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The Book of the Elders: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

REVIEWED By Stephen Sharman

Translated by John Wortley

Cistercian Publications, Jan. 2012

Hardcover, 386 pages, $50

E-book format, $26


THE EARLY FOURTH century meets the 21st when a famous anthology of spiritual wisdom is translated from Greek into modern English by a Canadian scholar and made available worldwide in e-book format.

Dr Wortley is a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada, a professor emeritus of the University of Manitoba, a specialist in Byzantine History and a researcher of monastic literature. In this volume

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Directed by Peter Jackson

Based on the book The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkien

Reviewed by Peter T. Chattaway

EVER SINCE Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy made nearly three billion dollars worldwide – and earned seventeen Oscars between the three films, to boot – it has been a given that someone, somewhere would make a prequel based on the book that introduced the world to Hobbits in the first place.

But there were certain obvious questions hanging over the inevitable follow-up.

First, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was essentially a children’s story, and lighter in tone than the more adult-oriented trilogy that followed it; it was also easily the shortest book of the lot. Would audiences used to the epic intensity of Jackson’s first trilogy accept a more kid-friendly story with smaller stakes? Or would the new film push the story in a more mature direction,

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The Book of Common Prayer: Past, Present and Future A 350th Anniversary Celebration

Edited by Prudence Dailey

Continuum, Nov. 2011

Softcover, 216 pages, $21.95



AS THE SUBTITLE suggests, this volume offers a celebration of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer by women and men who use it, love it, and desire to share its treasures with others. While some discussion of earlier antecedents (1549, 1552, 1559) and later developments is included, the focus remains on the 1662 gold standard.

Much like The Oxford Guide to The Book of Common Prayer: A Worldwide Survey, this volume collects essays by a wide variety of authors – priests, laypeople, college principals, bishops – not all of whom are scholars. Following an introduction by His Royal Highness Prince Charles,

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This is My Beloved Son: The Transfiguration of Christ

By Andreas Andreopoulos
Paraclete Press, 2012
Trade Paper, 142 pages, $19.99

THIS FINE BOOK contains a study of the Transfiguration of Christ in which his appearance, his face and clothing shone brilliantly white, dazzling the eyes of his disciples Peter, James and John. This miracle is a revelation of his glory as the Son of God.
Andreas Andreopoulos is a deacon of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in Great Britain. He is a scholar and a teacher of theology, formerly in the

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When I Was a Child I Read Books

Reviewed by Julie Lane-Gay

By Marilynne Robinson
Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2012
Hardcover, 206 pages, $27.99

When I Was a Child I Read Books is one of those titles that calls out to you like a club password. Some of us want to raise our hand and quietly call out, “Yes! Me too!”  Its connotation grabs at that sensibility that the world is changing too fast and you’re worried about living in a world where Charlotte the Spider, Huck Finn and Frodo are no longer

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