The other books....
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OK, now that I’ve trashed “Joshua”, I might as well discuss the other books in the book club this year. (Note, the club is run by St Valentines Roman Catholic Church is Bloomfield, NJ, so you might sense a theme in them).
First was Running from the Devil by Steve Kissing. This is the memoirs of a boy, who started having seizures in grammar school and thought they were caused by him being possessed by the devil. It’s a fascinating story on how he dealt with it, and kept it a secret throughout grammar school & high school. It was especially interesting to me, as I am just about the same age as the author, so all the cultural reference matched to my experiences. The ultimate problem is that since it’s a true story, the story arc is limited to what actually happened, so we’re left with a rather weak ending.
Next was Conclave, by John L. Allen, Jr. I really like this book, though it’s an limited taste. It’s the inside story of the politics involved in choosing the next pope, so it’ll appeal to Catholics we can’t get enough politics merely in the Bush/Kerry Race.
The last book in the cycle was The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom. This is truly a great book, though by now, you probably don’t need me to tell you about it. It’s a well-plotted tale, that’s meaningful without ever being saccrine. It’s pretty much everything that Joshua and the City is not. It’s characters act like real people, with real emotions and motivations.