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click to enlarge - Dream When You're Feeling Blue -  -  - Elizabeth Berg  - Random House, $24.95/hardcover -  -  - Elizabeth Berg's newest novel, Dream When You're - Feeling Blue, tells the tale of three Irish-Catholic - sisters growing up in Chicago during World War II. After - saying goodbye to their overseas-bound boyfriends, - Kitty, Louise and Tish Heaney settle into the daily life for - girls left behind: working factory jobs, writing nightly - letters to their men and dressing up for USO dances. It's - a sentimental story, delving intimately into the girls' - experiences with love and loss, while giving off a true - historical ring. And yet it never quite hits the Berg-high - found in The Year of Pleasures or The Art of - Mending. If you remember or have a particular - interest in World War II, you may find this a sweet treat, - but for Berg fans, it's not a must-read.  - Kirsten Akens
  • Dream When You're Feeling Blue

    Elizabeth Berg

    Random House, $24.95/hardcover

    Elizabeth Berg's newest novel, Dream When You're Feeling Blue, tells the tale of three Irish-Catholic sisters growing up in Chicago during World War II. After saying goodbye to their overseas-bound boyfriends, Kitty, Louise and Tish Heaney settle into the daily life for girls left behind: working factory jobs, writing nightly letters to their men and dressing up for USO dances. It's a sentimental story, delving intimately into the girls' experiences with love and loss, while giving off a true historical ring. And yet it never quite hits the Berg-high found in The Year of Pleasures or The Art of Mending. If you remember or have a particular interest in World War II, you may find this a sweet treat, but for Berg fans, it's not a must-read. Kirsten Akens

click to enlarge I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith - Through an Atheist's Eyes -  - Hemant Mehta  - WaterBrook Press, $13.99/ - paperback  -  - This book's title is not simply a clever allusion to - atheism. Author Hemant Mehta did, in fact, auction his - soul on eBay, for $504. Since the self-described "friendly - atheist" couldn't ship his soul to the winning bidder, he - agreed to attend the church of the winner's choice at $10 - per hour. The winner, an author and former preacher, - asked Mehta to go one better and attend 15 churches of - various sizes and flavors (including the Springs' own - Calvary Worship Center and New Life Church) and report - his impressions in writing. The result is a thought- - provoking, yet respectful, critique that should be read - not only by those with questions of faith, but by every - Christian who wants to understand church from the eyes - of the "target audience."  Jill Thomas -
  • I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith Through an Atheist's Eyes

    Hemant Mehta

    WaterBrook Press, $13.99/ paperback

    This book's title is not simply a clever allusion to atheism. Author Hemant Mehta did, in fact, auction his soul on eBay, for $504. Since the self-described "friendly atheist" couldn't ship his soul to the winning bidder, he agreed to attend the church of the winner's choice at $10 per hour. The winner, an author and former preacher, asked Mehta to go one better and attend 15 churches of various sizes and flavors (including the Springs' own Calvary Worship Center and New Life Church) and report his impressions in writing. The result is a thought- provoking, yet respectful, critique that should be read not only by those with questions of faith, but by every Christian who wants to understand church from the eyes of the "target audience." Jill Thomas

click to enlarge The Witch of Portobello -  - Paulo Coelho  - HarperCollins, $24.95/hardcover -  -  - Brazilian Paulo Coehlo happens to be one other thing - aside from the "fifth bestselling novelist in the world": He - is the undisputed king of teabag quotations. His latest - tale of a remarkable, empowered woman named Athena - is stocked with gems such as, "Don't confuse the teacher - with the lesson, the ritual with the ecstasy, the - transmitter of the symbol with the symbol itself." (Oh, - he's good.) Coehlo constructs the narrative as a - collection of taped transcriptions from the people who - knew the female protagonist best. For this reason, it - reads kind of choppy. And with some Goddess talk, a - sprinkle of Christ symbolism and a snoozer of a witch - hunt, it isn't exactly a page-turner. I say reread The - Alchemist, instead.  - Matthew Schniper -
  • The Witch of Portobello

    Paulo Coelho

    HarperCollins, $24.95/hardcover

    Brazilian Paulo Coehlo happens to be one other thing aside from the "fifth bestselling novelist in the world": He is the undisputed king of teabag quotations. His latest tale of a remarkable, empowered woman named Athena is stocked with gems such as, "Don't confuse the teacher with the lesson, the ritual with the ecstasy, the transmitter of the symbol with the symbol itself." (Oh, he's good.) Coehlo constructs the narrative as a collection of taped transcriptions from the people who knew the female protagonist best. For this reason, it reads kind of choppy. And with some Goddess talk, a sprinkle of Christ symbolism and a snoozer of a witch hunt, it isn't exactly a page-turner. I say reread The Alchemist, instead. Matthew Schniper

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