Religion Book Reviews (page 179)

NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

An unconvincing attempt to prove the existence of God in a postmodern culture. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"Judaism's long history with unparalleled intellectual empathy and thoroughness."
A mixed bag of 23 essays, most previously unpublished in English, by the passionate German-born Zionist and master scholar of Jewish mysticism. Read full book review >

MY BROTHER by Jamaica Kincaid
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 20, 1997

"These are my thoughts on his dying,'' and reveals the book's flaw: My Brother is a tirade of depression and confusion that fails to make sense of the maelstrom. (First printing of 75,000; author tour)"
The death of Kincaid's brother from AIDS results in a book that is lyrically beautiful and emotionally forceful, but lacking a deep examination of its many themes. Read full book review >
THE DARK LADY FROM BELORUSSE by Jerome Charyn
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 17, 1997

"Youth was the magical place of Charyn's inspiration and it is captured here honestly and simply. (photos, not seen)"
Charyn's fascination with quirky New York crime stories (El Bronx, p. 21, etc.) takes its cue from his early childhood, as this brief, charming, idiosyncratic memoir shows. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 17, 1997

"Now that may be an authentic American Buddhism. (Author tour)"
A self-absorbed but still instructive trek through the many varieties of American Buddhism. Read full book review >

GOD AND THE AMERICAN WRITER by Alfred Kazin
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 16, 1997

"Often more ecstatic than analytic, still this is an intensely erudite rereading of American authors' varieties of religious experience."
Writing with his usual stylistic verve and penetration, Kazin examines our great authors' uneasy but self-sufficient sense of God. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 14, 1997

"There's much provocative, compelling material here, but the author's conclusions are too often contradictory or unpersuasive."
A richly informative, if highly problematic, overview of anti- Jewish bigotry and violence between the 1870s, when the term ``anti-Semitism'' was coined, and the Holocaust. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 13, 1997

"One of the best of the recent wave of Holocaust memoirs. (b&w photos, not seen)"
A striking Holocaust memoir, posthumously published, by a Romanian Jew with an unusual story to tell. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 13, 1997

"Stylishly written and rich in memorable detail, this is a rare find that actually offers fresh insight into the overstudied New Testament. (2 maps)"
An eloquent social history of first-century Palestine by Horsley (Religion/Univ. of Massachusetts) and Silberman (The Hidden Scrolls, 1994). Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 13, 1997

"Murphy wants to show the humanity and dignity of priestly calling; but the mood he favors, in so doing, of sentimental machismo—heartstrings loosened by a can of beer—will appeal to only a limited audience."
The North American College in Rome, an all-male bastion of Catholic seminarians from the US, provides the setting for this uncritically admiring narrative of evolving priestly vocations. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 9, 1997

"A bit dry and targeted toward the specialist, this is, however, an informative and at times absorbing exploration of the roots of both the human-relations movement that characterized the civil-rights era and of current Jewish communal ideologies and policies."
A detailed study of how, during the 1940s and '50s, three major American Jewish organizations—the American Jewish Committee (AJC), American Jewish Congress, and Anti-Defamation League (ADL)- -fundamentally broadened their mission and then partly subverted it by becoming caught up in the era's anti-communist hysteria. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 2, 1997

"This insightful overview points out how we can begin to understand a complex past and apply those lessons in the future."
Hoffman, author of the much-admired memoir Lost in Translation (1989), here returns to her dual roots, Jewish and Polish—and her history of the intertwined fates of the two peoples shows that they can indeed be complementary, not oppositional. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >