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Mini Reviews: Zealot by Reza Aslan and Poems That Make Grown Men Cry by Anthony Holden and Ben Holde


Zealot by Reza Aslan

3.5****

I found this to be an interesting and engaging, if not, however, terribly illuminating book. That being said, I am now interested in reading the author's newer book "God", to see him take on another aspect of religion. It is clear Aslan is devoted to researching a subject matter and adept at weaving in his own interpretation and philosophical analysis. He is a good writer and thoughtful, too, which made this a worthwhile read. It's not revolutionary, but it is thought-provoking and I'm glad I gave it a try, as it's really unlike my usual choice of reading material.

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry by Anthony Holden and Ben Holden

4****

I started reading this book thinking I am not the best judge of good poetry, yet when I finished it I thought, who really is? What makes poetry good is so subjective. It is merely whether it moves its reader. What do rhyme scheme and iamb matter, if the words arranged as they are conjure gooseflesh to your skin?

As with any anthology, some of these poems moved me deeply and others left me cold. It was interesting to read the reason of the contributors for choosing each work, and I found myself scribbling down a list of all the poems I liked best, a list which now holds a good twenty titles. This book was a big break for me from my usual fiction heavy fare, but I needed something different and am very glad I reached for something which might have been slightly intimidating to me. Recommended!

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