The Spectacle Blog

Your Weekend Reading List

By on 10.28.05 | 6:17PM

Some notable books passed through our hands at TAS this week and here are some highlights:

Michelle Malkin puts in book form that which she does best: chronicling liberal madness in Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild. She flips through their odd conspiracy theories, the racist slurs of which she's a frequent target, and their fantasy of seeing President Bush assassinated. It looks like great red meat nightstand reading.

To burn or not to burn? That question is closely related to conserve or use? The venue: our national parks. The national parks are the area where the federal government got it right. There are certain parts of this country that ought to be conserved especially well. So when we favor development and access over conservation, the parks become a glorified

Disneyland and often a volatile situation between man and nature. The perfect example? The Yellowstone fire. The overemphasis on development led folks to think the park service should immediately put out all fires. That imbalance was costly: when the park service couldn't contain the 1988 fire, it burned so hot as to sterilize much of the soil in the park. Rocky Barker chronicles the history and conservation philosophies leading to this costly event, as well as his first person accounts during the blaze in Scorched Earth: How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America.

And I cannot recommend this last book warmly enough. It's sat on my desk for months, begging for the full attention of a review, but the timelier articles and projects pushed it off to manana. No more. Matthew Lickona, a writer for the San DiegoReader, is foremost a thirty-something Catholic husband and father. In Swimming With Scapulars: True Confessions of a Young Catholic, his first book, Lickona presents short essays on the struggles of living faithfully. For a book by a Catholic, mainly about his faith, it's unusual in that Catholics don't typically bare their souls in a reflection-type book. We rarely get so personal. Lickona's absolute honesty and humility lend this book its charm. He displays all his faults as if he were confessing to the reader – his difficulty in practicing natural family planning at first, discovering his temper, his parish-hopping. A chapter a day of Lickona's book will effect the prayerful examination you owe your soul anyway. And it's entertaining besides.

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