Radical & Free: Musings on the Religious Lifeby Brian O’Leary (Messenger Publications, €10.99)With vocations seemingly in permanent decline, there is a need, some Catholics might feel, for a book of this kind by an experienced lecturer, to explain to a sceptical age where the sources of a religious vocation lie.The answer to...

Warner’s love of food in all its variety and versatility greatly enlivens his provocative, most entertaining book.He argues that healthy eating involves moderate consumption of a wide range of foods.  The odd treat – a bag of crisps, a biscuit – does us no harm. The bag of chips that rounds off a jolly day at the beach with...

In the middle decades of the last century the National Geographic – then a magazine well worth reading – carried in the back pages a section of small ads for, among other things, elite schools. A feature of these were the ads for Military Academies. These were nothing to do with the US Army. They were private schools, largely for...

Ian d’AltonThis substantial and weighty (literally – it’s 635 pages come in at a little under 3lbs) is self-described as a textbook.  This does it both justice and injustice.  The textbook element – the extraordinary breadth of topics covered, and the timespan it professes to speak of (1740 to the present)...

Matt Talbot: An Introduction (Veritas, €4.99)Though this little book is unsigned on the title page, it is actually extracted from Mary Purcell’s Remembering Matt Talbot published in 1954. Mary Purcell was once a well known writer and her authorship should be recognised on the title page.When local veneration of Matt Talbot began to...

Online debate over converts in the Church, addressed in The Irish Catholic in the August 3 article ‘Late labourers can do vital work’, shows no sign of going away.Joseph Shaw, who blogs at lmschairman.org, posted on Twitter an interesting passage from Joseph Pearce’s book Literary Converts, detailing how the converts Arnold Lunn...

A bullet rings out in the night sky. It’s been discharged from a toy gun by a black man in a hotel room. Shortly afterwards the room is stormed by policemen. The people in the room are thrown against a wall. For the next hour they’re insulted, assaulted and threatened with death. Then murder occurs (I won’t say how). The...

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