The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the The Valley of Doubt, by Joseph Loconte
Historian and journalist Joseph Loconte examines the role of religion in contemporary society against the ancient dialogue overheard on the road to Emmaus in Luke's gospel. Every human heart has a natural longing for "home," and these witnesses to the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth serve as a rich example of that universal yearning. Along the way, Loconte scrutinizes not only the challenges posed by popular skeptics, but also those created by counterfeit religion.
Whether Christian or Muslim, priestly sex scandals or Islamic "honor killings," Loconte takes a sober look at the failings of those who claim God is on their side. The author never loses sight, however, of the profound influence that an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ can have on individuals and society. Ultimately, readers will see how the human desire for meaning, purpose, and love can lead us to our true home. There are still reasons to believe, reasons embedded in a remarkable conversation on the road to Emmaus.
What I thought:
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I got this book. I had only read a brief summery, shorter than the one above, and I didn't glance at any other reviews before I read it for myself. Mr. Loconte was able to take a brief exchange on a dusty road and turn it into a book full of relevant information that is applied to what is going on today. I think many people find that religion can be old and stuffy, and not applicable to their lives today. What can I learn from this that would mean anything to me? I've had the pleasure of reading two other books, that you can find the reviews to on my list, that have done a great job intertwining religion and relevant events. This is definitely a star in that grouping. It is the first one, however, that has been about a specific story in the bible. The other ones were more religiously influenced and this one I view as more of a commentary. I think Christians and non-Christians, or religious of any kind would find this book really interesting and it would answer a lot of questions. And if nothing else, answer questions and inspire conversation. Mr. Loconte's background in history provided such information that was detailed and complex. He knows so much!! I didn't know what to expect but I was quite pleased with this book.
I received this book as a reviewer for Booksneeze. As a reviewer for Booksneeze I received a book to aid in my review but I was not compensated for a positive review. The thoughts and opinions stated here are my own, take them or leave them.
Zooey and Her Soldier, by Andrea Kelly
Zooey’s best friend, Doug, is in The National Guard. Sometimes he has to go away for a little while. When he’s gone, Zooey misses him a lot. She can’t wait for him to get back! But Zooey’s about to discover something – something that will make the wait much, much easier!
Zooey and Her Soldier is a great book for children dealing with a parent or family member in the Armed Forces, (or even one who has to travel a lot!). As tough as those moments are for parents, they are often even harder on the children, especially those that are still too young to understand the entire concept. Zooey is a positive and relatable character for young kids, who has a helpful idea on how to feel closer to the ones you love, even while they are far away!
Ideal for bedtime stories and new readers – an enjoyable book for young and old alike!
What I thought:
An adorable book that you should add to the collection of a military child. We have several books in our collection and this is one. It is a sweet and simple book; and it would be really good for a child that is just beginning to read. With darling illustrations and adorable kitty as the main character, I think most little children would really like this book. Zooey and Her Soldier is perfect for ages 3 or 4 and below. It is short and sweet, and could keep the attention of my daughter. She responded to the story and thought Zooey was cute. My son listened but was not quite as interested in my daughter. They both were able to relate Zooey being sad and missing her soldier (Like Daddy) when he was gone and were very excited when he returned home to them. I personally appreciated the sweet simplicity of this book. It is really aimed directly at relating to children in the desire for them to completely be able to understand and relate. It would have been a really good tool for me to use in talking with my children the first time my husband went away.