Book Reviews and Reflections

 

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Welcome to the Reviews and Reflections page.  I am Larry the Librarian. I earned a bachelor of arts at Bethany Bible College.  I was a Theology major and a History minor. I first developed my love of research there while writing a paper on Arianism. I also received a Masters Degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary were I experienced and enjoyed the Graduate Theological Library in Berkeley. I also was privileged to use the Princeton Wright Library to complete my Doctoral work on religious initiation from both theological and sociological perspectives. I am now the librarian at Trinity Presbyterian. We are a truly literary church.  We have a modest but mighty book collection. I will be highlighting aspects of that collection on this page.

 In October we will be displaying and featuring  books by local authors including Bonny Doon Mystery Writer Nancy Jarvis. Below is review of my favorite book of hers.

The Glass House

The book, “The Glass House” was an extremely pleasant read. The author, Nancy Lynn Jarvis accomplishes three things in this first in a series. First: she writes a solid mystery with a good twist and authentic local color. Second: she works in a romantic triangle with well thought out characters. The third thing she does is introduce a new protagonist, Pat, a recently laid off Law Librarian who by chance and circumstance gets into the detecting game. This is really an “origin” story and it is done spectacularly well. The descriptions of Pat, her motivations, dialogue and actions are all wonderful. After I read this I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series, “The Funeral Murder” which is already published. There is a third book in the works. I am looking forward to a long term reading relationship with Pat in this series. 
 

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Lamont, Anne “Help, Thanks, Wow” 

Not only is Anne one of the greatest woman authors in the United States, she is also the real deal as a person of faith. She has been teaching Sunday School for decades at the Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church in Sausalito. She has multiple New York Times Bestsellers. What all of her books have in common is that they change peoples lives. They are earthy and real, this book is no exception. Equal parts 12 Step meeting in the church basement and walks on the beach, it’s a prayer manual for people who wouldn’t be caught dead reading prayer manuals. Anne is not Santa Cruz local but she is in the bay area and truly worth reading. 

Brand Luther by Andrew Pettegrew  2016

Today everyone wants to establish a “Brand” through social media and mass communication. The famous Reformer Martin Luther is the patron Saint of those endeavors. This books looks not at his theology but as his understanding of the printing press including distribution,  marketing and layout strategies.  Luther produced three number one bestsellers in three years. This is really worth a read as it is incredibly important for understanding the impact of mass media in the history of ideas.

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A Theology of Liberation by Gustavo Gutierrez 1972

This was one of the first, and still a foundational book in the Liberation Theology Movement. This movement gave priority to the poor and marginalized, based on literal readings of the words of Jesus and the Prophets. At a recent celebration of this book’s 50 years in print I heard ample testimony from theologians, professors, and pastors, about how significant this book was in their vocations. It is still fresh after 50 years in print.