This is a new feature here at NightlyReading where Alejandro will give suggestions of books that he has found. This will include different genres featured each week. I hope you enjoy, please let him know your thoughts by posting a comment or visiting his Goodreads page:
I still have enough material in the cycle of detectives, but I make a new pause due Easter week to comment on stories focusing on biblical characters where the details of their lives expand and / or taking possible angles about them. No doubt some of them will be known to you because of their popular film adaptations, but perhaps unaware that were originally books, in other cases it is not uncommon that you did not know of its existence, but that’s one of the purposes of these posts, to spread awareness about books of different topics to consider if they fit in your literary tastes.
This book by author Ki Longfellow is one of my favorites and is on my Top 10 favorite books. This is a novel published in 2005. One of the main reasons that I have enjoyed reading it so much is that it is focused on Mary Magdalene, which is my favorite biblical character ( if the term applies to religious figures like these ). The story told from the point of view of Mary Magdalene herself since she was 14 years old until a little beyond the crucifixion of Jesus. The novel does not attempt to be faithful to the Bible but didn’t also seeks to be offensive, but to offer a wonderful alternative to the true role that Mary Magdalene had in her own life, because honestly if you are satisfied on seeing her as a prostitute who suddenly just started follow a teacher, it is possible that this is not the book for you. But if you want to read the story of a woman who was not satisfied with the limitations imposed upon her by the macho culture of the time and found a way to learn and read everything possible and to find the truth about God, then it is quite possible that this is a book for you. My favorite moment in this book and easily one of the most epic I’ve read in a novel is contemplating the scene of a young Mary Magdalene entering the lobby of the Great Library of Alexandria. My favorite biblical character entering the most famous library in history . No words can reach to measure my excitement.
This book published in January 2013, is the latest work of the writer Reza Aslan and is the product of 20 years of intensive studies not only of the sacred scriptures of the Bible but of all possible documents on the social, political , military and religious issues of the relevant geographical areas in Bible times from all possible reliable sources. The goal is not to present the miracles and esoteric aspects related to Jesus Christ, but to achieve presenting a feasible reconstruction of the life of Jesus of Nazareth from the point of view of the historical frame .
Reza Aslan was born in a Muslim family that were forced to publicly renounce their religion because of the military-political situation in his native Iran, then they had to escape and then in the United States, he found for his own the Christian Faith and his fascination about Jesus’ life began. Later he went to college to obtain a doctorate in religious studies.
Currently, this is the book that I’m reading.
This novel published February 2013 by writer Tosca Lee is to present a feasible scenario of the life of Judas Iscariot, which presents from his tumultuous childhood to the epic moment where he met Jesus of Nazareth and he was convinced that he had finally found the expected messiah that would help liberate Judea from the oppression of the Roman Empire, however soon he realizes that the agenda of his new teacher is very different from what he expected.
This novel originally published in 1997 as the debut work of the author Anita Diamant quickly became a literary phenomenon and has since remained as one of the most popular new titles in the genre of biblical books. “The Red Tent” used as a narrator the character of Dinah, a daughter of Jacob, which fewer details are known. Jacob is a biblical character recognized by Christianity, but also Judaism and Islam. Through the eyes of Dinah, you get to see not only her coming of age in the rugged environment of a nomadic culture still searching for their place in the world, but also the true role, duties and importance of women in the biblical society.
A little-known facet of the controversial writer Orson Scott Card, author of the famous science fiction book “Ender’s Game” is that he published a successful book series on Women of Genesis. From this series of novels, the mainly highlights are the first three books, where the first focuses on the life of Sarah (wife of Abraham), the second centered Rebekah (wife of Isaac) and the third in the lives of Rachel and Leah (respectively second and first wives of Jacob).
The writer Jill Eileen Smith published a book series similar to the one by Orson Scott Card books, in this case titled “Wives of the Patriarchs” but using too Sarah (using her changed name to Sarai), Rebekah and Rachel also.
In addition, Jill Eileen Smith also published a series entitled “The Wives of King David,” focused on highlighting the most popular and relevant wives of King David. Each book focuses on one of those three wives: Michal, in the first book. Abigail, in the second one. And finally, Bathsheba, in the third book.
You will hardly find a person who has not seen the epic film “Ben-Hur” at some point in their lives. But some may not know that the film is based on a novel of the same title originally published in 1880 by Lew Wallace, who was a lawyer, 11th Governor of the Territory of New Mexico and also a general in the Union Army during the conflict of the American Civil War.
Judah Ben-Hur is a wealthy Jewish prince and prosperous merchant that due an innocent accident it alienates him from Messala, the new commander of the Roman legions in Judea, and with whom he had a friendship in its infancy. Ben-Hur is condemned to be enslaved without knowing the fate of his mother and sister. What Ben-Hur does not know is that their epic experiences will cross the path of certain teacher of Nazareth who came to change the world for those who believe in him.
Besides being an extraordinary novel, his great strength lay in opening the way for the possibility to create stories inspired by Biblical times but without necessarily focusing on the canonical characters in the Bible.
Another popular religious film is “The Robe” based on a novel originally published in 1942 by Lloyd C. Douglas, who was a minister of the church and in his later years he decided to enter the field of writing. When the novel was published in 1942 in just four weeks catapulted to the top of the New York Bestsellers list and remained there for almost a year. After that, the book returned to the list several times, including in 1953 when the film adaptation was made. “The Robe” was written just 9 years before the author’s death.
The plot of the film is slightly different but still focuses on Marcellus Gallio, a Roman tribune who due to political intrigue in Rome, is sent to command a detachment in Palestine. There, with his Greek slave, Demetrius, should lead the crucifixion of Jesus, which then earns the mantle of the Nazarene in a gambling game.
Undoubtedly “Quo Vadis” is another well known film from Easter week, it is likely that not many people know is that the film is based on a book originally published in 1894 by a Polish journalist, named Henryk Sienkiewicz, which not only was the most popular writer in Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries, but in 1905 he won the Nobel prize for Literature in its fifth year of that award.
The author prepared himself thoroughly studying the Roman Empire in order to present the most historically accurate as possible his story about Roman times under the rule of Emperor Nero and the beginnings of Christianity in that city.