Category: Book Summaries and Notes

Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

A story about two high school guys, both named Will Grayson. One is gay, one is straight (just like the authors) and in the middle of the book they meet.

I really felt so much of the emotion that the characters were going through in the book – it was wonderful.

Click for spoiler content Select

Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

As a child, the Harry Potter series was one of the first set of books that I really loved. I feel that it got me into reading, and they were easy to read.

In elementary school, a friend if mine, Peter, was always reading them, and though I found the name strange, I was extremely intrigued. It seemed he was the only person in the school that was reading in his spare time out of choice, every chance he had, nothing to do with school…

I asked my mum to get me the book, and the adventures commenced ~

I never felt that I related to any school houses in particular, but then came to associate with all of them in some way. I was sorted into Hufflepuff by facebook, and then Ravenclaw by Pottermore. I fell in love with sweet little Hufflepuff, which is oft looked down on and shoved to the side, and now show fidelity to the wisdom loving quirky, queer and individual Ravenclaw House. 

The God delusion by Richard Dawkins and God is not great by Christopher Hitchens

As soon as I had become an atheist, I read a possibly cliché, but unexpectedly wonderful book, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

Interestingly I have heard two Christians talk about the book, and they both said exactly the same thing. Perhaps there is some recourse online telling people how to “deal with the book”without having to actually read it. They petty much downplayed the validity of the book, saying it was attacking a false view of Christianity.

Of course Christians wasn’t to distance themselves from the atrocities committed by Christians all over the world and in our past history, but The God Delusion dealt with religion in general and was quite deep scientifically and philosophically.

I also read God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. It had some parallel themes and examples, like the modern cargo cult religions.

As a good, upstanding, Seventh-day Adventist Christian, I would have never read the books before, but I would encourage all to give them a go. I mean, if your faith is strong enough to move mountains, it should stand up to a bit of criticism and eye opening.

ExSDA – Group for exSDA people, leaving religion

Candide by Voltaire

I read this book for the first time while at a Church summer camp, December 2012.

This is the camp video I made:

Plot and story

I really love it. It’s a short story, with abrupt twists and turns. The opening was so amusing, I felt it cold, clinical and comic. Candide suddenly in an affair, is cast out into the terrible wide world and met with many atrocities and terrible experiences. 

One of the main themes was the conflict between what his spiritual mentor teaches, that the world is the best that it could possibly ever be, and the harsh reality which seems to present the opposite – that all is not the best that it could be.

The teacher’s view is that of many religions, that even bad things can teach us things, and so, are actually good, that if things were better/ different, that things would be worse in other ways. 

Background to my life while reading

I became an atheist that year 2012, June 5th, so I was for the first time really open to read some literature that was anti-Christian or anti-religious, and I really found joy and excitement at consuming something so “dangerous” while being preached to every day by Christians at this camp.

Acquisition of the book

I got this book from an opshop in Asquith, along with another: “The life of Benvenuto Celini”  both with the same beautiful Heron Publishing binding which is the Geniva publishing company often printing in Switzerland. The Celini and Candide books were printed in 1968 and ’69 respectively. 

You can see the book cover in the following video: