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J.A.A. Purves

2014 Reading Journals

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Link to the 2013 thread.  Link to the 2012 thread.

* = repeat
Bold = link to written book review
 
My own rudimentary & overbroad ranking system is as follows.
- 5/5 - a masterpiece
- 4/5 - really good
- 3/5 - good
- 2/5 - not good
- 1/5 - quite bad
- 0/5 - a complete & utter waste

January
- Incarnadine: Poems (2013) - by Mary Szybist - 4/5
- The Place of the Lion (1931) - by Charles Williams - 4/5
- The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal & the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic (2010) - by Robert L. O'Connell - 3/5
 
February
- The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (translated by Edward FitzGerald, 1859) - 4/5
- The War Against Grammar (2003) - by David Mulroy - 4/5
- The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece - and Western Civilization (2004) - by Barry Strauss - 3/5
 
March
- The Moviegoer (1961) - by Walker Percy - 4/5
- The Sisters Brothers (2011) - by Patrick deWitt - 3/5
- Idiot Psalms: New Poems (2014) - by Scott Cairns - 4/5
- Galveston (2010) - by Nic Pizzolatto - 3/5
- The Common Man (2010) - by Maurice Manning - 4/5
- The Glacier's Wake (2013) - by Katy Didden - 3/5
- Sculpting in Time (1986) - by Andrei Tarkovsky - 5/5
- The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers (2001) - by Mark Skousen - 4/5
- The Gone and the Going Away (2013) - by Maurice Manning - 4/5
- Intimacy Ignited: Conversations Couple to Couple: Fire Up Your Sex Life with the Song of Solomon (2004) - by Linda Dillow - 0/5
- The Story Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against the Common Core (2013) - by Terrence O. Moore - 4/5
- Lawrence Booth's Book of Visions (2001) - by Maurice Manning - 4/5
- Orange Crush: Poems (2010) - by Simone Muench - 3/5
- Crime and Punishment (1866) - by Fyodor Dostoevsky - 5/5
 
April
- Pride and Prejudice (1813) - by Jane Austen - 5/5
- Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting (2014) - by Kevin Powers - 4/5
- Both Flesh and Not: Essays (2012) - by David Foster Wallace - 4/5
- Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace (2010) - by David Lipsky - 4/5
- Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto (2010) - by Mark Helprin - 4/5
- A Companion for Owls: Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Long Hunter, Back Woodsman, &c. (2004) - by Maurice Manning - 4/5
- The Jeweler's Eye: A Book of Irresistible Political Reflections (1968) - by William F. Buckley, Jr. - 4/5
 
May
- Iliad (700s B.C.) - by Homer, prose translation by Samuel Butler (1898) - 5/5
- Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey: A Biography (2007) - by Alberto Manguel - 3/5
- Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence (1991) - by Nick Bantock - 4/5
- Sabine’s Notebook: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin and Sabine Continues (1992) - by Nick Bantock - 4/5
- The Golden Mean: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin and Sabine Concludes (1993) - by Nick Bantock - 4/5
- Bucolics (2007) - by Maurice Manning - 4/5
- The Gryphon: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin and Sabine Is Rediscovered (2001) - by Nick Bantock - 4/5
- Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin and Sabine Unfolds (2002) - by Nick Bantock - 4/5
- The Broom of the System (1987) - by David Foster Wallace - 3/5
- The Venetian’s Wife: A Strangely Sensual Tale of a Renaissance Explorer, a Computer, and a Metamorphosis (1996) - by Nick Bantock - 3/5
- Room to Grow: Conservative Reforms for a Limited Government and a Thriving Middle Class (2014) - edited by Yuval Levin - 3/5
- Why the World Around You Isn't As It Appears: A Study of Owen Barfield (2011) - by Albert Linderman - 3/5
- Essays of Elia (1823) - by Charles Lamb - 5/5
- God Less America: Real Stories from the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values (2014) - by Todd Starnes - 0/5
 
June
- Rousseau & Romanticism (1919) - by Irving Babbitt - 4/5
- But Enough About You: Essays (2014) - by Christopher Buckley - 4/5
- Inherent Vice (2009) - by Thomas Pynchon - 3/5
- Language and Myth (1925) - by Ernst Cassirer - 3/5
- On Being Human (1936) - by Paul Elmer More - 4/5
- Sappho (570s BC) - by Sappho, translation by Mary Barnard (1958) - 4/5
- Harmonium (1923) - by Wallace Stevens - 5/5
- If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (570s BC) - by Sappho, translation by Anne Carson (2002) - 4/5
- Autobiographical Reflections (1973) - by Eric Voegelin - 5/5
- Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction (2002) - by Christopher Butler - 3/5
 
July
- The Master and Margarita (1967) - by Mikhail Bulgakov - 5/5
- The Golden Key (1867) - by George MacDonald - 4/5
- I Want To Show You More (2013) - by Jamie Quatro - 4/5
- The Solid Form of Language: An Essay on Writing and Meaning (2004) - by Robert Bringhurst - 3/5
- Literature and the American College: Essays in Defense of the Humanities (1908) - by Irving Babbitt - 4/5
- Theogony (700s B.C.) - by Hesiod, translation by M.L. West (1966) - 4/5
- Works and Days (700s B.C.) - by Hesiod, translation by M.L. West (1978) - 4/5
- The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left (2014) - by Yuval Levin - 4/5
- The Kraus Project: Essays by Karl Kraus (2013) - by Jonathan Franzen - 3/5

- White Teeth (2000) - by Zadie Smith - 3/5

 

August

- Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (2009) - by Zadie Smith - 3/5

- Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (1997) - by David Foster Wallace - 4/5

- The Rediscovery of Meaning, and Other Essays (1977) - by Owen Barfield - 5/5

 

September

- A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960) - by Walter M. Miller, Jr. - 5/5

- Once in the West: Poems (2014) - by Christian Wiman - 4/5

- Perfidia (2014) - by James Ellroy - 4/5

 

October

- Gilead (2004) - by Marilynne Robinson - 5/5

- Home (2008) - by Marilynne Robinson - 5/5

 

November

- Lila (2014) - by Marilynne Robinson - 5/5

- The Histories (400s B.C.) - by Herodotus, translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt (1954) - 4/5

- History of the Peloponnesian War (400s B.C.) - by Thucydides, translated by Richard Crawley (1874) - 5/5

 

December

- Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art (1982) - by Madeleine L'Engle - 4/5

- A Wrinkle in Time (1962) - by Madeleine L'Engle - 4/5

- A Wind in the Door (1973) - by Madeleine L'Engle - 4/5

- A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978) - by Madeleine L'Engle - 4/5

Edited by J.A.A. Purves

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January

 

- Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Vol. 1

Theron Humphrey, Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project about Dogs and Physics

- Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ

Edited by Gavin Breeden

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January

 

Cool Gray City of Love:  49 Views of San Francisco, by Gary Kamiya - a great collection of brief essays about the history, geography, architecture, and culture of San Francisco

 

The Bonobo and the Atheist, by Frans de Waal - very interesting look at the origins of human morality and empathy from one of the world's leading primatologists

 

People Who Eat Darkness, by Richard Parry - semi-enlightening true crime story, about the murder of a young British woman in Tokyo

 

The Rook, by Daniel O'Malley - decent fantasy novel, well-performed audiobook

 

 

February

 

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert - drags a bit in the middle, but starts off kinetically, then has some very fun passages and deft characterizations, before finishing beautifully

 

For the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki - engaging tale of intersecting Japanese and Japanese-North American lives, read by the author to very good effect

 

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley - very amusing murder mystery with a likeable, precocious protagonist

 

Philomena, by Martin Sixsmith - great story, clunkily written

 

Existential Psychotherapy, by Irvin Yalom - took me 2-3 mos to slowly read and digest, but completely worth it; a masterpiece

 

The Death Class:  A True Story about Life, by Erika Hayasaki - despite the heavy subject matter (mortality, mental illness, trauma, suicide), this is invigorating and inspiring stuff; I blew through its 230+ pages in a weekend

 

March

 

Reminiscence and Life Story Work, by Faith Gibson - some light work-related reading

 

The Circle, by Dave Eggers - see comments in dedicated thread

 

Ozu's Tokyo Story, edited by David Desser - a terrific read for those who want to understand more about this great film, as well as its parallels with McCarey's Make Way for Tomorrow

 

Ozu, by Donald Richie - essential reading for those who want to understand Ozu's style and themes

 

A Drink before the War, by Dennis Lehane - my second Lehane audiobook; this could easily become a habit

 

Darkness, Take my Hand, by Dennis Lehane

 

The Storytelling Animal:  How Stories Make Us Human, by Jonathan Gottschall - so good, I'm going to start a thread about it

 

The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag, by Alan Bradley

 

 

April

 

Sacred, by Dennis Lehane - more audiobook goodness

 

The Age of Atheists:  How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God, by Peter Watson - very readable 550 page overview of developments in the arts, philosophy, and theology since Nietzsche; highly recommended

 

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, by Jean-Dominique Bauby

 

May

 

Gone Baby Gone, by Dennis Lehane

 

Prayers for Rain, by Dennis Lehane

 

Caesar:  The Life of a Colossus, by Adrian Goldsworthy - his dry prose style could stand some polishing (or moistening?), but it's certainly comprehensive and fairly interesting

 

Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare

 

Wind, Sand, and Stars, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - the more I read about this chap, the more I admire him; I figured it was time to read something by him besides The Little Prince

 

Noggin, by John Corey Whaley - a charming, poignant young adult novel; I bought it for my daughter but ended up reading it first

 

June

 

Night Flight, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - a solid novella, if not as engaging as Wind, Sand, and Stars

 

Flight to Arras, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - falls in between Wind and Night, in terms of Saint-Ex's writing

 

The Fault in our Stars, by John Green - a topnotch novel, YA or not

 

Looklng for Alaska, by John Green - notably inferior to the book above

 

Deconverted, by Seth Andrews - solid autobiography by the host of the excellent podcast "The Thinking Atheist"

 

Animal Madness:  How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves, by Laurel Braitman - accessible, interesting look at psychopathology and its treatment in our fellow creatures, wild or domesticated

 

July

 

The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan - a tad logorrheic, but essential reading in the face of the food-industrial complex and obesity pandemic

 

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - so deep, so wise, so simple, so beautiful

 

Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali - excellent autobiography of a woman leaving behind Islamic faith and misogyny on her journey from Somalia to the West

 

Saint-Exupery:  A Biography, by Stacy Schiff - topnotch bio, that succeeds wonderfully at fleshing out her fascinating subject

 

Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala - engrossing audiobook about the author's experience with trauma, bereavement and remembering (she lost her entire family in the tsunami of Dec 2004)

 

The Wes Anderson Collection, by Matt Zoller-Seitz - easily the most aesthetically pleasing book I've bought all year

 

August

 

The Frangipani Hotel, by Violet Kupersmith - a solid debut of short stories about the ghosts inhabiting Vietnam, America, and the spaces in between

 

A Primate's Memoir, by Robert Sapolsky - very good autobiography of a baboon primatologist's misadventures in Africa

 

Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study, by George Vaillant - informative if sometimes dry look at the discoveries of one of history's largest prospective studies (following its subjects since the 1930's!)

 

September

 

Letters to a Young Contrarian, by Christopher Hitchens - excellent brief distillation of Hitch's life and worldview

 

The Better Angels of our Nature:  Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker - exhaustive, exhausting, yet seminal read

 

Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert - well-performed audiobook; I had forgotten how affecting the realistic/romantic events of this story were

 

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami - a solid entry into the Murakami canon; probably closest to Norwegian Wood, with its dearth of supernatural elements

 

Deep, by James Nestor - excellent science and adventure writing, about freediving and the creatures who lives in the deep sea

 

Nomad, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali - more prescriptive than autobiographical (for the latter, read Infidel), but still a very useful look at what's ailing Islam

 

Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, by Christopher Hitchens - very good brief (< 150 pages) overview of this crucial historical, humanistic work

 

The Drop, by Dennis Lehane

 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan - because it's good to occasionally read what my kids are reading, and even better when it's enjoyable and affirming

 

October

 

Jaguar, by Alan Rabinowitz - interesting mix of cultural and natural history, by the biologist who was instrumental in founding Belize's jaguar reserve in the 1980's

 

Masters of the Planet:  The Search for our Human Origins, by Ian Tattersall - one of the definitive popular accounts of hominid/human evolution

 

The Missionary Position:  Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, by Christopher Hitchens - a thorough takedown

 

The Children Act, by Ian McEwan - best new work of fiction I've read this year (and I wasn't a prior fan of McEwan's work)

 

Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan - I found the succinctness, storyline, and characters much more engaging in The Children Act, but still a very solid tale

 

November

 

Rumours of Glory, by Bruce Cockburn - see the thread I started

 

The Expanding Circle:  Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress, by Peter Singer - very good exploration of the interface between evolutionary psychology and ethics

 

December

 

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan - ambitious, partly successful, lyrical novel about the Australian POW experience during WW2

 

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel - excellent post-apocalyptic fiction

 

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand - prep reading for the movie; nowhere near as good the second time around - Hillenbrand has a great narrative to work with, but is a clunky writer

Edited by Andrew

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1/7 - Finished The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. What a complex and fascinating book, and the prose is darn near perfect.

1/9 - Finished The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A fine old literary romance with a Gothic manner and a Byzantine plot, not perfect in structure or style but sometimes casting a powerful spell for those (like me) who are at all susceptible to such things.

1/31 - Finished The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk. Some prefigurations of The Winds of War/War and Remembrance, but unlike them it's tightly focused and not about the war per se. Very good in places, especially toward the end.

 

2/17 - Read George Bernard Shaw's play Widowers' Houses, which is interesting and has some very funny lines but like many of Shaw's plays reads like an essay set to dialogue (not necessarily a bad thing).

 

3/28 - Finally finished Ray Monk's Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius. Absolutely superb biography.

 

4/10 - Finished Bruce Catton's This Hallowed Ground, a Civil War history concentrating almost exclusively on the North (there's another book in the series for the Confederacy). Should have read this years ago. I think it would reward a close reading.

 

Update, 10/15 - I lost track of this thread for a while, so I'll just list some of what I've read in the meantime:

Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheit-Berg. A very quick, easy read, not too deep but better than the movie.

Beloved by Toni Morrison. Loved this as much as I loved Song of Solomon. No one is better than Morrison at combining grotesquerie with incredible beauty.

Taliessin Through Logres and Region of the Summer Stars by Charles Williams, along with C.S. Lewis's commentary. I've been reading this unsteadily for several years. Often frustrating and often enchanting. I'll be returning to these poems often.

Shadows of Ecstasy by Charles Williams. Fascinating like all of Williams' novels, but the way it treats Africa gives me pause. It's not the only Williams book that arguably has racist undertones, but here they become impossible to ignore and harder to deal with. I'll need to spend some time figuring this out.

The Figure of Beatrice by Charles Williams. Very illuminating; the Dantean character of Williams' thought made him able to understand Dante better than most.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Wonderful.

Reread much of Tom Brown at Oxford by Thomas Hughes. A lesser-known sequel to Tom Brown's School Days that is much richer than the original.

 

10/22 - Finished Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. It only now occurs to me how few of these plotless, observational narratives I've read.

Around the end of October - Finished David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. Loved it. It makes me appreciate the movie more as well, though it shows a few places where the latter comes up short.

 

11/16 - Finished Eve Tushnet's Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith. Superb in every way. This will now be my go-to book recommendation on the topic.

Edited by Rushmore

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January

 

The Lucy Variations - Sara Zarr

Black Arts - Faith Hunter

 

February

 

NW - Zadie Smith

Ivy - Leesa Birch

 

March - April

 

The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss

 

May

 

Swords of Haven - Simon R. Green

More Information Than You Require - John Hodgman

Edited by Crow

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Not very impressive, but...

Jan.

Sculpting in Time — Andrei Tarkovsky
The Possessed — Fyodor Dostoevsky
Being & Nothingness — Jean-Paul Sartre
The Clown — Heinrich Böll
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time — Mark Haddon

Feb.

The Power and the Glory — Graham Greene

Brighton Rock — Graham Greene

The Plague — Albert Camus

A Season In Hell/The Drunken Boat — Arthur Rimbaud

The Unbearable Lightness of Being — Milan Kundera

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius — Dave Eggers

(reread) Pale Fire — Vladimir Nabokov

Mar.

 

Imperial Ambitions: Conversations with Noam Chomsky on the Post-9/11 World

All Men Are Mortal — Simone de Beauvoir

(partial reread: it's more of a summer book, as I had forgotten, but I got 300 pages in before remembering that I have an academic life, so I'm going to include it) The Recognitions — William Gaddis

Foucault's Pendulum — Umberto Eco

 

Apr.

(Note: The non-fiction titles are ones that I'd actually been reading in spurts over the past few months, so in a way, I'm just putting them here so that they are included.)

 

Middlesex — Jeffrey Eugenides

White Noise — Don DeLillo

The First Man — Albert Camus

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Prometheus Bound — Aeschylus

A Long, Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead — Dennis McNally

Narcissus and Goldmund — Hermann Hesse

The Things They Carried — Tim O'Brien

Zappa: A Biography — Barry Miles

(reread) The Fall — Albert Camus

Of Mice and Men — John Steinbeck

(reread) Introduction to Literature, Criticism, and Theory: Third Edition — Andrew Bennett & Nicholas Royle

The Passion — Jeanette Winterson

Death in Venice — Thomas Mann

Jude the Obscure — Thomas Hardy

Vietnam — Mary McCarthy

 

May

 

Acting on Film: An Actor's Take on Movie Making (Revised Expanded Edition) — Michael Caine

(reread) Fear and TremblingSøren Kierkegaard

Philosophical FragmentsSøren Kierkegaard

Dubliners — James Joyce

Absalom, Absalom! — William Faulkner

Finnegans Wake — James Joyce

Steppenwolf — Hermann Hesse

Invisible Man — Ralph Ellison

The Rebel — Albert Camus

Time Within Time: The Diaries 1970-1986 — Andrei Tarkovsky

Waging Heavy Peace: A Memoir — Neil Young

 

June

 

Immortality — Milan Kundera

 

July (partially Outdated Anthropology Month)

 

Portnoy's Complaint —  Philip Roth

Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag — Sigrid Nunez

Underworld Don DeLillo

Massacres of the Mountains J.P. Dunn Jr.

Following the Color Line Ray Stannard Baker

 

August
 

VEIL: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987 Bob Woodward

The Informant Kurt Eichenwald

Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut
Miles Beyond: The Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967-1991 Paul Tingen

September

Edited by Kinch

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January
2-The Prodigal God (Keller, Timothy)
9-Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices (Brooks, Thomas)
13-Gilead (Robinson, Marilynne) [Reread]
17-Neverwhere (Gaiman, Neil)
21-Hyperion (Simmons, Dan)
23-Kieslowski on Kieslowski (Stok, Danusia)

28-Fall of Hyperion (Simmons, Dan)

 

February

4-Winter's Tale (Helprin, Mark)

12-Placing Movies (Rosenbaum, Jonathan) 

 

March

19-Extravagant Grace (Dugid, Barbara)

26-Sense and Sensibility (Austen, Jane)

 

April

8-Words of Radiance (Sanderson, Brandon)

15-Men At Work: Cinematic Lessons from Abbas Kiarostami (Sani, Mahmoud Reza)

Edited by James Blake Ewing

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January

 

Poems - C.S. Lewis

A Grief Observed - C.S. Lewis

The Imitation of Christ - Thomas a Kempis

The Transforming Power of Grace - Thomas Oden

A Public Faith - Miroslav Volf

Out of Solitude - Henri Nouwen

For All God's Worth - N.T. Wright

On The Meaning of Sex - J. Budziszewski

A Rumour of Angels - Peter Berger

 

February

 

The Napoleon of Notting Hill - G.K. Chesterton

The Way of the Heart - Henri Nouwen

Foolishness to the Greeks - Leslie Newbigin

Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology - Andrew Louth

After Modernity...What? - Thomas Oden

 

March

 

Peace Like A River - Leif Enger

How To Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer - John Wesley

The Pursuit of God - A.W. Tozer

Humble Apologetics - John Stackhouse Jr.

Eucharistic Origins - Paul F. Bradshaw

Contemplative Prayer - Thomas Merton

Counterfeit Gods - Timothy Keller

Reformed & Always Reforming: The Postconservative Approach to Evangelical Theology - Roger E. Olson

Alive To Wonder: Celebrating the Influence of C.S. Lewis - John Piper

 

April

 

The Rebirth of Orthodoxy - Thomas Oden

Calvin vs. Wesley: Bringing Belief in Line with Practice - Don Thorsen

Journeys of Faith - Robert Plummer

God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades - Rodney Stark

Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace - Keith Stanglin & Thomas McCall

 

May

 

What Is Anglicanism? - Urban T. Holmes III

The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

A Wrinkle In Time - Madeleine L'Engle

What's So Amazing About Grace? - Philip Yancey

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind - Mark A. Noll

The Mortification of Sin - John Owen

 

June

 

Notes from the Underground - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Intimacy with the Almighty - Charles Swindoll

Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship - Leonard J. Vander Zee

The Wild Knight and Other Poems - G.K. Chesterton

The Giver - Lois Lowry

As Christ Submits to the Church: A Biblical Understanding of Leadership and Mutual Submission - Alan G. Padgett

 

July

 

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

On Nothing and Kindred Subjects - Hilaire Belloc

To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World - James Davison Hunter

The Confessions - St. Augustine

Perspectives on Our Age - Jacques Ellul

 

August

 

Sincerity and Authenticity - Lionel Trilling

The Shack - Wm. Paul Young

Spiritual Direction: A Guide to Giving and Receiving Direction - Gordon T. Smith

Who's Afraid of Relativism?: Community, Contingency and Creaturehood - James K.A. Smith

1984 - George Orwell

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality - Peter Scazzero

Dark Night of the Soul - St. John of the Cross

What Happened to Christian Canada? - Mark Noll

Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals are Attracted to the Liturgical Church - Robert E. Webber

 

September

 

Eruption to Hope - Jean Vanier

The Ordination of Women: An Essay on the Office of Christian Ministry - Paul King Jewett

Humility - Andrew Murray

The Tiber was Silver - Michael Novak

The Meaning of Tradition - Yves Congar

After This - Alice McDermott

Evangelical Versus Liturgical? Defying a Dichotomy - Melanie Ross

 

October

 

Holy Luck - Eugene Peterson

The Democratization of American Christianity - Nathan O. Hatch

Young, Restless and Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists - Collin Hansen

Joyful Exiles: Life in Christ on the Dangerous Edge of Things - James M. Houston

John Wesley's Doctrine of the Sacraments - John R. Parris

The Defendant - G.K. Chesterton

The Business of Heaven - C.S. Lewis

For All The Saints? Remembering the Christian Departed - N.T. Wright

The Law - Frederic Bastiat

Protestant Patriarch: The Life of Cyril Lucaris, 1572-1638, Patriarch of Constantinople - George A. Hadjiantoniou

 

November

 

The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity - Peter Brown

The Unquenchable Fire: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation - Michael Reeves

Christ and Culture - H. Richard Niebuhr

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business - Neil Postman

The Silver Trumpet - Owen Barfield

Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters - Iain Provan

 

December

 

Selected Poems - Thomas Merton

The Moviegoer - Walker Percy

Peculiar Treasures - Frederick Buechner

Paradox in Chesterton - Hugh Kenner

Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years - Diarmaid MacCulloch

All My Friends Are Still Dead - Avery Monsen

Elmer Gantry - Sinclair Lewis

Edited by winter shaker

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January 

 

The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper

White Knight (Dresden Files #9) - Jim Butcher

Bossypants (audiobook) - Tina Fey

 

February 

 

The Honourable Schoolboy - John le Carre

 

March

 

Small Favor (Dresden Files #10) - Jim Butcher

The Supper of the Lamb - Robert Capon

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture - Makoto Fujimura

 

April

 

Turn Coat (Dresden Files #11) - Jim Butcher

Changes (Dresden Files #12) - Jim Butcher

Shop Class as Soulcraft - Matthew Crawford

 

May

 

Tomcat in Love - Tim O'Brien

The Two Towers - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

June

 

Ghost Story (Dresden Files #13) - Jim Butcher

Mudhouse Sabbath - Lauren Winner

 

August

 

The Dunwich Horror and Others - H.P. Lovecraft

Caliban's War - James S.A. Corey

Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook (fifth edition) - Mike Mearls, et al

 

September

 

The Big U - Neal Stephenson

 

October

 

The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss

Kraken - China Miéville

 
November

 

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

 

December

 

Casting the Runes, and Other Ghost Stories - M.R. James

Storied Leadership - Keith Martel & Brian Jensen (forthcoming; by two close friends, served as proofreader)

 

Currently reading

 

A Dance With Dragons (audiobook) - George R.R. Martin

You Remind Me of Me - Dan Chaon

Cold Days (Dresden Files #14) - Jim Butcher

Style - Joseph Williams

Edited by Jason Panella

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Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture - Makoto Fujimura

Oh man, I heard really really good things about this two or three years ago but then inexcusably forgot about it. How was it?

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Oh man, I heard really really good things about this two or three years ago but then inexcusably forgot about it. How was it?

 

 

I liked it a lot. My expectations were that it would be a more nuts-and-bolts look at making art, but it's really about the culture of art. Most of the essays were drawn from blog posts Fujimura wrote between 2001 and 2007, and most of them tie into the terrorist attacks on 9/11 in some way (Fujimura lives/lived about three blocks away from the WTC). If you've heard him speak, there's a lot of recycled material here. But I'm OK with that. Plus, lots of nice images!

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- Sculpting in Time (1986) - by Andrei Tarkovsky - 5/5

 

Hey, a common stop! It's fascinating to watch Andrei develop throughout these writings, and it really makes me wish I also had his published diaries, so that I could make parallels. Is it just me, or does it seem like he reproached Rublev in later years? 

 

 

- Intimacy Ignited: Conversations Couple to Couple: Fire Up Your Sex Life with the Song of Solomon (2004) - by Linda Dillow - 0/5

 

That does sound terrible. The Song has such a fascinating place in the Judeo-Christian canons that to reduce it to the Let's Get It On in the vinyl collection that is the Bible (I cannot believe that I am going along with this metaphor) is a little insulting. I would make a Toni Morrison joke, but I have no idea as to how I could pull that off.

 

 

- Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ

 

That's the point where Nietzsche begins to make me cower in fright.

Edited by Kinch

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I liked it a lot. My expectations were that it would be a more nuts-and-bolts look at making art, but it's really about the culture of art. Most of the essays were drawn from blog posts Fujimura wrote between 2001 and 2007, and most of them tie into the terrorist attacks on 9/11 in some way (Fujimura lives/lived about three blocks away from the WTC). If you've heard him speak, there's a lot of recycled material here. But I'm OK with that. Plus, lots of nice images!

I'm moving it to the top tier of my reading list.

 

- Sculpting in Time (1986) - by Andrei Tarkovsky - 5/5

Hey, a common stop! It's fascinating to watch Andrei develop throughout these writings, and it really makes me wish I also had his published diaries, so that I could make parallels. Is it just me, or does it seem like he reproached Rublev in later years?

It's a rich book. I expected to read it much faster than I originally did, but instead I was forced to slow down because there is so much thought put into even just a couple pages. I don't remember reading anything negative about Andrei Rublev in it. And there doesn't seem to be anything where he discusses any regrets about it, like, here, for instance.

 

- Intimacy Ignited: Conversations Couple to Couple: Fire Up Your Sex Life with the Song of Solomon (2004) - by Linda Dillow - 0/5

That does sound terrible. The Song has such a fascinating place in the Judeo-Christian canons that to reduce it to the Let's Get It On in the vinyl collection that is the Bible (I cannot believe that I am going along with this metaphor) is a little insulting. I would make a Toni Morrison joke, but I have no idea as to how I could pull that off.

Oh, it's even worse than that. The only reason I flogged myself through it is because of my current church and Bible study. It's embarrassing, but they have essentially based a sermon series off the book. It's just yet another painful example of Evangelicals' inability to understand something like poetry. Instead of the poetry that it is, they are treating Song of Solomon like a marriage self-help book.

But don't think books like this are examples of Christianity though. Books like this are impoverished pseudo-psychology outside of the Christian tradition, even if they are currently being used by uneducated and theologically illiterate local churches. The book embarrasses me because I'd hate for anyone to think that it was an example of real Christian teaching. It's not.

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It's a rich book. I expected to read it much faster than I originally did, but instead I was forced to slow down because there is so much thought put into even just a couple pages. I don't remember reading anything negative about Andrei Rublev in it. And there doesn't seem to be anything where he discusses any regrets about it, like, here, for instance.

 

Thank you for that. Since I didn't know anyone who has read the book, I asked you just to what a fellow reader made of his comments. I might have gotten that impression from his criticisms of Burlyayev and Lapikov, and also seem to remember a later part (written at a point where his theory was more developed; you can literally see him sharpen the knife throughout) where he said that he found Rublev's structure disjointed in hindsight. (I know he regarded Solaris as the most disappointing of his features, at least for himself, but I still see more of post-Yusov Tarkovsky in Solaris than in Andrei Rublev.)

 

Also, Tarkovsky's comments on the West strongly recall Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn's famous 1978 Harvard commencement speech, if you ask me.

 

 

 

- Intimacy Ignited: Conversations Couple to Couple: Fire Up Your Sex Life with the Song of Solomon (2004) - by Linda Dillow - 0/5

That does sound terrible. The Song has such a fascinating place in the Judeo-Christian canons that to reduce it to the Let's Get It On in the vinyl collection that is the Bible (I cannot believe that I am going along with this metaphor) is a little insulting. I would make a Toni Morrison joke, but I have no idea as to how I could pull that off.

 

 

Oh, it's even worse than that. The only reason I flogged myself through it is because of my current church and Bible study. It's embarrassing, but they have essentially based a sermon series off the book. It's just yet another painful example of Evangelicals' inability to understand something like poetry. Instead of the poetry that it is, they are treating Song of Solomon like a marriage self-help book.

But don't think books like this are examples of Christianity though. Books like this are impoverished pseudo-psychology outside of the Christian tradition, even if they are currently being used by uneducated and theologically illiterate local churches. The book embarrasses me because I'd hate for anyone to think that it was an example of real Christian teaching. It's not.

 

 

Rest assured, I did not take this as any example of Christianity, much less a good one.

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(I'm typing via a school iPad, so I can't use my trusty italics. Don't worry, I'm not abusing any privileges: AP Psychology post-AP Test = down time. Subsequent PC edit )

Since it's such a special case, I have to ask: is it acceptable to include Finnegans Wake in one's reading journal? I did get through the entire book, but I did it more in a "wade from word to word" than a "go insane with annotations, whether yours or someone else's" fashion. So would it just be pretentious, or worse, dishonest to include it in this listing?

Edited by Kinch

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If you finished reading it, feel free to list it.  Don't worry about competition or pretentiousness here.  The purpose of this journal is for your own tracking rather than for everyone else.  The only reason I've encouraged doing this here together is that, given how we share a certain like-mindedness on some things, seeing what others are reading [a] encourages me to add more variety to my own reading when comparisons force me to realize my having limited myself to subject matter or time period, and prompts me to acquire different books I wouldn't initially have tried, particularly if someone gives a book a strong recommendation.

 

Finnegans Wake is a book worth working through multiple times.  There are certainly different ways of reading it.  I'd say it deserves at least one reading for the language rather than for note taking.

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