Help! Today's the day I get to help out at the church daycamp and teach some kids to play chess. Please wish me luck! The thought has inspired me to think of another book I'd like to write, but first I'd like some time to write it in--a Bible book of chess where creation leads to the board, with the center like the mountain where Noah landed; pawns are Abraham and Lot's tribespeople fighting over water rights: rooks are born of those battles on the return to the Promised Land where cities, towers and the high ground made it hard for Joshua to prevail; bishops are like the prophets and priests who listened to God and sent out sneak attacks at just the right time; queens are like Deborah; knights represent the time when Israelite learned to use horses; kings can never be put in danger or killed, just like David refusing to kill Saul; and more... Well, I'm working on the more.
Anyway, I'm also working on the reading so here are a few more reviews. I think I need some coffee to keep me going!
Intended for Harm by C.S. Lakin sounds a good place to start, a wonderful modern-day allegory of the story of Jacob and Joseph in the Bible. It's sufficiently different to be completely original, with each Biblical reminder bringing a promise that despair will lead to hope. I really enjoyed it. A long, beautiful read, it demands a complex elegant 4-star coffee.
Hym and Hur by Philip Frey is a short story taking a much more tongue-in-cheek approach to spiritual issues when two curious imps negotiate the possibilities and disasters of a deal with death. A really fun short story, best enjoyed with a 2-star bright easy-drinking coffee.
The Magic Fault by Paul Mohrbacher continues the mildly religious theme with a tale of the theft of the Turin Shroud. Muslim, Lutheran, Catholic and Jew come together, as does faith, violence, magical thinking and big business. It's a fast-action thriller with some intriguingly thoughtful touches, best enjoyed with a 3-star well-balanced full-flavored coffee.
Poseidon's Children by Michael West brings ancient mythology into the present day as a possible shark attack leads to monsters, horror and disaster in a small coastal town. Gripping, intriguing, full of terrors and imagination, this was one I could hardly put down. Best enjoyed with a 5-star bold, dark, intense coffee.
And finally, even Amped by Douglas Richards, could inspire questions of faith--this must have been a good week for preparing to teach chess in church! Amped continues where Wired left off, with scientists trying to balance amplified intelligence with amplified scorn for humanity. At the same time, they're trying to save humanity from disaster, and the darker legions of human greed are trying to steal the secrets of how it's all done. Well-balanced and smoothly told, but pretty intense as well, perhaps you should start with a 3-star full-flavored coffee and keep a 5-star darker brew to hand.