Monday, October 10, 2022

Rome - London - Llandundo (Wales)

October 10, 2022 Peace and Good, I have been in Rome this past week. There were no meetings, so it was time to start a writing project (the articles I do for our Messenger magazine from Padua). This series will be on the apostles. The weather in Rome is cooling off, but is not yet rainy. Here in London (I flew here on Saturday) is a bit different. It is cooler than Rome, and today the rains have begun and will probably continue all this week. This week we will be in Llandundo, Wales. We are holding the second part of the chapter for the Great Britian/Ireland custody. We held the first part last month. Ths will be the last chapter I will attend as Assistant General. Then this coming Saturday I will head to California for a meeting of the major superiors of our federation (US, Canada, Australia and Great Britain/Ireland). I finished some reading: The Spartans by Paul Cartledge This is a well written account of the history of the Spartan people and their kingdom from its rise to its eventual decline. The author is not an apologist for this people, and honestly presents the positive and negative dimension of the unique society which they formed. The Burgundians by Charles River Editors This is a short but terribly boring account of the history of the Burgundian people (when they were a kingdom, part of the Carolingian empire, a duchy (especially during the 100 years war), etc. There are too many facts thrown out without producing a true connection. Blizzard: the Storm that Changed America by Jim Murphy This is the story of a great blizzard that hit the East coast in the 19th century. It changed the way that America looked at the weather. Previously, each individual was responsible for cleaning the sidewalks and streets in front of his house. This blizzard was so devastating that civil governments realizes that they were often the only entities capable of dealing with disasters such as horrendous weather events. Creating the Constitution: 1787 by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier This is part of a series of short books on American history. They are written by a team which feels that too many useless facts are thrown out in history classes and works. They work to give the essential and show the movements which led to certain choices. This is well done. More Twisted by Jeffery Deaver This is a series of short stories by the famous detective author. Each of the stories is well fashioned and always carries a surprise toward the end. It is an enjoyable read. Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix This is a very amusing, clever account of horror novels (especially short, paperback ones) from the 60’s to the present. As with other studies of horror, the author shows how many of the images are products of what is happening in the larger world. He also speaks of those authors who take an idea and go overboard on it, exaggerating it to a pornographic level. Ivan the Terrible by Ian Grey Ian Grey is a very good history writer. I have read a number of his books. This biography is a good presentation on the person and the times of Ivan the Terrible. A first consideration is that the Russian word “terrible” is actually something closer to “awesome.” There is no question that he was cruel and vindictive, but that could also describe much of what was happening in his days all throughout Russia as it tried to establish itself amidst numerous enemies which surrounded it. Tales from the Folly by Ben Aaronovitch Aaronovitch has turned into one of my favorite authors. He has written the Peter Grant series about a young mixed race detective in London who is recruited by a special branch of the police to investigate magical crimes. He is taught by an experienced wizard-policeman, Nightingale. This book is a series of short stories involving Peter Grant and other characters. As always, it is quite enjoyable. The Skeptic’s Guide to Alternative Medicine by Steven Novella This is a teaching company course on the scientific proof concerning alternative medicine regimes such as chiropractors, healing touch, acupuncture, etc. The professor is very careful concerning what he says, always backing it up with credible scientific proof. The course is very well done and answered a number of my questions. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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