Watch: Argo

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Article Reviews
Directed by Ben Affleck (Warner Brothers, 2012)

Films based on true events face the dual challenge of making real life captivating on the big screen and of keeping a story engaging for an audience that likely already knows the ending. Director and star Ben Affleck’s Argo successfully does both, as the film takes a few necessary liberties with historical details in order to create a movie that is suspenseful to the very end.


USC Book Club: A Private History of Happiness

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Article

November 2012:

A Private History of Happiness: Ninety-Nine Moments of Joy from Around the World

By George Myerson

Review:

It’s no secret that happiness is meant to be shared, and that is exactly what George Myerson has done in a big way in A Private History of Happiness. By sharing pieces of letters and diary entries spanning thousands of years and several continents, Myerson helps us glimpse small moments where people in other times and places found a bit of bliss.


Read: The price of inequality

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
By Joseph Stiglitz (W.W. Norton & Co., 2012)

Pope Paul VI argued that excessive economic inequalities were a “danger to peace” and that political power must be used to serve the common good rather than the special interests of the privileged. Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz echoes both of Pope Paul’s claims in his book The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future.


Read: Revelations

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Article Reviews
By Elaine Pagels (Viking Press, 2012)

Seven-headed dragons, locusts with human faces, and armies of monsters could all be elements in popular fantasy novels. Instead, they have a much older origin: the Book of Revelation. In Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation, Elaine Pagels explains how these battle scenes and beasts developed from John’s vision into a book of the Bible.


Watch: Robot & Frank

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Article Reviews
Directed by Jake Schreier (Samuel Goldwyn Films, 2012)

Christopher Ford and Jake Schreier’s film is a quirky, amusing, and occasionally honest caper comedy about an aging burglar who mistakenly breaks into his own home. Frank (Frank Langella) is a former second-story man no longer capable of keeping his own house in order. The milk in the fridge is sour, the rooms are littered with junk, and Frank keeps forgetting that all his favorite eateries have long since closed.


Listen: Grab a root and growl

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Article Reviews
The Citizens Band (Press Hear Records, 2012)

Pop music and musicians have long been an integral part of our presidential election circus. The non-partisan “Rock the Vote” campaign has rolled along in the mainstream for two decades now, but Grab a Root and Growl is the most unlikely presidential election year pop music project you could possibly imagine.


USC Book Club: Why Stay Catholic?

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October 2012:

Why Stay Catholic? Unexpexted Answers to a Life-Changing Question

By Michael Leach

Review:

Ask Catholics what frustrates them about their church and you’re likely to be in for an earful. But Michael Leach has plenty of reasons—50 of them, in fact—why being Catholic is worthwhile not only for our heavenly reward but here on earth, too.


Read: Keys to the Council

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Article Reviews
By Richard Gaillardetz & Catherine Clifford (Liturgical Press, 2012)

October 11 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. While the church continues to be roiled by debates over the council’s meaning, an increasing number of Catholics have no personal memory of it. “What exactly was Vatican II?” they might reasonably ask.


Read: Reading God's Handwriting: Poems

By Marjorie Maddox| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
By Philip Kolin (Kauffman Publishing, 2012)

Philip Kolin’s Reading God’s Handwriting: Poems is a book of action, not of superheroes swooping down on comic book pages to save the day, but of a real God purposefully scribing his truth through scripture, nature, and our lives. In turn, God’s handwriting or, as Kolin portrays it, “God’s hand, writing,” calls us to action through lectio divina, the vigorous spiritual ritual of communing with the living word by reading, contemplating, and acting on the sacred words of scripture.


Listen: O' Be Joyful by Shovel and Ropes

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Article Reviews
O' Be Joyful
Shovels and Rope (Dualtone Music Group, 2012)

The band name suggests a Western movie scene of hanging and burial while the album title sounds like a line from a psalm of praise. On O’ Be Joyful, Shovels and Rope make a noise that is rough and rustic but at the same time downright jubilant. The lyrics tell tales of poverty and hardship that also celebrate a life of love and creativity.


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