Reviews


Screenshot_2018-09-24 Reviews Fox Pennell Szasz

What to do after retirement? Read and review books. All kinds of books.

 Below is a list of reviews by Bob Lane, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy and Religious Studies

Vancouver Island University



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Title: Song of Riddles: Deciphering the Song of Songs

Author: Geula Twersky

Publisher: Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem

ISBN: 978-965-229-908-6

Review by Bob Lane

 

 Geula Twersky has written an extra-ordinary book: start with the title, Song of Riddles, which announces immediately the approach taken in the analysis of the biblical “Song of Songs”- one of the most beautiful and, to many, puzzling, books to have been included in the collection of writings included in the Bible – and then consider the author, an award-winning artist who has exhibited in galleries around the world – go here to see some of her works – who also publishes scholarly articles in academic journals anent the study of the early Jewish texts.

The title states that the text to be analyzed is a riddle, and like any good riddle, there must be a secret meaning behind the text, pointed to, suggested, available, to the riddle breaker who invest the time and energy to unpack the “secret” meaning.

Read the review.


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Review by Bob Lane

 Parents often worry about raising kids in a tech-saturated world – the threats of cyberbullying, video game violence, pornography, and sexting may seem inescapable. And while these dangers exist, there is a much more common and subtle way that technology can cause harm: by eroding our attention spans. Focused attention is fundamental to maintaining quality relationships, but our constant interaction with screens and social media is shortening our attention spans – which takes a toll on our personal connections with friends and family and our ability to form real relationships.

Tech Generation: Raising Balanced Kids in a Hyper-Connected World guides parents in teaching their children how to reap the benefits of living in a digital world while also preventing its negative effects. Mike Brooks and Jon Lasser, psychologists with extensive experience working with kids, parents, and teachers, combine cutting-edge research and expertise to create an engaging and helpful guide that emphasizes the importance of the parent-child relationship. They reject an “all or nothing” attitude towards technology, in favor of a balanced approach that neither idealizes nor demonizes the digital. Brooks and Lasser provide strategies for preventing technology from becoming problematic in the first place; steps for addressing problems when they arise; and ways of intervening when problems are out of control. They also discuss the increasingly challenging issue of technology use in schools, and how parents can collaborate with educators when concerns arise over kids’ use of technology.

Read the review!

 


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If everybody loved Laura, I want to yell, then who the hell killed her?

“From the former Chief Justice of Canada comes a riveting thriller starring Jilly Truitt, a rising, young defense attorney faced with a case that hits close to home. A searing look at what justice means in the courts and on the streets, Full Disclosure is perfect for fans of Kathy Reichs, Louise Penny, and Lisa Scottoline.” And more from the publisher: ” When everyone has something to hide, the truth is the only defense. There’s nothing Jilly Truitt likes more than winning a case, especially against her former mentor, prosecutor Cy Kenge. Jilly has baggage, the residue of a dark time in a series of foster homes, but that’s in the past. Now she’s building her own criminal defense firm and making a name for herself as a tough-as-nails lawyer willing to take risks in the courtroom.”

 Read the review. 


Screenshot-2018-4-3 Review - Arguments about Abortion - EthicsRead the review here.


This is a delightful book. Bransen is not only an interesting writer he also has the ability to make his points with ease and insight by telling stories from our shared repertoire of stories, or using thought experiments to tease out the main points of his extended argument.  –  from the review


The EvangelicalsReview – The Evangelicals

The Struggle to Shape America

by Frances FitzGerald

Simon & Schuster, 2017

Review by Bob Lane

Jan 23rd 2018 (Volume 22, Issue 4)

Certainty is demonic. Hypocrisy is omni-present. Politics is religion. Religion is politics.

“Even the well informed tend to have very short attention spans when it comes to evangelicals. Many equate evangelicals with fundamentalists or the Christian right when only a minority belong to either group. Others dismiss them as a marginal group doomed to extinction with the process of modernization. In fact evangelicals compose nearly a quarter of the (US) population.” (p.2)

Those founding Puritans continue to have an influence on the culture and particularly the politics in the USA. The clash between fundamentalism and modernism erupted after World War I and affected all Protestant denominations. The core beliefs of the fundamentalists seem to be: what the Bible says is true and inerrant (particularly, of course, the New Testament); abortion is categorically evil; homosexuality is also evil and same sex marriage an abomination. As Fitzgerald points out “For them the first chapter of Genesis is to be interpreted literally. Even today two thirds of evangelicals say they believe that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” (p. 625) These beliefs are manifest in the opposition to the SCOTUS decision banning prayer and Bible readings in public schools, almost all of the civil rights movement, the 1960s protests against the war in Vietnam, and the Roe v. Wade decision.

Read the review here.


Review – The PatchScreenshot-2017-12-9 The Patch The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands Chris Turner 9781501115097 Amazon com B[...]

The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands

by Chris Turner

Simon & Schuster, 2017

Review by Bob Lane

Dec 9th 2017 (Volume 21, Issue 49)

Want to learn about the complexities of the extraction of oil from the underground bitumen deposits in northern Alberta? Have a concern about climate change? Interested in engineering advances in extraction methods? Care about ducks? Do oil spills give you pause? Will temperatures rise another 2℃ in the next 20 years? Ever think about where the gasoline you put in your automobile comes from? Does alternative energy sources excite you?

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Title: EARLY EXPOSURES: A Photographic Memoir

Author: Bill Pennell

Published by: Friesen Press, 2017

memoir (from French: mémoire: memoria, meaning memory or reminiscence) is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject’s life. The assertions made in the work are understood to be factual.

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moon

Title: WHEN THE MOON COMES

Author: Paul Harbridge

Illustrator: Matt James

Publisher: tundra – Random House Canada

 

Review by Bob Lane

Confession: I am no expert on children’s literature. As a father, grandfather, and great grandfather I have always bowed to the “expertise” of the audience. If the child is saying “read it again” you have a good indication that the book is a winner. Often books that I have chosen, thinking they would be great hits with the kids turned out to be boring, receiving no “read it again” requests.

This book is a “read it again” book based on some empirical research! Two greats thought it worthy of a “read it again” stamp of approval.

First, it tells a compelling story. A story set in Canada about snowy landscapes, frozen ponds, and kids playing hockey. Cover blurb: “The beaver flood has finally frozen – perfect ice, without a bump or a ripple. The kids in town wait impatiently for the right moment. Finally, it arrives: the full moon. They huff and puff through logging trails, farms, back roads and tamarack swamps, the powdery snow soaking pant legs and boots, till they see it – the perfect ice, waiting. And the game is on.”

Paul Harbridge is an award winning short story writer (he works as a speech-language pathologist for adults with developmental disabilities) and he knows how to tell a story. Matt James is a painter, illustrator and musician. His illustrations are, in a word, beautiful. They are perfect at complementing the words of the story and drawing the audience into that wonderful world of make-believe that children of all ages enjoy.

Together words and pictures tell the story of some small-town Canadian kids who have been waiting for the perfect time to hike out to the beaver flood, clear the snow, and start the game. The time has come! The full moon lights the night and off they go.

Simple, engaging, and worthy of the “read it again” stamp of approval.


Review: Why I Left, Why I Stayed: Conversation on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son

By Tony Campolo and Bart Campolo with a foreword by Peggy Campolo

HarperCollins 2017

Review by Bob Lane

We certainly do not need to be reminded that history is filled with so called religious wars. In fact there are long lists available on social media (e.g., here) and, of course, there is an ongoing debate about just what contribution religion makes to our warlike history.  . . . .

Read the review here. 


Review – Thomas S. Szasz: The Man and His Ideas

by Jeffrey A. Schaler, Henry Zvi Lothane, and Richard E. Vatz (Editors)

Routledge, 2017

Review by Bob Lane

Aug 13th 2017 (Volume 21, Issue 32)

Have an interest in “mental illness”? Or, perhaps the mind/body problem as articulated in Cartesianism? Or, philosophy of language – if we can name it does that mean it exists? Or, nominalism/idealism questions – do abstract objects exist? Or, how about Russell’s teapot – Russell’s teapot was an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell, to refute the idea that the onus lies somehow upon the sceptic to disprove the unfalsifiable claims of religion or any scientific or philosophic endeavour? Or, mental illness in general – does it exist? If so, just what is it? Or, free will/determinism? Or, is there a pill for every abnormal condition in the human condition? What is the nature of addiction? Cults? Aeschylus and schizophrenia? Philosophy of mind? Interdisciplinary studies? Neroscience? Psychiatry? Interested in knowing more about Thomas Szasz? All of the above? Any of the above?


Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli In His World

by Erica Benner

W. W. Norton, 2017

Review by Bob Lane, MA

Jul 13th 2017 (Volume 21, Issue 28)

Anyone who teaches political philosophy knows the joy of reading and teaching The Prince by Machiavelli. This book adds to that joy.

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Title: No Place to Hide

Author: Jack Slater

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

Review by Bob Lane

A house fire. A suspicious death. A serial killer to catch.

When a body is found in a house fire DS Peter Gayle is called to the scene. It looks like an accidental death, but the evidence just doesn’t add up.

With only one murder victim they can’t make any calls, but it looks like a serial killer is operating in Exeter and it’s up to Pete to track him down.

But with his wife still desperate for news on their missing son and his boss watching his every move, the pressure is on for Pete to bring the murderer to justice before it is too late.

Read the review here.

Bob Lane is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Vancouver Island University.


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Review – Looking for The Stranger Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic by Alice Kaplan University Of Chicago Press, 2016 Review by Bob Lane Mar 14th 2017 (Volume 21, Issue 11)

We are in the midst of an ongoing Camus renaissance, one traced by Matthew Sharpe in his book Camus, Philosophe: To Return to Our Beginnings to four causes: The publication in 1994 of Camus’ Le Premier Homme, a true literary event; the fall of Stalinism; the war on terror; and the decline of the hegemony of post-modernism and post-structuralism with academia. We are blessed with many recent books on Camus [Sharpe produces an exhaustive survey of the recent secondary literature on Camus, heavily footnoted and annotated] and his works have continued to be a resource for philosophical inquiry even as his literary works have continued to be read and written about — or responded to as in the case of Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation which considers the same killing on the beach but from the Arab victim’s point of view.

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Review – What Is a Human?

What the Answers Mean for Human Rights

by John H. Evans

Oxford University Pres, 2016

Review by Bob Lane

Feb 21st 2017 (Volume 21, Issue 8)human

Without a doubt the answer to the question ‘What is a human?’ has been a long term and ongoing project — perhaps as old as human life here on this planet. The question, simple in form and a mere four words long has been the center of attention for religion, philosophy, and the sciences for as long as those disciplines have been around.

And now Oxford Press presents this social science study addressing the question, in a book rich with survey data and analysis of two main concerns: What is a Human? And what might the answers mean for human rights? In eight chapters and several appendices, notes, citations, and index, John H. Evans presents a report on “a sociological research project” which will NOT attempt to argue for a correct answer to the main question but will tell the reader what the public thinks a human is.

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What kind of person should I strive to be? What ideals should I pursue in my life?enlighten

These basic human questions and others like them are components of the overall question that guides this book: What is enlightenment? As Dale Wright argues, any serious practitioner of human life, religious or not, confronts the challenge of living an authentic life, of overcoming common human disabilities like greed, hatred, and delusion that give rise to excessive suffering. Why then, Wright asks, is this essential question often avoided, even discouraged among Buddhists?

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petReview – Prime Ministers of Canada

Pierre Elliott Trudeau

by Paula Johanson

Five Rivers Chapmanry, 2016

Review by Bob Lane, MA

Dec 13th 2016 (Volume 20, Issue 50)

Read the review.


Tolerance Among The Virtues

by John R. Bowlin

Nov 22nd 2016



Run Down

A Pratt & Ellis Mystery

by Rick Blechta

Oct 18th 2016



The Making of Friedrich Nietzsche

The Quest for Identity, 1844-1869

by Daniel Blue

Sep 20th 2016



“Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People”

And Other Myths About Guns and Gun Control

by Dennis A. Henigan

Sep 6th 2016



Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue

by Sam Harris and Maajud Nawaz

Aug 2nd 2016



Old Age

A Beginner’s Guide

by Michael Kinsley

on May 26th 2016



Fine Lines

Vladimir Nabokov’s Scientific Art

by Stephen H Blackwell and Kurt Johnson (Editors)

on May 17th 2016



How to Grow Old

Ancient Wisdom for the Second Half of Life

by Marcus Tullius Cicero

May 10th 2016



Ethical Life

Its Natural and Social Histories

by Webb Keane

Mar 22nd 2016


City of the Lost

A Thriller

by Kelley Armstrong

Feb 16th 2016



Rousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity

by Mark Hulliung (Editor)

Dec 22nd 2015



Heretic

Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Dec 1st 2015




Our Souls at Night

A Novel

by Kent Haruf

Oct 20th 2015



Benediction

A Novel

by Kent Haruf

Oct 6th 2015



Caught

The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics

by Marie Gottschalk

Aug 11th 2015



God and the Multiverse

Humanity’s Expanding View of the Cosmos

by Victor J. Stenger

Jun 30th 2015



Critical Condition

Replacing Critical Thinking with Creativity

by Patrick Finn

Apr 21st 2015




Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality

Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom

by Darcia Narvaez

on Mar 17th 2015



Understanding Love

Philosophy, Film, and Fiction

by Susan Wolf and Christopher Grau (Editors)

Feb 24th 2015


The Core Question: Who Am I?

A Reflective Journey Into Uncovering Your Authentic Self

by Mark Julian Zyga

on Feb 17th 2015


The Magic of Reality

How We Know What’s Really True

by Richard Dawkins

on Jan 27th 2015


The Firmament of Time

by Loren Eiseley

on Dec 2nd 2014


Moral Imagination

Essays

by David Bromwich

on Nov 25th 2014



The Star Thrower

by Loren Eiseley

on Nov 4th 2014




Behind the Gospels

Understanding the Oral Tradition

by Eric Eve

on Oct 21st 2014



Kicking the Sky

A Novel

by Anthony De Sa

on Oct 14th 2014


Changes

Stories

by Robin Molineux

on Sep 30th 2014



Bob Dylan and Philosophy

It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Thinking)

by Peter Vernezze and Carl Porter (Editors)

on Sep 9th 2014



Zealot

The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

by Reza Aslan

on Jul 29th 2013



Steel Breeze

by Douglas Wynne

on Jul 23rd 2013



Weakness

A Literary and Philosophical History

by Michael O’Sullivan

on Jul 9th 2013



Crime and Punishment in America

Revised Edition

by Elliott Currie

on Apr 9th 2013



Art, Self and Knowledge

by Keith Lehrer

on May 1st 2012



Hemingway’s Second War

Bearing Witness to the Spanish Civil War

by Alex Vernon

on Apr 17th 2012



50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True

by Guy P. Harrison

on Mar 20th 2012


The Three Failures of Creationism

Logic, Rhetoric, and Science

by Walter M. Fitch

on Mar 13th 2012



From Neurons to Self-Consciousness

How the Brain Generates the Mind

by Bernard Korzeniewski

on Feb 21st 2012



America in the Forties

by Ronald Allen Goldberg

on Jan 31st 2012



Confucianism

by Paul R. Goldin

on Jan 17th 2012



Camp Z

The Secret Life of Rudolf Hess

by Stephen McGinty

on Jan 10th 2012


Bang!

How We Came to Be

by Michael Rubino

on Dec 20th 2011


The Essential William James

by John R. Shook (Editor)

on Dec 13th 2011


Moral Acquaintances and Moral Decisions

Resolving Moral Conflicts in Medical Ethics

by Stephen S. Hanson

on Nov 8th 2011


Power Split

A Philosophical Thriller

by W. Ron Drynan

on Oct 25th 2011



The Philosophical Breakfast Club

Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World

by Laura J. Snyder

on Sep 20th 2011



The Wolves of Andover

by Kathleen Kent

on Sep 6th 2011



Idiot America

How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

by Charles P. Pierce

Aug 16th 2011

Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life

How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew

by Steve Stewart-Williams

on Aug 9th 2011


Cleopatra

A Life

by Stacy Schiff

on Jul 26th 2011


Unforgettable

DVD

by Tom Kleesiep (Writer/Producer/Director)

on Jun 7th 2011


Through A Dog’s Eyes

DVD

by Naomi S. Boak (Director)

on May 9th 2011


Galileo

by John Heilbron

on Apr 5th 2011


Consuming Innocence

Popular Culture and Our Children

by Karen Brooks

on Mar 15th 2011



Out of Eden

Adam and Eve and the Problem of Evil

by Paul W. Kahn

on Feb 22nd 2011


Gifted

A Novel

by Nikita Lalwani

on Nov 30th 2010


Thinking of Answers

Questions in the Philosophy of Everyday Life

by A. C. Grayling

on Nov 9th 2010


William Blake on Self and Soul

by Laura Quinney

on Sep 14th 2010



The Burden of Proof

by Scott Turow

on Aug 31st 2010



What Good Are the Arts?

by John Carey

on Aug 17th 2010



Persons

What Philosophers Say about You

by Warren Bourgeois

Jul 13th 2010


Cheever

A Life

by Blake Bailey

on Jun 22nd 2010



Void Moon

by Michael Connelly

on May 11th 2010


William James on Ethics and Faith

by Michael R. Slater

on Mar 23rd 2010



Once You Go Back

A Novel

by Douglas A. Martin

on Mar 2nd 2010

Transformative Yoga

The Five Keys to Unlocking Inner Bliss

by Wade Imre Morissette

on Jan 5th 2010

The Lives of the Brain

Human Evolution and the Organ of Mind

by John S. Allen

on Jan 5th 2010

The Right Mistake

The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow

by Walter Mosley

on Dec 15th 2009

The New Atheism

Taking a Stand for Science and Reason

by Victor J. Stenger

on Nov 17th 2009

Cemetery Dance

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Oct 20th 2009

Darwin’s Universe

Evolution from A to Z

by Richard Milner

Oct 6th 2009

Women’s Murder Club Box Set

Volume 2

by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

on Sep 1st 2009

The Boy Who Dared

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

on Jul 21st 2009

The Story Is True

The Art and Meaning of Telling Stories

by Bruce Jackson

on Jun 9th 2009

Run for Your Life

by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

on Jun 2nd 2009

The Whole Truth

by David Baldacci

Apr 7th 2009

The Tenth Justice

by Brad Meltzer

on Mar 10th 2009

The Stone Gods

by Jeanette Winterson

on Mar 5th 2009

Pragmatism

A Guide for the Perplexed

by Robert B. Talisse and Scott F. Aikin

Feb 24th 2009

Dead Even

by Brad Meltzer

Feb 17th 2009

Divine Justice

by David Baldacci

on Feb 3rd 2009

Reason & Emancipation

Essays on the Philosophy of Kai Nielsen

by Michel Seymour and Matthias Fritsch (Editors)

Jan 27th 2009

The Modern Art of Dying

A History of Euthanasia in the United States

by Shai J. Lavi

on Jan 13th 2009

Feminist Philosophy And Science Fiction

Utopias And Dystopias

by Judith A. Little (Editor)

on Jan 6th 2009

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life

The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness

by Daniel Amen

on Dec 16th 2008

Shakespeare

A Life in Seven Chapters

by Edward S. Brubaker

Nov 25th 2008

Mill’s Utilitarianism

A Reader’s Guide

by Henry R. West

on Nov 4th 2008

Persons and Things

by Barbara Johnson

on Oct 14th 2008

Plato

A Guide for the Perplexed

by Gerald A. Press

on Oct 7th 2008

Einstein and Oppenheimer

The Meaning of Genius

by Silvan S. Schweber

on Sep 23rd 2008

Science and Nonbelief

by Taner Edis

on Sep 16th 2008

Notebooks 1951-1959

by Albert Camus

on Sep 2nd 2008

Black Elk Speaks

by John G. Neihardt

on Aug 19th 2008

Undermining Science

Suppression and Distortion in the Bush Administration

by Seth Shulman

on Jul 29th 2008

Child 44

by Tom Rob Smith

on Jun 17th 2008

Knowing, Knowledge and Beliefs

Epistemological Studies across Diverse Cultures

by Myint Swe Khine (Editor)

on Jun 3rd 2008

Compulsion

An Alex Delaware Novel

by Jonathan Kellerman

May 27th 2008

The Calling

A Novel

by Inger Ash Wolfe

May 20th 2008

First Do No Harm

Law, Ethics, And Healthcare

by Sheila A. M. Mclean (Editor)

Apr 29th 2008

God: The Failed Hypothesis

How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist

by Victor J Stenger

on Apr 15th 2008

The Meaning of Others

Narrative Studies of Relationships

by Ruthellen Josselson, Amia Lieblich, and Dan P. McAdams (Editors)

on Mar 25th 2008

The Woman and the Ape

A Novel

by Peter Hoeg

on Mar 11th 2008

Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion

by Francisco Ayala

Jan 22nd 2008

The Search for Meaning

A Short History

by Dennis Ford

Jan 1st 2008

The Extinction of Desire

A Tale of Enlightenment

by Michael Boylan

on Nov 27th 2007

Presocratics

Natural Philosophers Before Socrates

by James Warren

Nov 6th 2007

Einstein

His Life and Universe

by Walter Isaacson

Oct 30th 2007

Divisadero

by Michael Ondaatje

Sep 25th 2007

Blind Spots

Why Smart People Do Dumb Things

by Madeleine L. Van Hecke

Sep 18th 2007

The Top 10 Myths About Evolution

by Cameron M. Smith and Charles Sullivan

Aug 21st 2007

The Ministry of Special Cases

A Novel

by Nathan Englander

Jul 31st 2007

The Decency Wars

Campaign to Cleanse American Culture

by Frederick S. Lane

Jul 24th 2007

The Castle in the Forest

A Novel

by Norman Mailer

Jul 17th 2007

Scandalous Knowledge

Science, Truth, and the Human

by Barbara Herrnstein Smith

Jul 3rd 2007

Pathways to Spirituality

Connection, Wholeness, and Possibility for Therapist and Client

by Bill O’Hanlon

Jun 12th 2007

Sartre

A Guide for the Perplexed

by Gary Cox

May 29th 2007

Across the River and Into the Trees

by Ernest Hemingway

May 8th 2007

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking

by Thomas E. Kida

May 1st 2007

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