Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Month: May, 2013

227: How to Like Paul Again by Conrad Gempf


227.06: Gempf, Conrad. How to Like Paul Again: The Apostle You Never Knew. Crownhill, UK: Authentic Media, 2013. 147 pp. ISBN 978-1-78078-061-0.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 200: Religion
  • 220: The Bible
  • 227: Epistles
  • 227.06: Exegesis

The Apostle Paul is cranky, cranky man. Those who read the Bible tend to get hung up on Paul and his polemics on how exactly one should conduct one’s life. He has rules and arguments for everything. But many of the wonderful turns of phrase that we use nowadays come from translations of Paul’s writing. Conrad Gempf’s How to Like Paul Again offers readers and Biblical students a second chance to understand Paul’s context as well as his content. In the end, we become better for it.

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966: Timbuktu by Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle


966.23: De Villiers, Marq & Sheila Hirtle. Timbuktu: The Sahara’s Fabled City of Gold. New York: Walker & Company, 2007. 266 pp. ISBN 978-0-8027-1497-8.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 960: History of Africa
  • 966: History of West Africa and offshore islands
  • 966.2: History of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger
  • 966.23: History of Mali

For many around the world, the mention of Timbuktu conjures images of a far-off land so remote that very few have even been there. Even the well-traveled have never been there. Many still consider it a mythical place. But for the 54,000 people who still live there, in a town mainly constructed from mud bricks, the city holds a rich place in the history of West Africa and Mali in particular. It was a part of the great Saharan trade routes, visited by the medieval explorers Leo Africanus and Shabeni, and ruled by the wondrous Mansa Musa during the 14th century. Marq de Villiers’s and Sheila Hirtle’s  Timbuktu is a rich journey into this long-forgotten place.

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233: God, Desire, and Theology of Human Sexuality by David H. Jensen


233.5: Jensen, David H. God, Desire, and a Theology of Human Sexuality. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. 139 pp. ISBN 978-0-664-23368-6.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 200: Religion
  • 230: Christianity
  • 233: Humankind
  • 233.5: Nature

David Jensen’s God, Desire, and a Theology of Human Sexuality is a genuine breath of fresh air in the discussion of how human sexuality, Christianity, ethics, and morality all intertwine. After years as a theologian and professor, he comes to a unique understanding on the matter. On the whole, his belief is that consensual, positive sex is a continual affirmation of one’s faith and relationship. His theology dismisses the old vilification of homosexual acts, but rather seeks to make the reader understand that is context, and not individual acts, that determines whether each act is honorable.

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622: Lost Mountain by Erik Reece


622.2920974: Reece, Erik. Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness—Radical Strip Mining and the Devastation of Appalachia. New York: Riverhead, 2006. 243 pp. ISBN 978-1-59448-236-6.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 620: Engineering
  • 622: Mining and related operations
  • 622.2: Excavation techniques
  • 622.29: Surface and underwater mining
  • 622.292: Surface mining
  • +0974: Northeastern United States

Erik Reece’s Lost Mountain is a no-holds-barred vilification of current mountaintop removal coal mining practices. He follows the course of several businesses who purchase and re-sell the permit to strip mine Lost Mountain in Eastern Kentucky from September 2003 to September 2004. Along the way, he reports on past court cases involving mining companies, how the law is bent to accommodate mining practices, and whether there are real, useful, sustainable ways to extract coal from mountains.

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915: Brian on the Brahmaputra by David Fletcher


915.416: Fletcher, David. Brian on the Brahmaputra: (With Sujan in the Sundarbans). Leicestershire, UK: Matador, 2013. 272 pp. ISBN 978-1-780886-879.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 910: Geography and travel
  • 915: Geography of and travel in Asia
  • 915.4: India
  • 915.41: Northeastern India
  • 915.416: Far northeast of India

In Brian on the Brahmaputra, David Fletcher delivers an unusual travelogue of India. Through the characters of Brian and Sandra (husband and wife), we explore the social, culinary, and natural landscape of northeast India. It is a true day-by-day account of a group of middle-aged British nature enthusiasts on an excursion to a newly-opened area of India. They travel up the Brahmaputra river through an area of India nestled between China, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Along the way, they share interesting stories, observe several new species of birds and mammals, and generally soak in the Indian countryside.

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530: Time Reborn by Lee Smolin


530.12: Smolin, Lee. Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. 273 pp. ISBN 978-0-547-51172-6.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 500: Science
  • 530: Physics
  • 530.1: Theories and mathematical physics
  • 530.12: Quantum mechanics

Time is both everywhere and nowhere. It is force we deal with everyday in a metaphysical sense as well as a phantom object. In the physics world, it has no real definition aside from what other theories and variables give it. After Einstein’s theories, it became relative; what was perceived as a certain time to one person could be different to another. Lee Smolin’s Time Reborn seeks to wrestle the relative and vanishing concept of time away from the quantum mechanical model and give it a physical presence in the universe. He wants to make time real.

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261: Hope After Faith by Jerry DeWitt


261.21092: DeWitt, Jerry. Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor’s Journey from Belief to Atheism. Boston, MA: Da Capo Press, 2012. 266 pp. ISBN 978-0-306-82224-7.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 200: Religion
  • 260: Christian organizations, social work, and worship
  • 261: Social theology and interreligious relations and attitudes
  • 261.2: Christianity and other systems of belief
  • 261.21: Christianity and irreligion
  • +092: Biography

Jerry DeWitt was a man of faith. The “was” is critical part in this book. For 25 years, he spent his life preaching, pastoring, and ministering to congregations in Louisiana and Iowa. Raised in the Pentecostal church, he grew up believing that he was destined to become one of the great pastors he’d seen on television. He spent his youth connecting with his religion and the Bible so that he could become such a preacher. And for a while, that worked. Until, one day, it all came crashing down. DeWitt’s Hope After Faith is a hard look at what happens to a person who decides that faith isn’t the answer for him.

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