Books About Popes, Past & Present, Fact & Fiction

With so much focus on the Vatican at the moment, this seems a good time to take a spin through the world of Pope related books. But with so many to choose from, and of greatly varying quality, where to start? To help sift the wheat from the chaff, I turned to our Facebook friends (yes, I know technically they're fans but I prefer to think of them as friends), and posted the following question:

"I'm looking for books to recommend about the Papacy - both fiction and nonfiction. If you know of a "best in class" book about Popes past or present, or about the Vatican/Catholic Church in general, please do post. Thank you!"

Below are some of their recommendations:



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The Best Love Stories by First Time Authors

Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and what better time for a good old fashioned love story. But what to recommend?

I posed the question to our Facebook followers, specifying that we weren't interested in books starring gushing regency heroines or bare chested cowboys but instead wished to seek out quieter stories that explore love and relationships. Within a couple of hours we had over 100 recommendations - far too many to include here, so we've chosen to focus just on some of the debuts, and will return to this topic again in the future:

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Recommended Books about Modern-Day Slavery & Human Trafficking

In 2011, President Obama proclaimed January 2012 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month:

"With the start of each year, we commemorate the anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective on January 1, 1863, and the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and submitted to the States for ratification on February 1, 1865.

These documents stand as testaments to the gains we have made in pursuit of freedom and justice for all, and they remind us of the work that remains to be done. This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, and in cooperation with our partners around the world, we can work to end this terrible injustice and protect the rights to life and liberty entrusted to us by our forebears and owed to our children."

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2012 BookBrowse Favorites & Award Winners

2012 BookBrowse Favorites
We are delighted to present our annual roundup of BookBrowse's Favorite Books. As in past years these books have been selected not simply on the number of votes each book received (as is the way with most "popular awards") but by asking our members and subscribers to rate each book they've read from a shortlist of titles, so that we can gauge how good a book is rather than just counting votes - as a simple vote count tends to favor the best selling books, which as we all know, aren't always the best! Only those already on our mailing list were eligible to vote so as to minimize vote stuffing - about 5000 votes were cast.

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A Dozen Fantastic Fiction Recommendations for October

Tuesday October 2nd is one of the biggest publishing days of the year, if not the biggest, with hundreds of new titles hitting the shelves. None of us have time to read all of them, not even to read about them; so here, for your reading pleasure are half a dozen of the most notable, plus another half dozen publishing later in October. These are selected from more than 100 previewed October titles that members can view in full here.

Oops! Just realized that one of the dozen below is nonfiction - The End of Your Life Book Club. That's what comes of writing blog posts late at night! In fact, we're currently discussing this very book in BookBrowse's book club - please do join the discussion!

Enjoy!

Davina, BookBrowse editor

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Banned Books Week "Celebrates" 30 Years

Banned Books Week (Sept 30-Oct 6) is celebrating, for want of a better term, its 30th year!

Banned Books Week logoBanning books has a long and ignoble history going back into the mists of time. Possibly the oldest known ban was against 5th century BC Greek philosopher Anazagoras who made the mistake of suggesting that the sun is "white hot stone and that the moon reflected the sun's rays" - which caused him to be exiled from Athens and all his writings burned.

Of course, through much of history it wasn't just the writings that got burned but the writers themselves. Indeed, it wasn't even necessary to put pen to paper to find oneself atop a bonfire, or other equally nasty fate - a word, a deed, or even the mere suspicion of a thought could have been enough. So, I suppose we should be grateful that in the USA today we've evolved from burning people to merely attempting to ban their books.

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