4 out of 4 stars
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Nick Weber playfully explores topics such as art, science, politics, philosophy, and religion in his collection of thirteen essays, Recess Time. Weber likens the titles of his essays to playmates and describes his inspiration for the collection: "...the richest experience anyone has or can have its to be found when the mind wanders through the recesses of one's memory and imagination. These are the mind's recess times, not the overtly productive and organized efforts to figure something out." Weber humorously toys with the imagination while also posing relevant questions and contemplating historical figures, such as Einstein, Shakespeare, and Mother Earth.
Weber brings an array of eclectic experiences to this professionally edited and unique collection, ranging from acting professionally to serving as a Jesuit priest and performing in the circus for over twenty years. The book also includes nostalgic and humorously captioned photographs from his vast travels. While readers will enjoy Weber's romps to explore meaning in everyday occurrences, they may also appreciate his musings on more serious topics. For instance, in "Integrity," he addresses the lack of options available for elderly non-ambulatory voters who reside in the senior community where he lives. In the interest of political integrity, Weber also included a letter he wrote to the housing administrators regarding the issue.
One need not espouse to Weber's specific philosophies to enjoy reading his musings. My favorite aspect of the collection is the rich awareness that he brings to his essays by drawing from his experiences related to the arts. In addition to his expertise regarding circus performance, Weber is knowledgable about classical dance, music, and theatre, as illustrated in "Art." I also appreciate the infectious sense of humor that he conveys in his writing, such as his disclaimer in his essay about sex: "This writer is fully aware that writing on such a subject as an eighty-year-old lifetime bachelor incurs a risk of seriously limited data and potential bias on the subject. But oh, the memories and imaginings."
My least favorite of the collection was the first essay, "God." Although Weber's musings were intended to be humorous, suffice it to say that I wasn't amused by his interpretation of God's "last name." I found this particular essay a precarious way to begin the book. Since the typical Amazon preview feature isn't available, readers whose interest is piqued in a collection penned by a former Jesuit priest may be unprepared for the irreverent humor.
Nonetheless, I rate Recess Time 4 out of 4 stars. Weber's witticism will entertain readers who appreciate philosophical musings. The book will also appeal to readers interested in theology and the arts. Sensitive readers should note that it contains profanity and nonexplicit sexual references.
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