A Peachy Books graphic showing a thorn crown and a diagram of the planets revolving around the sun, on a sand coloured background, that says What Did Jesus and Galileo Have in Common? in brown lettering.
Blog Roll, book reviews, Kids Books, Middle Grade, non-fiction, Sciences

What Did Jesus and Galileo Have In Common?

One might think that the Father of modern science would bear no commonality with the Father of Christianity (son when in the flesh), but there were similarities. 

Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a city in Galilee, and Galileo’s last name was Galilei. Ok, maybe that one is a coincidence. More to the point, both were courageous enough to challenge previously held beliefs about the universe, and both were (at best) misunderstood and punished for their messages. Galileo lived the last of his days under house arrest, and Jesus perished on the cross.

Whether a Christian, a follower of science, or a believer in both, one must admit that history shows how people have rejected change and are unwilling to accept new ideas, beliefs, or innovations.

How is it that we remain unaccepting with thousands of years of separation and drastically different lives? Fear of the unknown is a timeless contributing factor, to be sure, yet I am inclined to believe it is the voices at the top that lead the charge who have the most influence over what is allowed as truth. 

No matter what point in history, there has always been a narrative elicited by those in the power positions, who seek to keep things as they are and as they can control. The proletariat, continually the victims of the prevailing propaganda du jour via politicians and other governmental authorities. By design, the controlling force directs the thoughts of the masses, inert in their apathy, as they are either too comfortable or too afraid to ask questions, myself included.

A people divided are a people easily controlled. Polarisation being the continually viable schtick used by the puppet masters to obfuscate what they benefit from behind, and off, the backs of the citizenry.

The time to question everything is now, like never before. The mechanisms to assist those at the top when manipulating our minds are perfectly manifest in the modern technologies of AI, social media, and the internet at large.

I do not expect change, as this has been the way since time immemorial, but I also cannot help but feel that given the current technologies mentioned, we have the power to turn some of this on its face.

It feels like we are at a fork in the road. If we could only band the people together, we could use the technology that they are so skillfully using against us, to unify and defend against their divide and conquer. 

Am I a dreamer? Probably. But I prefer dreaming big over accepting a scripted nightmare designed to keep me hating my fellow man. I have never been one to roll over and play dead, no matter how impossible things seem, so with something as important as our children’s future as a driving force, I sure as hell am not going to start now. 

There is always common ground to be found, even when belief systems and world views appear to be opposed. You must, however, be willing to look.

Below you will find my reviews for the two Who HQ series volumes detailing the very different, yet sometimes similar, Jesus and Galileo. 

Book cover for Who Was Galileo? by Patricia Brennan Demuth showing a bobble-headed Galileo holding on to a telescope on top of a roof, with a globe sitting beside him.

Who Was Galileo? was the Who HQ book that sparked my, and my son’s, love of this informative and fun series. We were so excited to try out one of these slim, non-fiction paperbacks with the amusing bobblehead covers when searching the library’s website.

We highly enjoyed the rudimentary summary of Galileo’s experiments and discoveries and were deeply frustrated by all that he had to deal with when battling the Inquisition in Rome.

Galileo’s defence of the belief originally put forth by the mathematician Copernicus – that the planets, including Earth, orbited around the sun – was contradictory to the teachings of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe and everything else orbited it. 

The Catholic Church, at that time, saw the denial of Aristotle’s beliefs to be heresy, and as such Galileo became disgraced and was banished to house arrest for the last eight years of his life. 

Eventually, in 1992, Pope John Paul II proclaimed his despair over the church having persecuted Galileo and his later proven scientific assertions. Too little too late, as they say, but a nod to science and truth, nonetheless.

After enjoying its concise information and the black and white sketches adorned throughout, I decided to take a peek and see if there were any more books in the series available at my favourite discount bookstore. As it turned out, there was a whole slew of these little historical gems just waiting for me, and we now have a big pile to draw from, so stay tuned for our thoughts. 

Book cover for Who Was Jesus? from the Who HQ series, written by Ellen Morgan showing an illustration of Jesus standing by the waters edge with a basket of fish, and fisherman on a boat out in the water.

After being absorbed by the book Who Was Galileo? a couple of weeks ago, my son and I immediately placed an order for a tonne more of the series. I may have gone a little crazy, but they were a good deal, so… Each book offers an escape into the life of a fascinating figure, but after sifting halfway through the pile the lad selected Who Was Jesus? as our first.

My husband and son are of Greek descent, and all of us are baptised Greek Orthodox, so stories about Jesus are not new to our reading rotation. Although not extensive, the timeline gave an appropriate and complete picture of Jesus’ story for my 8-year-olds intellect.

We learned about: Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, his disciples, the miracles he administered, his enemies, his Crucifixion, the Gospels, and symbols of the Christian faith. We also enjoyed the section that detailed how Jesus was represented in Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.

Again, I was impressed by the breadth of information provided in such a slim book. The sketches add a richness to the narrative that will keep readers riveted. I am sure most of you have read these already, and I am just late, but if you have not yet, get into them, you won’t be disappointed!

Today’s post is bought to you by the Beatles! Please stop and enjoy this musical interlude to brighten up your busy day. 😉

Peachy Books' graphic for September in Review showing the following books as being read this month: What is the Stanley Cup? by Gail Herman, Minor Detail by Adania Shibli, Come Closer by Sara Gran, The Twits by Roald Dahl, At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, and My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Blog Roll, Monthly Reading Recall

A Dark, Spooky, and Sombre Month

Peachy Books’ September in Review

Happy October! September has proven to be exceptionally emotional. We celebrated our wedding anniversary and my birthday, and my son made me a carrot cake, so there were some great times.

Image of a carrot cake with shredded carrot and chopped walnuts on top.

But with yesterday being the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation here in Canada, the month is passing with me feeling sombre and contemplative. 

We remember Canada’s monstrous treatment of the Indigenous peoples, the horrors of the government’s Catholic Residential School system, and that Every Child Matters, today and every day. 🧡

With getting my son back into his school routine, making special celebratory meals, and doing some fall organising, things have been a little hectic around here. I was hoping to make a bigger dent in my suffocating TBR pile, but, no dice. Maybe next month.

Most of the titles that I did read were super dark and required reflection and processing. I’ve been reading selections from the Booker International Longlist for 2021, over the last couple of months, so you can expect to see a post detailing my thoughts on those affecting stories sooner than later.

It took me an entire week to push my way through the disturbing imagery, manipulation, and slow lead-up to the depressing conclusions of My Dark Vanessa.

Vanessa is a grown woman lost in the darkness of her memories of a teenage life coopted by her sexually abusive high school English teacher. Years after he abused her, when another victim speaks out publicly, she has no choice but to face what happened to her and what role she might have played in her destruction.

What a kooky story this was! Mr. and Mrs. Twit are a highly unlikeable pair who spend their days playing disgusting pranks on each other when not holding animals captive in their backyard.

With their yard essentially a prison for the family of monkeys they keep locked up in a cage, and the endless amount of birds they trap each week to make a special bird pie, they are enemy number one to these innocent creatures.

How will the mistreated exact their revenge on the wicked duo?

To listen to my dramatic reading of Chapters 1 – 6, click here.

The cover for At Night All Blood is Black is very striking. I love the optical effect and what the hand means to the story, which I will refrain from revealing for spoiler’s sake.

This psychological novella is as much about the horrors of war as it is about the fragility of a mind trapped in helpless combat.

David Diop had me riveted from the outset as we follow a Sengalese man turned soldier, fighting for the French army on the front lines of World War I.

I’ve been attempting to step outside of my comfort zone and read a few scary stories this fall. Well, I did it! I picked up Come Closer by Sara Gran and didn’t need to stop before the end.

The big question for me at the end of this quick story is, am I truly the bitch I’ve always thought myself to be, or have I simply been possessed?

I’d rate this spooky tale a bit better than average, as it swirls together the evils of possession with the lunacy of insanity.

You know you are fully immersed in a story when you find yourself holding your breath. Minor Detail presents us with a horrific crime committed against a captive woman in 1948 in the Negev desert, as Israeli soldiers worked to dispossess the Palestinian population and claim Israeli independence.

In the second part of the book, we are in the passenger seat as a woman from across boundary lines in Ramallah attempts to find out what happened to that woman in the Negev 25 years before.

In life, she struggles to maintain within the boundaries imposed upon her. This is evidenced by her mission, driving in restricted areas with a rental car and a coworker’s ID, obsessed with finding out the truth.

We are hockey fans in this house – I know, big shocker, a family of Canadian hockey fans – GO LEAFS GO!

In What Is the Stanley Cup? Gail Herman takes us down a historic path to the game’s and its treasured trophy’s beginnings. Packed with fascinating information and accompanying sketches, this little book is sure to wow any hockey fan, rookie or veteran.

Have you read any of these? What was your top read for September?

Coming Soon to Peachy Books…