50 Poems for My 50thby Sarah de Nordwall (Bard Press, £9.99). Spirited, provocative, tender and personal, these poems by the founder of the Bard School are a delight, reminding those with jaded appetites that the world is full of wonder and the task of poetry is to open our eyes to the mysterious beauty surrounding us. Composed after visiting places as far apart as Nova Scotia, a Croatian island and ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem, these zany yet insightful lyrics are a constant invitation to leave one’s treadmill and celebrate the imaginative and spiritual life within.
Fly While You Still Have Wingsby Joyce Rupp (Sorin Books, £11.99). The subtitle, “And Other Lessons My Resilient Mother Taught Me”, offers the clue to this loving, filial memoir. The author, a member of the Servite Community in Iowa, paints a moving portrait of her late mother, who raised eight children on a farm without modern conveniences and whose husband, though hardworking and faithful, was also domineering. Rupp wrestles with her own conflicted emotions when her mother becomes aged and infirm, as well as other regrets. An insightful book for others in the same position.
Who Designed the Designer?by Michael Augros (Gracewing, £11). The author uses the writings of Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas presents a convincing case for the reality of God. Augros combines disarming personal anecdotes with a lucid and conversational style to convey his arguments. The objections of atheists such as Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins are considered carefully and with erudition, as is evolution and the problem of evil. Non-academics who are interested in these questions will find this volume thought-provoking and useful in clarifying the case for God.
A Devil Under the Skinby Anya Lipska (Friday Project, £8.99). Lipska’s series of East London-based crime mysteries are some of the most refreshing around, primarily due to the recurring character of Janusz Kiszka, a Polish fixer who is one of the best creations in modern crime fiction. Running away from communist Poland at 18, Kiszka has a strange relationship with his priest but a strong and unwavering sense of moral justice. In this instalment, Russian human traffickers kidnap his ex-girlfriend. With the help of a policewoman, Natalie Kershaw, Kiszka hunts them down. Mordant, funny and trenchant, this is page-turning stuff.
Interceptby Gordon Corera (W&N, £20). Gordon Corera, the BBC’s security correspondent, wrote the great and compelling history of MI6, The Art of Betrayal. His new book deals with one of the most pressing issues facing the security apparatus today: how to use computer technology for its own ends and intercept the use of that same technology by terrorists and criminals. Corera writes with an admirable fluidity, tracing the fascinating history of the computer and its relation to spying.
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