Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: MaddAddam

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Margaret Atwood's final chapter in her MaddAddam trilogy was well worth the wait.

I have rarely read such an ambitious work. In MaddAddam, Atwood ties up loose ends from the previous two novels, and also further develops two central characters through the use of backstory.

As is common in Atwood's writing, writing itself becomes an important aspect of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed her vision of a post-apocalyptic world and the questions that inevitably arise. The birth of a new generation also welcomes the birth of new mythologies, key to answering human(oid)'s central questions about its origins: Where do we come from? Who made us? Why are we here? And where do we go from here?

Communication (verbal and non-verbal), writing, speech, history, good and evil, rituals... Atwood tackles all the big issues of important literature - and she does it in an entertaining, thought-provoking, highly creative way. The creation of deities that fly to our rescue when summoned is a perfect example of her witty writing.

If there was any doubt, the MaddAddam Trilogy reaffirms Atwood's place as one of the world's best science-fiction authors.

I highly recommend reading this trilogy. And when you're done with that, if you haven't already read it, read The Handmaid's Tale. And then read everything else by this wonderful Canadian writer.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Guppy Soup Release!

Here it is! The release of my latest fiction: Guppy Soup.

Guppy Soup by JT Therrien

For those of you who do not follow me on Twitter or Facebook, Guppy Soup is my latest release from Fine Form Press. It is a small collection of literary short stories that cover a wide range of subjects such as cancer "Wanda's Appointment", quirky relationships "Masks", medical science vs faith "The Power of Words", surrealism "What if Dali....", science fiction "Zip: A Cautionary Tale", nostalgia "Legend" and "Summertime". There are also two previews of Fine Form Press releases included in the collection: The Well, previously released and still free at Smashwords, and the forthcoming The Betrothal, an art-themed contemporary-historical novella featuring Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Betrothal masterpiece.

Guppy Soup Blurb ~
The stories in Guppy Soup explore human nature and how we sometimes simply don't live up to our potential. Guppy Soup reveals us as who we (oftentimes) are: impatient, petty, jealous, flawed creatures who have knee-jerk reactions to the world of appearances; people who fall too far short of achieving a charitable outlook on life and on others to be considered good.

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Guppy Soup is currently available at Smashwords and at Amazon, with more distribution coming soon to third party e-tailers. I hope people will have a chance to read this fun collection of short stories!

Wanda's Appointment can be read in its entirety as part of Amazon's preview.

Check back here or on Twitter for a chance to win a free copy of Guppy Soup in my upcoming giveaway contest!


Sunday, September 08, 2013

Review: Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer

Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer
Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer by David N Calvillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This introductory book to praying the Rosary was given to me by a friend who wasn't aware that as an auxiliary member of the Legion of Mary I've been praying the Rosary daily for years. Even though I question religious groups that seem to distinguish between male and female-centered prayers, I was able to draw some useful information from the included readings.

The premise of Real Men Pray the Rosary (both the spiritual movement and the book) is that since many men think the Rosary is a "woman's prayer", presumably because the petitions are addressed to Mary, they ignore, or are ignorant of, its spiritual power. Again, I disagree with that basic premise, but it isn't as if I've discussed this issue with many men. So, Calvillo might be right.

Be that as it may, in RMPTR Calvillo explains what the Rosary is, and why everyone, men and women, should pray it. Each chapter also includes a Toolbox (spiritual exercises) that introduce the Rosary to someone who may find praying it daunting. And Calvillo also includes practical activities that men can introduce into their domestic life to involve the rest of the family in praying the Rosary.

I highly recommend Real Men Pray the Rosary for anyone curious about, or interested in, learning to pray this devotional prayer.

I would also recommend following RMPTR on Facebook.

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