Divine Mercy for Moms by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet (Ave Maria Press, £9.99). The authors planned this book to share the lessons of St Faustina and to demonstrate how they are applicable to an often forgotten constituency: mothers, especially those who stay at home. They hope that by sharing times in their own lives as wives and mothers when they have experienced God’s mercy, readers will realise they aren’t “supermoms with perfect kids” but simply people “still navigating the path of motherhood and sanctity”. They offer much good advice on practical ways to implement mercy at home.
Jeremiah: Prophecy in a Time of Crisis by Mary E Mills (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, £14.99). In this book, which is part of Bloomsbury’s updated series of study guides to the Old Testament, Mills tackles the complex text of Jeremiah. Beginning with an overview of the book’s main sub-sections, she details the various academic approaches to the text. We go through historical criticism and the search for a real Jeremiah, through to the rhetorical school, which focuses on textual meaning and coherence, and finally to a strong last chapter that prises out the theological meanings of this most scathing of prophets.
The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano (MacLehose Press, £8.99). An unnamed writer discovers a notebook from his teenage years and tries to retrace the paths of his younger self through a Paris that has now disappeared. Nobel Prize-winner Modiano’s slinky and enigmatic novel is a further exploration of the author’s obsession with loss and the ravages of memory. The protagonist tries to find the woman he was in love with 50 years previously only to discover that his memories are not as reliable as he believed. This is a poignant study of grief and how we become strangers to ourselves over the years.
Alternative Concepts of God edited by Andrei Buckareff and Yujin Nagasawa (Oxford University Press, £45). Most mainstream philosophical discussion about God’s existence leans heavily on conventional theistic notions: a single God who is omnipotent, who created the universe and is immaterial. Other options are available, even if some of them come with scary names such as panpsychism and religious fictionalism, as well as more familiar categories like pantheism. This collection guides the reader through the alternative concepts and makes several constructive criticisms.
Of All That Ends by Günter Grass (Harvill Secker, £12.99). This, the writer’s last book, was first published in German in 2015, the year of Grass’s death, aged 88. A collection of short passages, drawings and poems, it mixes references to his failing health, political comments, memories of childhood and worries about his teeth. Grass relates that he likes to use a goose quill and type on an old Olivetti typewriter. He and his wife order their coffins (later stolen from their cellar and then bizarrely returned). “Without [melancholy] there would be no art” he muses – but does not develop this thought.
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