it's an enjoyable mystery.

15. Sahara by Clive Cussler
I'm a book snob. I saw the previews for the movie and thought--well, I might want to read the book first. After reading it, I can see why it would make a good action thriller. It's pure popcorn for the brain. It does have spots where it lags a bit and it stretches your suspension of disbelief at some points. Oh yeah, and the cover gives away the final twist (at least my edition did).

14. Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
The first novel by guy who created Veronica Mars. It's a coming of age story about our hero, Steve York. Steve's father is an astronaut, divorced from his re-married mother. As we meet Steve, he's receiving accolades for scoring high on an SAT-like test, but wasting his potential smoking weed and not giving a damn about school or life. Through the story of his life in Texas and his first-love, we find out what led Steve to this point and we see his assumptions of reality slowly broken down (he blames his father for his parent's divorce when the reality is slightly different). We see Steve comes to terms with the events in his life of the past three years in a real, honest way. Even the novel's big twist works well becuae Thomas sets it up well enough in advance that you don't roll your eyes and go--come on, you've got to be kidding me. And it could have gone that way. A great first novel and one that compells me to seek out more of Thomas' work and soon.

13. Time Out of Joint by Phillip K Dick
More paranoia from the mind of Phillip K. Dick. An intriuging book that felt a bit like the movie The Truman Show. There are some dated references in here, but the story is still interesting.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/25/2005 08:53:00 AM | |
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