Travels with Penelope

Travel, Food, Wine, Spirituality and Everything Else

December 7, 2015 Fields of Blood


Following the Thanksgiving rituals and the conclusion of visits from umpteen out of town family members I finally found time to get back to my Portuguese journal. But when I tried to write, I found myself with an unusual case of writer’s block. Poor Portugal. Feeling sick from the recent events in Paris and more senseless killings that followed, I had to put pen aside while I tried to make some sense of it all. There is no excuse for the killings, but I felt I needed to come to some kind of helpful, personal understanding about the events.

A few days into my processing I passed by The Avid Reader, a longstanding Davis, independent bookstore. In the window I noted Fields of Blood, by Karen Armstrong. While I did not find the title appealing, I have found Armstrong’s writings incredibly informative. A Ted prize winner among others, she has been called “one of the greatest writers on religion…” I entered the bookstore, perused her book and purchased it. Shortly, I settled into my favorite reading spot. After reading the introduction, I felt grateful that the book had landed in my path at this particular time. I have never recommended a book on this blog, but in this case I cannot but do so.

Check it out if you wish….


  1. Twice in one day, just heard an interview about this book today on NPR, said that we humans are wired for compassion and religions mimics that rather than the other way around. Be well and happy, Meg

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Hi Penelope,

    I have read the book and also recommend it. I heard karen on npr today at noon. Today’s Ted talk program was on compassion and she was on as a religious historian, telling how all religions have some tie to compassion. I have read her other book on the history of God and liked it also.

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