Books: The Truth Of The Matter
By Ray Saadi—Book Editor
WHAT DID JESUS ASK? Edited by Elizabeth Dias, Time Books $21.95
More than 70 leaders, both religious and secular, respond to questions asked by Jesus, many, if not most, rhetorical… “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Father James Martin deliberates on Jesus saying to two blind men asking for sight; “Do you believe I am able to do this?” Martin says that Jesus’ question comes in the middle of four different healings. One secular writer, Grammy winner, Michael W. Smith took exception to this one; “If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” Smith says while he can’t support the logic of that decision to risk 99 to save one, he can stand behind the results. “See, I was the one” he says…the sheep who lost my way. And, I’m so grateful that God was reckless enough to come find me.” Maybe not so sublime, but for him, the shepherd was right.
LOVE AND OTHER WAYS OF DYING By Michael Paternity, The Dial Press $28
In this outstanding collection of essays you’ll meet the man who drove across America with Albert Einstein’s brain in the trunk of his car; who picks apples with an 8-foot giant in the Ukrainian countryside and who describes the heartbreaking aftermath of a plane crash. The author is that man and he’s done all these things and more and writes about them with such feeling and expressiveness as to leave readers wanting more.
HOW DID I GET HERE By Jesse Browner, Harper Collins $24.99
Subtitled “Making Peace with the Road Not Taken,” Browner’s memoir asks, “How do you assess a mistake if you can’t be sure you made one?” At age 50 he experienced an epiphany that maybe, unlike the man in Robert Frost’s poem, he chose the wrong path. His life was not at all as he had assumed he’d be living by then and that perhaps he had taken the wrong road. But like Frost, “perhaps the road not taken ran perfectly parallel to the road less traveled by, for miles and miles. Perhaps, as they emerged from the woods, the two roads merged and led all walkers to the same destination.”