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The Monday Review, week nineteen

(written in Dec 2020)


1. Celtic Empire, Clive (and Dirk) Cussler

My first Cussler book. Summary: During a routine investigation of South America, NUMA Director Dirk Pitt, Al Giordino and a cast of intrepid, interwoven characters find themselves embroiled in a mystery of international status ---- one that threatens the Pitt family. From the Scottish Inverness, Egyptian Wilderness and America's Eastcoast waterside, the case sends the characters (in a series of interconnected chapters) on the brink of a pandemic in a search of answers about the spread of an unknown virus and the shadowy bioremediation company who may or may not be behind the return of the disease.


2. The Life of Our Lord, Charles Dickens

Written between 1846 and 1849 by Charles Dickens, The Life of Our Lord is a retelling of the gospel message. It was published in 1934, sixty-four years after Dickens' death, for it had been drafted exclusively for his children (and grandchildren) to whom he read aloud every Christmas. The book, a beautiful, illustrated work, remained unpublished by his own wishes until long after the death of his children.

The collection begins:

My dear children, I am very anxious that you should know something about the History of Jesus Christ. For everybody ought to know about Him. No one ever lived who was so good, so kind, so gentle and so sorry for all people who did wrong, or were in any way ill or miserable, as He was.

and ends with this admonishment to remember:

Remember!---It is Christianity "To Do Good," always---even to those who do evil to us. It is Christianity to love our neighbours as ourself, and to do all men as we would have them do to us. It is Christianity to be gentle, merciful and forgiving, and to keep those qualities quiet in our own hearts, and never make boast of them, or of our prayers or of our love of God, but always to show that we love Him by humbly trying to do right in everything.

According to documentation, Dickens' was afraid to publish The Life of Our Lord. He was afraid that men and women would criticise not his faith, but the integrity of it. He worried they would not understand the reverence with which he wrote----in humour and narrative. But truly, my friends, this book revealed Dickens' deep respect and adoration of Christ.

My grandmother found the book in our office; a first edition print, and it was a treasure reading it together over the holiday season.


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