Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Time!

Today I'll talk about two books, but surprise, they aren't fantasy. They aren't even fiction. Funny for me, I know.

First off, I'll introduce, Goodbye Basil, a book by my uncle, Tom Smikoski. Here's the Amazon review I wrote:

I think of Goodbye Basil as a sort of a Jean Shepherd meets Rick Santorum (It Takes a Family). We walk through both American history and through Tom Smikoski's own life (growing up in Chicago) observing changes in U.S. attitude and culture.

The book is at once a memoire and a social science study. Tom's love for God shines through his words as he begs the reader to remember the Christian values that built the United States. He points out that as we lose our religion and replace it with moral relativism, we lose so much and even the very value of human life diminishes in society's mind.
No, the country was never perfect. Our founders and every generation on down to our parents (and ourselves) were human, and therefore not perfect. However, even if each one didn't live up to the principles we all hold dear, that doesn't mean we should cast aside the principles themselves.
I found Goodbye Basil to be an inspirational journey.

Goodbye Basil is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or ask them to order it if you don't see it at your local book store. The more we ask for quality books, the more they will stock them. :)


The other book I wish to share is called Memorize the Faith! (And most Anything Else) by Kevin Vost. Basically Vost teaches mnemonics to memorize everything from the Seven Sacraments to the Stations of the Cross. But you can apply the techniques to anything.

I picked up this book a while ago after hearing Mr. Vost interviewed and I was intrigued, but I didn't get around to really using it until recently. I say, "using" it because it is more than a book to read. You'll be moved to memorize things!

He gives tips on how to work with kids and my twin nine-year-old daughters love it.  They draw these rooms that are more elaborate than the ones suggested in the book, but the images sure stick in their minds.

The aspects of the faith they learn, stick with them. I'll tell you a little story that happened the other day. My husband was flipping channels in the bedroom and paused at the movie "City Slickers." One character says, "I committed adultery." One of our girls paused outside the door and gasped, "That's the sixth commandment."

Now, I'm not telling this story to complain about my husband's channel flipping habit (blah), but, to illustrate that the Commandments and other items of faith we memorize become part of us.

You can get Memorize the Faith! (And Most Anything Else) at Sofia Institute Press , Amazon, or ask for it at your local Catholic book store.

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