Sunday book notices

Three books I have read recently and can recommend, in case you are looking for something to load up on your Kindle or arrange on your shelves.

Walking the Road to God: Why I left everything behind and took to the streets to save souls by Lawrence Carney
Father Carney just spends hours walking around town. What makes the difference is that he does so wearing his cassock and soup plate hat, and carrying a rosary and a crucifix. His book is a simple account of some of the meetings that has experienced and some of the conversations that have arisen with people who see him and start talking.

The result is a charming and sometimes quite moving witness to the power of basic evangelisation. Fr Carney certainly gives the lie to anyone who thinks that traditional clerical dress is a barrier to dialogue and encounter, to use the fashionable terms. The secret of Father Carney's apostolate is his own happiness in his experience of Our Lord, particularly in the Holy Mass (which he celebrates in the usus antiquior) and his desire to share that joy with others. Occasionally, I was tempted to think that the book was repetitive, but corrected myself, reasoning that it would do me good to hear the same lesson again.

Bl Miguel Pro by Ann Ball
A good short life of the lively priest and martyr of Mexico. Ann Ball brings out the selfless courage of Blessed Miguel Pro, masked by his self-deprecating sense of humour which was a feature of his life from childhood. God gave him the grace of a model martyrdom in which he first prayed on his knees, then explicitly forgave and blessed his executioners, then stretched out his arms and called out Viva Cristo Rey! while the firing squad took aim. The anti-clerical President Calles had photographs taken of the martyrdom, hoping to scare Catholics into submission, but they became so popular, and encouraged the people so much in their faith, that he soon had to ban possession of them.

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu
A fascinating and detailed examination of the rise of the telegraph, telephone, radio and television with lessons that Tim Wu applies to the internet. Whether he is right remains to be seen, of course, but his treatment has a lot of interesting historical detail and is worth reading for that alone.

(Links go to the Amazon UK page for each book. I link to the Kindle edition because that is how I read most new books these days, but you can easily click around if you want the paper and glue version.)

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