Audio book roundup, volume 2

Ok, it’s that time again: time for another round of recent audio book reviews, as seen over on my GoodReads.

God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We SufferGod’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer by Bart D. Ehrman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s sort of telling that the sections I skimmed the most were the direct references from the Bible that Bart very meticulously pours over. When he would veer back into personal anecdotes or actual examples (rather than just hypotheticals) of human suffering, that’s when I would tune back in with interest.

I spent my entire childhood and young adulthood in Sunday Schools and church services, enough to hear all those old Bible stories 10 times over. So really, an exhaustive look into the Scriptures about where the Bible stands on suffering wasn’t really so enjoyable.

But I was surprised to find in this book a good explanation on Apocalypticism and how both Jesus and Paul adhered to this view. It’s no wonder my Pentecostal upbringing was so obsessed with dark eschatology!

I found that I align with Bart’s view, that pain and suffering is best explained via the Ecclesiastes route: that much of it — along with the good and peaceful moments — are fleeting and transitory. Best to soak it up before it’s gone.

The Dog StarsThe Dog Stars by Peter Heller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very like Walking Dead or The Road in tone, bleak and survivalist. But there are beautiful rays of hope and humanity throughout.

It’s very obviously written by a man, as the scenes of lovemaking and male sexuality are so clearly from the male perspective, yet without being chauvinistic. They are respectful and driven by consent, yet clearly in an end-of-the-world environment.

When You Are Engulfed In FlamesWhen You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For whatever reason I didn’t find myself as engrossed in this one as his previous books.

NakedNaked by David Sedaris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun, in that uniquely Sedaris sardonic and self depracating way.

The Last of the President's MenThe Last of the President’s Men by Bob Woodward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another fantastic volume in the Nixon era library of downfall chronicles.

And once again, I’m astounded at the eerie similarities with our current administration, particularly the culture in the White House of secrecy and legacy. In the case of the latter, It was so fascinating to hear that Nixon was incredibly self-conscious about how others perceived him in comparison to his predecessor. He went so far as to ban all photos of JFK in the offices of his entire staff.

Life of PiLife of Pi by Yann Martel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a great story! I loved that it was mostly unlike anything I’d ever read before, with just a slight familiarity to The Martian in that there was some slow minutia with survival at sea.

But the fantastical nature of Pi’s coincidence, being trapped on a boat with zoo animals provided a wonderful parallel to a life of faith and spirituality. The unlikeliness of his circumstances make for an analog to the vagaries of religion.

Pi is a student of world religions. He’s a consummate guileless progressive, absorbing the qualities of Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism.

I can always predict how much I like a book by the number of quotes I retain from it. This book is no different. Here are a great collection:…

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