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  • Book gives grisly narration of Nazi WWII Holocaust of Soviet Jews

    "In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets" by Father Patrick Desbois. Arcade Publishing (New York, 2018). 281 pp., $24.99. This book is chilling reading. One wishes it were a novel rather than a factual recounting of the Nazi World War II slaughter of Jews in what was then the Soviet Union.

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  • Discussion of words' origins best taken in small bites

    "Angels, Barbarians and Nincompoops: ... and a Lot of Other Words You Thought You Knew" by Anthony Esolen. Tan Books (Charlotte, North Carolina, 2017). 280 pp., $24.95. If you're the type of person to ever wonder why the word "disgruntled" is commonplace, but calling someone "gruntled" decidedly less so, "Angels, Barbarians and Nincompoops" offers a rollicking ride through the forgotten histories of everyday words.

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  • Authors meld traditional, progressive views in book on Mass translation

    "Lost in Translation: The English Language and the Catholic Mass" by Gerald O'Collins with John Wilkins. Liturgical Press Academic (Collegeville, Minnesota, 2017). 122 pp., $17.95. Any Catholic curious about, or perplexed by, the current translation of the Mass prayers being used in English-speaking countries -- including, of course, the United States -- will find in this slim volume the best discussion of the topic currently available. It should be required reading for all clergy, particularly bishops.

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  • Serious history of catechesis deserves a wide readership

    "The Way of Catechesis: Exploring Our History, Renewing Our Ministry" by Gerard F. Baumbach. Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, Indiana, 2017). 299 pp., $27.95. In Luke 24:13-35, we find two of Jesus' disciples walking along the road, downcast following Jesus' death. They are soon joined by a stranger who proceeds to explain to them everything in the Scriptures. This story came to mind while reading Gerard F. Baumbach's "The Way of Catechesis" because in little more than 200 pages (the rest are footnotes and indexes), he explains the history of catechesis starting with the Old Testament through to the present day.

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  • Fun and fresh book appeals to hipster Catholics with spiritual swagger

    "The Catholic Hipster Handbook: Rediscovering Cool Saints, Forgotten Prayers and Other Weird but Sacred Stuff" by Tommy Tighe. Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, Indiana, 2017). 206 pp., $15.95. "Catholic Puzzles, Word Games and Brainteasers" by Matt Swaim. Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, Indiana, 2017). 64 pp., $9.95.

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  • Prophetic Bishop Barron offers tools to help Catholics evangelize

    "To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age" by Bishop Robert Barron with John L. Allen Jr. Image Books (New York, 2017). 260 pp., $27. "To Light a Fire on the Earth" is written by John Allen Jr. who poses various questions to Bishop Robert E. Barron on a wide range of topics, including Bishop Baron's early life, his seminary days, early influences, beauty, truth, goodness and, of course, evangelization.

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