Book review: God’s Jury: The Inquisition And The Making of The Modern World

God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World
by Cullen Murphy
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 978-0-618-09156-0
Review copy supplied by publisher

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose office is located at the Piazza del Sant’Affizio 11 in Rome, is the part of the church whose job is, “to promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals throughout the Catholic world”. All the Vatican’s pronouncements on cloning and same-sex marriage originated here, along with its directives to Catholic parishes not to supply names of past or present congregants to the Mormon Church’s Genealogical Society of Utah, because of the Vatican’s “grave reservations” about the Mormon practice of posthumous baptism. The declaration Dominus Jesus, issued in 2000, reiterating that the Catholic Church is the only true church of Christ and the only assured means of salvation, is also a CDF document.
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Book review: Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart

Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart
By Stefan Kanfer
Published by: Borzoi Books, aka Alfred A. Knofp, Random House, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307-27100-6
Review copy purchased by reviewer

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This has got to be one of the best books I ever read about one of my favorite celebrities! I’ve been a Bogie fan for as long as I can remember, and I’ve read a lot about him as an actor and a man, but nobody humanizes him as completely as Stefan Kanfer does. He goes into great detail about Bogie’s background and life—his socialite parents, the exclusive prep school that he dropped out of, his brief naval career and less than successful acting career on Broadway before he got his big break in the movies, his three failed marriages before he met Lauren Bacall—but he never gets boring, judgmental or moralistic. This Stefan Kanfer is a straight-shooter; he tells it like it was for one of America’s greatest male show business icons, and lets us be the ultimate judges on what kind of man Humphrey Bogart was.
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Book review: The Art of Hammer

The Art of Hammer
by Marcus Hearn
Published by Titan Books, October 2010
ISBN: 978-1848567375

Review copy provided by publisher

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This is your standard coffee table book; that is, an oversized volume full of colorful pictures meant to amuse guests while they wait for you to make coffee or finish getting dressed. But if your guests are real horror fans or just totally into Hammer films, you may end up spending the night at home going through the pages of this humongous book, admiring all the brightly colored old movie posters and going, “Oh, I remember that one! Scared the hell out of me when I was a kid!” or “Yeah, what a stinker that one was. The poster sure had me fooled.”
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Book Review: You Never Give Me Your Money

You Never Give Me Your Money
By Peter Doggett
Published by Harper
Review copy supplied by publisher
ISBN 10: 0061774464
ISBN 13 978 0061774461

Review by Lynn Loper

I remember reading a ‘making of the film story about Raging Bull years ago. Martin Scorsese said he put the comedian scene in first, because everybody knew that De Niro had put on a lot of weight for that part of the movie, and he wanted them to get the fat man out of their minds and watch the movie.

The prologue of “You Never Give Me Your Money” lays out the book for you. Time, death, lost hope, tangled relationships, pain. For some reason, it took me three days to get through it. Am I still that much of a Beatlemaniac? Probably. I still can’t sit still watching “A Hard Day’s Night.” I want to scream.
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Book Review: Free From Addiction

Free From Addiction: Facing yourself and Embracing Recovery
Written by Morteza Khaleghi with Constance Gove
Published by Palgrave imprint of Macmillan.
ISBN10: 0230606113
ISBN13: 9780230606111

Review by Linda Yau

Addictions are something that inflicts one in five Americans, and this can lead to family heartbreaks and tragedies. In the context of Free From Addiction, addiction is a negative aspect that must be cured of. Addictions are usually caused by an emotional trauma, that an individual would try to escape from, either with the use of alcohol or drugs (either legal or illegal). I had a hard time reading through this book, it was an definitely a self-help book for those who can use this book, and are use to reading these type of books. The author of this book is a medical doctor that founded a clinic on the Western Coast to treat those that had addictions. He gathers enough facts and case studies of patients that was treated at the clinic to write this book.
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Book Review: Work’s a Bitch and then You Make It Work

Work’s a Bitch and then You Make It Work: 6 Steps to Go From Pissed Off to Powerful
Written by Andrea Kay
Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
ISBN10: 1584797088
ISBN13: 9781584797081

Review by Linda Yau

What a mouthful of a title, readers of this review, and this is a self-help book. So do take a look at this book if this book can answer your current situation. The stimulus package promises plenty of jobs, so do not lose hope if this book is currently not for you at the moment.
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Book Review: Batman Unauthorized

Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City
Edited by Dennis O’Neil with Leah Wilson
Published by Benbella Books, Inc.
ISBN10: 1933771305
ISBN13: 9781933771304

Review by Linda Yau

With the New York Comic Con approaching in several more weeks, I figure it would be a good time to review this book. Batman Unauthorized is a series of eighteen essays that explores various aspects of the franchise of Batman. Topics cover from the sidekicks, to location, to possibilities, to villians, and even the identity/health of Batman; hardly anything is left unturned in this book. I bet the various writers in this book had fun researching for this book.
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Book review: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
By Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
Grand Central Publishing

Review by Kathryn L. Ramage

As a Master of Library Science and cat lover, I’m astonished that I never heard the story of Dewey before. The cat who lived at the public library in Spencer Iowa for eighteen years and acted as the library’s mascot, official greeter, and spokes-kitty seems to have well-known worldwide in his day; he was featured in a number of magazine articles, and even in two documentaries. (Also, the author turns out to have taken her degree from my own library-school alma mater, Emporia State University, just a few years before I was there.)
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Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Well Being

The Ultimate Guide to Well Being
Written by Jason Pegler
Published by Chipunkapublishing Ltd.
ISBN10: 1847470068
ISBN13: 9781847470065

Review by Linda Yau

On the cover of this book, there is a figure quoted the Wolrd Health Organization of about one million people committing suicide on an annual basis, and then there is this expression of “If people change their perception we can make it zero.”
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Book review: Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masulinity

Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masulinity
By Robert Jensen
Published by South End Press
ISDN-10: 089608-776-x
ISDN-13: 978-0-89608-776-7

Review by Chad Denton

It is difficult being a person with strong political and social convictions and reviewing a book like this, which an impassioned treatise that isn’t so much directed toward one topic but exists as an open letter pleading every case they ever cared about. Either you agree and your critique is blinded by the joy of finding a fellow traveler, or you disagree and the author slowly turns into the Worst Most Ignorant Person Ever. Of course, even when you firmly disagree, the least one can do is appreciate the passion the activist author has stirred into the prose. And Robert Jensen has indeed spent a great deal of time thinking and arguing about pornography and its possible connections to the mistreatment of women in modern society, which I must respect. In fact, Jensen and I probably, if someone reduced our positions to pie charts, agree more than we disagree, especially when it comes to traditional gender roles (who needs ’em?) and misogyny (it’s very bad).
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