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The getaway season is upon us, and with it the chance to get lost in a book. Here some of our regular reviewers choose the reads they’ll be packing for their holiday entertainment and enlightenment
A new autobiography charts 32 of the past century’s most eventful years in the Church
The Subtitle may seem to suggest that religious approaches to coping with pain have been superseded by the resources of modern pharmacology.
An old lady called Maud is pottering about one cold evening in her friend Elizabeth's garden.
This enormous book weighs nearly two kilograms and is roughly the size of a telephone directory.
What’s left? one asks, looking at the cover photo of a coy-confident Updike on the beach, with the beautiful young arrayed behind him. What’s possibly left to tell of a life that has been so insistently mined for fictional ore? The wives, the friends, the mistresses, the children have all appeared often and often without disguise.
Although it is only partly about grief, Scars is the kind of book you might buy for a bereaved friend. With fortuitous timing, my review copy arrived not long after I suffered a significant loss of my own. Reading it proved to be a useful experience and a healing one, but I had to persist.
History may be, as the historian R. G. Collingwood remarked, “a pattern of timeless moments”, but these three disparate books deal with very specific moments: key, catalyst years whose legacies are still with us, politically, socially and culturally.
It is staggering how little good recent theological writing on the Resurrection there is. You might expect that the pivotal element of the Christian Gospel would have been the focus of theologians’ attention for centuries; you would be disappointed.
Sometimes it’s tempting to take slang-soaked speech for a foreign language, particularly when it’s delivered with speed in a strange accent. “You dig, ole man, that from early bright to late black, the cats and the chippies are laying down some fine, heavy jive;
Post-war Catholic church architecture is beginning to attract attention from architectural historians. Its wider significance was not recognised, which meant that damaging changes to interiors and fittings were more likely to happen.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA, as the protagonist of this novel muses, is “big … thin-skinned. And rich beyond dreaming. The greatest ore deposit in the world. The nation’s quarry. China’s swaggering enabler.” Fremantle is the setting, and it’s slightly disturbing to see that Tim Winton’s observations could be echoed by inhabitants of almost any big Western city.
Pagan Britain isn’t just another way of saying “Prehistoric Britain”, the shadowy millennia from the first settlement of the island until Roman times and beyond; this wonderful book is precisely what it says on the cover, an attempt to say something about pre-Christian religion.
it is difficult to read this book undiverted by an imagined clamour of publishers and agents celebrating expected mass sales. Other noises off include the gnashing of other writers’ teeth as they wish they’d been the first to dream up the premise: a thriller set in a beehive.
IN DAVID Grossman’s unforgettable novel See Under: Love, the child of two Holocaust survivors finds that his parents refer to it as something that took place “over there”. The characters in Falling Out of Time walk to go “there” to find their dead children.
This is a wonderful book about memory and place, how they interact in our imagination and how our affective life is inseparable from our connection to the place in question. Here, the memories revolve around Patrick McGuinness’ accumulated visits to a small Belgian town.