God is Not One Thursday, May 23 2013 

Hi Readers,

I think I’m going to change up how and what I blog. My goal, at present, is to post once a month. I’m not entirely sure how it is going to work yet, but I guess that is the beauty of figuring things out. Which is where I bring you to this book, God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen Prothero.

God is Not One was incredibly informative and gave me a better insight into religion than my Religious Studies professor did when I was in college–but I guess he had to “guide” us in the direction of Christianity because that’s what he believes–ANYWAY. At times, Prothero was obviously giving his opinion about a certain topic, but for the most part, I felt he was able to stay impartial.

He introduces each religion as the “Way of…” This method, without having to read further, immediately tells the reader that all religions are different. Who knew? Prothero titles them:

Islam: The Way of Submission
Christianity: The Way of Salvation
Confucianism: The Way of Propriety
Hinduism: The Way of Devotion
Buddhism: The Way of Awakening
Yoruba Religion: The Way of Connection
Judaism: The Way of Exile and Return
Daoism: The Way of Flourishing
Atheism: The Way of Reason

While incredibly simplistic, his “four part approach” for each religion states:

a problem;
a solution to this problem, which also serves as the religious goal;
a technique (or techniques) for moving from this problem to this solution; and
an exemplar (or exemplars) who chart this path from problem to solution (14).

He uses Christianity and Buddhism as his examples.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It took nearly six months to finish… but what can I say, life happens. If you want to get a basic understanding of “the world’s major religions” this is the book to read. Also, he acknowledges he doesn’t discuss religions such as: “Shinto, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Wicca, Baha’i, Rastafarianism, Scientology, and Sikhism,” simply because he was ranking the mass of the religion by number of followers. Overall, I am giving God is Not One a 5/5. Some parts were dry, but Prothero has a way of writing that helps people understand what exactly it is that they’re reading.

Favorite quotations:

“The ideal of religious tolerance has morphed into the straitjacket of religious agreement” (4).

“Unfortunately, we live in a world where religion seems as likely to detonate a bomb as to defuse one. So while we need idealism, we need realism even more. We need to understand religious people as they are–not just at their best but also at their worst. We need to look  at not only their awe-inspiring architecture and gentle mystics but also their bigots and suicide bombers” (7).

“You don’t have to believe in God to want to understand how beliefs in God have transformed individuals and societies from ancient Israel to contemporary China” (15).

“After 9/11 and the Holocaust, we need to see the world’s religions as they really are–in all their gore and glory. This includes seeing where they agree and disagree, and not turning a blind eye to their failings” (17).

“Religious Studies scholars are rarely honest enough to admit this in person, much less in print, but we all know there are things that each of the world’s religions do well, and things they do poorly” (20).

“…just as hitting home runs is the monopoly of one sport, salvation is the monopoly of one religion” (22).

If you read this, I hope you enjoy it.

Always,
Nolaleigh

Just A Little Bit Wednesday, Oct 20 2010 

Hello Readers!

 I thought I might let you in on what has been going on with my 2010 Reading List and a little bit about me… just a little bit. Here goes…

I have removed a certain number of the titles I had on the list. For a couple of reasons I might add–this way nobody can spit thorns in my direction. There were just too many titles to get through. It was a wonderful thought–read over 150 books in a year or less. Granted, I am still reading most of them–I just took away about 50 titles, maybe a couple more. I had too much of a topic that I love reading about in small doses, namely European royalty. Also, I started reading Nefertiti, but I have to return it–have to read other books, so I’ll be returning to Egypt one day. 🙂 In any case, that is what’s going on there.

New news with me–I am in the process of making a 2011 Reading List. It is very short and reasonable. The books for 2011 seem to have a theme so that should be fun to play with and see where it takes me. I would like it if I could finish it by the end of 2011, that is how short it is. I am giving my 2010 list a little over a year to be done, however, starting Summer 2011, I’ll probably be mixing up the lists just a bit. I will release the 2011 list in the new year. However, I suppose if you want a sneak peek, you could always ask–ya know? 😉

My original list can be found here, 2010 Reading List. My revised list goes as follows:

Anything that is crossed out, I have finished reading and reviewed by October 19, 2010.
** Indicates that it is currently on hold and what is to come within the next month

Singles
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen R. Prothero
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Series
Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
                The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
                The Girl Who Played with Fire
                The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Eve Duncan Saga by Iris Johansen
                The Face of Deception
                The Killing Game
                The Search
                Body of Lies
                Blind Alley
                Countdown
                Stalemate
                Quicksand
                Blood Game
                Eight Days to Live
Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz
                Blue Bloods
                Masquerade
                Revelations
                The Van Alen Legacy
                Misguided Angel
Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
                Moon Called
                Blood Bound
                Iron Kissed
                Bone Crossed
                Silver Borne
                River Marked
Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series
 by Laurell K. Hamilton
                Guilty Pleasures
                **The Laughing Corpse
                Circus of the Damned
                The Lunatic Cafe
                Bloody Bones
                The Killing Dance
                Burnt Offerings
                Blue Moon
                Obsidian Butterfly
                Narcissus in Chains
                Cerulean Sins
                Incubus Dreams
                Micah
                Danse Macabre
                The Harlequin
                Blood Noir
                Skin Trade
                Flirt
                Bullet
Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
                Vampire Academy
                Frostbite
                **Shadow Kiss
                Blood Promise
                Spirit Bound
                Last Sacrifice
Vampire Kisses Series by Ellen Schreiber
                Vampire Kisses
                **Kissing Coffins
                **Vampireville
                Dance with a Vampire
                The Coffin Club
                Royal Blood
                Love Bites

Happy Reading!

2010 Reading List Wednesday, May 19 2010 

So most people are saying ambitious, I’m saying this looks like fun. I’ve already begun to read some of these, and I’m sure the list will grow–I won’t be reading in any particular order–let’s go!

Single
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen R. Prothero
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
The Vampire and the Virgin by Kerrelyn Sparks
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
The Amber Room by Steve Berry
The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
The Virgin Queen’s Daughter by Ella March Chase
The Devil’s Queen by Jeanne Kalogridis
The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis
The Queen’s Mistake by Diane Haeger
Mary Boleyn by Josephine Wilkinson
Catherine Howard by Lacey Baldwin Smith
Margaret Pole by Hazel Pierce
Lady Jane Grey by E.W. Ives
The Mistresses of Henry VIII by Kelly Hart
The Tudor Queens of England by David Loades
Jane Seymour by Elizabeth Norton
Six Wives by David Starkey
The Virgin’s Daughters by Jeane Westin

Series
Millenium Trilogy Series by Stieg Larsson (3)
Eve Duncan Series by Iris Johansen (9+)
Special Agent Pendergast Series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (10+)
Alex Delaware Series by Jonathan Kellerman (22+)
Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz (4)
Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs (5+)
Midnight Breed Series by Lara Adrian (7+)
Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton (17+)

I am currently reading David Starkey’s Six Wives. The collective stories of the wives of Henry Tudor VIII–Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.

Do you have any favorites?