PositiveNPRPope Francis, never one to shy from controversy, wades boldly into the coronavirus debate with a new book in which he criticizes those who blame the virus on foreigners and people who protest church closings and mask mandates. In his book, Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, based on conversations he had with papal biographer Austen Ivereigh, Francis also speaks out on the protests against racial injustice, poverty, and the arms trade ... Unlike some other papal writings, the book avoids complex discussions of church doctrine and theology. Francis instead shares stories from his own life and offers his views on the various crises facing the world, from the coronavirus to the environment, poverty and hunger, political polarization, and the condition of the Catholic church. The Pope clearly intended for the book to be read by a wide, popular audience.
PositiveNPRIt is a sad but fascinating tale, and Ariel Sabar digs out every detail in his engrossing book ... Sabar arrived at such amateur psychoanalytic insights only after exhaustively (obsessively is a better word) digging into King\'s and Fritz\'s personal histories. He takes the trouble to track down local newspaper reports of King\'s 1977 wedding and court records of her divorce five years later, even though her marriage seems irrelevant to the larger story. Sabar\'s account of how he uncovered Fritz\'s childhood history in Germany is similarly tedious and mostly unnecessary, as when he details how he perused old episodes of a German soap opera in order to verify the identity of Fritz\'s half-brother ... But such digging also produced some priceless nuggets, giving credence to a fantastical story whose elements would otherwise be unbelievable ... The interaction of these two characters, one with a deep need to deceive and the other with a desperate need to believe, presents a wholly human story of frailty and weakness.
RaveThe Washington PostThe sad tale of the conquest and what followed over the next centuries in Latin America has been related many times before, but Arana, a novelist, has turned it into literature. Though meticulously researched, the book’s greatest strengths are the power of its epic narrative, the beauty of its prose and its rich portrayals of character ... Arana’s strength is the power and passion of her storytelling, and her explanation of what has shaped Latin America over the past half-millennium has the ring of truth ... It is a bold assertion, but by the end of this marvelous book, she has definitively and eloquently made the case.
PositiveNPR[McCarten] instinctively accentuates the drama and intrigue in this strange but engaging story ... Not surprisingly, neither Holy Father gets much deference in McCarten\'s treatment. Benedict and Francis are both imperfect men, presented here mainly as Joseph Ratzinger, the law-and-order son of a German policeman, and Jorge Bergoglio, the holier-than-thou priest of the Buenos Aires slums ... For a church in crisis, any ambiguity in its leadership presents a serious problem, and McCarten tells the story as clearly as it has ever been told.
PositiveNPR\"... the story [Pagels] tells is compelling and persuasive, and her nonsectarian perspective means her faith story will resonate with followers of various religious traditions ... Pagels\'s book is therefore a personal testimony, but it simultaneously reflects her scholarship as a student of the ancient texts. It is that combination that makes her story distinctive and gives it unusual power.\