To enjoy this book rather that use it as a kind of "Ripley's Believe It or Not" reference book for Catholics, read the foreword written by the widow of this recently deceased author. She humanizes this lovely little book in a very touching way. LoBello's personal life motto was "Work hard, Pray hard, Play hard." This book is his play. The author was himself a respected journalist and this is his collection of tidbits that just did not have a proper place in print for him before. And, they are funny and fascinating. Having dallied with cigarette smoking myself once, I just loved knowing that Pope John XXIII succumbed on a regular basis. Who knew there have been Pope abdications and even a layman and a woman Pope??? Read the Book! The last part has longer sections on a few topics that need time. Here is where LoBello's talent as a writer is truly evident. He takes a few provocative topics like Exorcism, Canonization, and the Vatican as Film Maker, and makes for great reading on them. The chapter on Pope Pius XII and his assistant, Sister Pasqualina, is riveting. Between her and Pope Joan, LoBello makes the men on the throne a shade paler. I read this book in one well-spent hour, and it is still a keeper. I will reach for it over and over and over.
Nino Lo Bello has provided a fun and fascinating look into the Vatican and Catholic Church. While I am not a Catholic, I found it easy to read and it explained many aspects of the Church. It dealt honestly with some of the Church's dark history. I also gained an even greater respect and admiration for Pope Paul II. It is a fun and informative read.