Book Review: A Storm of Swords

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords: Booke Three of a Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin (New York: Bantam Books, 2000. 1216 pp) George R. R. Martin is an American author and screenwriter of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Born in New Jersey, Martin earned a B.S. and M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University. He began writing fiction in the early 1970s with his first works earning him a Hugo and Nebula award. In the 1980s, he began writing in Hollywood for the Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. Martin is best known for his critically acclaimed epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which was developed into Game of Thrones, an HBO television series. *Spoiler Alert for Previous Books in Effect throughout Review* Marriage is what… Read More →

Book Review: God of the Oppressed

God of the Oppressed by James Cone

God of the Oppressed by James H. Cone (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1975. 300 pp) James H. Cone is the Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. Cone earned his B.A. from Philander Smith College, his M.Div. from Garrett Theological Seminary and later, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Known as the founder of black liberation theology, Dr. Cone has won the American Black Achievement Award, the Martin E. Marty Award for Public Understanding of Religion, and the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award. He is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church . Isolation at Thanksgiving Do you remember early Thanksgiving dinners at the kid’s table? The feeling of being there but not being… Read More →

Film Review: The Master

The Master written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (The Weinstein Company, Ghoulardi Film Company, Annapurna Pictures, R, 144 minutes) Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. The Boat and Its Prop Wash Praise be to a boat. Its ability to move from point A to point B. Its revolutionary ability to float despite comprised of non-floating materials. Praise be to the captain. A sailor with capable hands. A firm direction. A destination and a plan to get there. But what about the water? It has no say in the matter. In fact, one might even consider it an obstacle. Without it, there’d be no need to develop a boat. Water is the passive substance gliding beneath the… Read More →

Television Review: House of Cards: Season 1

House of Cards: Season 1 developed and produced by Beau Willimon (Media Rights Capital, Panic Pictures, Trigger Street Productions, Netflix) Starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Kate Mara, and Corey Stoll. Welcome to the Future of Television I can’t tell you how many times I’ve complained about cable. For me, an avid sports fan and a connoisseur of shows with more depth than network television can offer, I would probably only pay for sports channels and AMC if I had a choice. But I don’t. It’s either all or nothing, and at this point I go for all just to get something. But what if television could be an entirely different endeavor? What if you could pay for what… Read More →

Book Review: Confessions of a Pagan Nun

Confessions of a Pagan Nun: A Novel by Kate Horsley (Boston: Shambhala, 2001. 208 pp) Kate Horsley is an award-winning novelist and poet who writes about the untold lives of people who lived during times of dramatic historical upheaval. She teaches English at Central New Mexico Community College. Tracing History I know it is a pretty obvious statement but have you considered the differences between modern life and those of our ancestors. Obviously, from a technological perspective, life is irreversibly different; shelter to transportation, nutrition to wellness—every aspect of life carries little to no resemblance to the lives of people 100 years ago, let alone those living much earlier in our shared history. Interestingly, consider the advancement of Christianity. Over… Read More →

Television Show Review: Boardwalk Empire: Season 2

Boardwalk Empire: Season Two created by Terence Winter (Home Box Office, Leverage Management, Closest to the Hole Productions) Starring Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, and Kelly Macdonald. Real People Do you ever feel like characters in television series lack depth? On one side, they exist as a funnel for catch phrases and pithy one-liners. On the other side, characters represent philosophical systems. Their mannerisms and dialogue feel stunted, unusual, and unreal. Why is it so difficult to write real people? Boardwalk Empire seems to do it well. The Power Play of Atlantic City Season Two begins with James “Jimmy” Darmody (Michael Pitt) conspiring with his father, the Commodore (Dabney Coleman), and Elias “Eli” Thompson (Shea Whigham) to remove Enoch “Nucky” Thompson… Read More →