Jump to content

2018 Reading Journals


Recommended Posts

Here we go again. Nonfiction in bold. Usual caveats about time-finished rather than time read.


James, Henry. The Aspern Papers (novella)

Bloom, Harold. The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime

Baptist, Edward E. The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.

Burke, James Lee. Robicheaux.

Woods, Gregory. Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World.



Greenblatt, Stephen. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.

Cassara, Joseph. The House of Impossible Beauties.



King, Stephen. 'Salem's Lot. (re-read; first time was audiobook)

Hendrix, Grady, and Will Errickson. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction.

Herring, Scott. Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism

Russell, Ray. Incubus 

Shakespeare, William. The Sonnets

Goenawan, Clarissa. Rainbirds.

Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckinridge 

Vidal, Gore. Myron



Blank, Hanne. Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality.

Vidal, Gore. Sexually Speaking: Collected Sex Writings. Donald Weise, ed.

Sherry, Michael S. Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy

Robin, Corey. The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump.

Haralson, Eric. Henry James and Queer Modernity

Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckinridge (second reading)

Halberstam, Judith. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Sonnets from the Portuguese

Kahan, Benjamin. Celibacies: American Modernism & Sexual Life.



Downs, Alan. The Velvet Rage

 Bérubé, Allan. Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II

Jorgensen, Christine. A Personal Autobiography

Bernthal, J.C. Queering Agatha Christie: Revisiting the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

Bogus, Carl T. Buckley: William F. Buckley, Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism

Koenig, Laird. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.

King, Stephen. Carrie.



Ladino, Jennifer K. Reclaiming Nostalgia: Longing for Nature in American Literature.

Martin, Justin. Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America’s First Bohemians 

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird

Olson, Lynne. Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight over World War II, 1939-1941

Olderman, Raymond M. Beyond the Waste Land: The American Novel in the Nineteen-Sixties.



Greenblatt, Stephen. Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics

Marsh, John. In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself

Vonnegut, Kurt. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: Or Pearls Before Swine

Richardson, Robert D. First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process.

Dark, David. Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, the Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons. (Re-read--my fourth)



Moore, Alan. V for Vendetta

Moore, AlanLeague of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II

Flynn, Gillian. Sharp Objects

Richardson, Robert D. Emerson: The Mind on Fire

Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckinridge (third reading)

Updike, John. Rabbit, Run

Vonnegut, Kurt. Breakfast of Champions

Sterne, Laurence. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. (re-read)



Perlstein, Rick. Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of American Consensus

Levy, Emanuel. Small-Town America in Film: The Decline and Fall of Community



Tyler, Parker. Magic and Myth of the Movies.

Walls, Laura Dassow. Henry David Thoreau: A Life.

Edelman, Lee. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive

Wilson, Sloan. Small Town.

Perlstein, Rick. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives.

Mann, Charles C. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus.



Pynchon, Thomas. The Crying of Lot 49 (third reading)

Tryon, Thomas. The Other

Morrison, Toni. Sula

Perlstein, Rick. The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

Reynolds, Simon. Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-First Century



Muñoz, José Esteban. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. 

Baker, Emerson W. A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience.

Halberstam, Jack. The Queer Art of Failure

Gunn, Drewey Lane. Gay American Novels, 1870-1970

Horowitz, Mitch. Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation

Jones, William P. The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights

Edited by NBooth
Link to comment
Share on other sites


- Why Liberalism Failed (2018) - by Patrick J. Deneen

- Waiting on the Word (2015) - by Malcolm Guite

- Prince Caspian (1951) - by C.S. Lewis

- The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods (1921) - by A.G. Sertillanges

- Paris in the Present Tense (2017) - by Mark Helprin

- Four Quartets (1943) - by T.S. Eliot


- Some Permanent Things (2014) - by James Matthew Wilson

- Thomas Traherne: Poetry and Prose (1650s-1670s) - by Thomas Traherne

- The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (1920s-1960s) - by Winston Churchill

- A Country of Marriage: Poems (1973) - by Wendell Berry

- The World of Silence (1948) - by Max Picard


- Leisure: The Basis of Culture (1948) - by Josef Pieper

- Letters to a Diminished Church (2004) - by Dorothy L. Sayers

- Liturgy and Personality (1933) - by Dietrich von Hildebrand

- Tickets for a Prayer Wheel (1974) - by Annie Dillard

- The Consolation of Philosophy (525) - by Boethius


- The Word in the Wilderness (2014) - by Malcolm Guite

- Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York (2016) - by Francis Spufford

- The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson (2017) - by Homer

- The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in the Western Tradition (2017) - by James Matthew Wilson


- Feel Free: Essays (2018) - by Zadie Smith

- Rumi: Poems (1260s) - by Rumi

- Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (2009) - by James K.A. Smith

- The Innocence of God: Does God Ordain Evil? (2012) - by Udo Middelmann


- Whose Bible Is It?: A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages (2005) - by Jaroslav Pelikan

- Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith (2007) - by Scott Hahn

- Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith (1989) - by Peter Gillquist

- Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism (1993) - by Scott & Kimberly Hahn

- The Orthodox Church (1963) - by Timothy Ware

- Confessions (A.D. 397) - by St. Augustine


- An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845) - by John Henry Newman

- Endless Life: Poems of the Mystics (2014) - by Scott Cairns

- Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry: Encyclopedia, Genealogy, and Tradition (1990) - by Alasdair MacIntyre


- The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings (2015) - by Philip & Carol Zaleski

- Art and Scholasticism with Other Essays (1920) - by Jacques Maritain


- Building the Benedict Option: A Guide to Gathering Two or Three Together in His Name (2018) - by Leah Libresco

- Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic (2018) - by Peter Kreeft

- Stunned by Scripture: How the Bible Made Me Catholic (2018) - by John Bergsma

- Freedom from Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty (2017) - by D.C. Schindler

- The Embassy of Cambodia (2013) - by Zadie Smith


- An Introduction to Philosophy (1921) - by Jacques Maritain

- We Have Been Friends Together & Adventures in Grace: Memoirs (1944) - by Raissa Maritain

- The Meaning of Tradition (1964) - by Yves Congar

- The Fortunes of Poetry in an Age of Unmaking (2015) - by James Matthew Wilson

- Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity (2014) - by Prue Shaw

- The Divine Comedy (1321) - by Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


- Vita Nuova (1294) - by Dante Alighieri

- On Beauty (2005) - by Zadie Smith

- The Book of Other People (2007) - edited by Zadie Smith

- Genesis (1988) - by Frederick Turner

- Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864) - by John Henry Newman


- The Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church: A History (2009) - by Joseph F. Kelly

- The Horse and His Boy (1954) - by C.S. Lewis

- Taken In Faith: Poems (2002) - by Helen Pinkerton

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...


Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel Kate Bowler, 4.5/5

Good Taste, Bad Taste, and Christian Taste: Aesthetics in Religious Life - Frank Burch Brown, 4/5

Anarchy and Christianity - Jacques Ellul, 3/5

Animal Farm - George Orwell, 5/5

The Girl I Left Behind - Shusaku Endo, 4/5

Christian Mission: How Christianity Became a World Religion - Dana L. Robert, 5/5

The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith - Andrew F. Walls, 4/5

Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology - James K.A. Smith, 3.5/5

Being Disciples: Essentials of the Christian Life - Rowan Williams, 4.5/5

To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity - Allan Heaton Anderson, 5/5

Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish - David Martin, 4/5

Anglican Evangelical Identity: Yesterday and Today - J.I. Packer and N.T. Wright, 3/5



Born Again in Brazil:  The Pentecostal Boom and the Pathogens of Poverty - Andrew R. Chesnut, 3.5/5

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose - Flannery O'Connor, 3.5/5

The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics - Christopher Lasch, 3.5/5

On the Abolition of All Political Parties - Simone Weil, 3/5

Blessed Anastacia: Women, Race, and Popular Christianity in Brazil - John Burdick, 3/5

With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology - Stanley Hauerwas, 2/5

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved - Kate Bowler, 4/5

Mr. Blue - Myles Connolly, 2/5

Pentecostalism in Brazil: Emotion of the Poor and Theological Romanticism - Andre Corten, 2/5 



Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture - Lamin Sanneh, 5/5

G.K. Chesterton: Radical Populist - Margaret Canovan, 4/5

To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism - Ross Douthat, 5/5

Religion and the Politics of Ethnic Identity in Bahia, Brazil - Stephen Selka, 4/5

Fire Sermon - Jamie Quatro, 4/5

How God Became African: African Spirituality and Secular Thought - Gerrie Ter Haar, 4/5

Whose Religion is Christianity?: The Gospel Beyond the West - Lamin Sanneh, 3/5

Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture - Grant Wacker, 4/5



The Personal Heresy: A Controversy - C.S. Lewis, & E.M.W. Tillyard, 1/5

Celluloid Sermons: The Emergence of the Christian Film Industry, 1930-1986 - Terry Lindvall & Andrew Quicke, 4/5

Consider Your Calling: Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation - Gordon T. Smith, 3/5

Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock - Gregory Alan Thornbury, 5/5

Where Do Broken Hearts Go?: An Integrative, Participational Theology of Grief - W. Ross Hastings, 4/5

The Second Baptism of Albert Simmel - Rodney Clapp, 4/5



The Devil's Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock'n'Roll - Randall J. Stephens, 3.5/5

Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages - Etienne Gilson, 4/5

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived - Rob Bell, 2/5

Jayber Crow - Wendell Berry, 4/5

The Rise and Fall of the Complementarian Doctrine of the Trinity - Kevin Giles, 2/5

Protestantism and Progress: The Significance of Protestantism for the Rise of the Modern World - Ernest Troeltsch, 4/5

Edited by winter shaker

He finds no mercy

And he's lost in the crowd

With an armoured heart of metal

He finds he's running out of odd-numbered daisies

From which to pull the petals

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

January 2018

Antony and Cleopatra - This might be, as many critics (like Harold Bloom and Harold Goddard argue), Shakespeare's most kaleidoscopic and opulent play. And Cleopatra, as Shakespeare imagines her, might be Shakespeare's best woman character after Rosalind, Cordelia, Juliet, and a few other of Shakespeare's tragic heroines (including his most beautiful and fragile, Ophelia)

Twelfth Night - my favorite Shakespeare comedy next to The Merchant of Venice

Macbeth - ever since I read this in senior year of high school I've always had a special fondness for its imaginative, troubled, and tormented hero-villain. Plus it has a great use of poetry by almost all the characters, but best of all Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Lots of memorable phrases and sayings come as a result of Shakespeare's linguistic creativity here.

King Lear - this might be Shakespeare's greatest play. Of course Hamlet is the other candidate

The Oresteia by Aeschylus - this is my favorite Greek work after The Iliad

Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus(?) - this is like the Ancient Greek version of King Lear, it's so cosmic and sweeping even though it's set in one place and focuses on a hero who's bound to a rock

Pericles - part of it is awful, but the stuff that Shakespeare wrote (from acts 3-5) is great and looks forward to the other 'late romances' he writes.

Cymbeline - overstuffed but still great; a lot of fantastic poetry, and the self-parody of King Lear, Measure for Measure, Othello, and more is so palpably entertaining and breathtaking that I couldn't help but be amazed. And Imogen is as good as the Romantics thought she was. 

The Winter's Tale - my favorite of the Shakespearean 'late romances,' and I actually like the tonal shifts from semi-tragedy in the first 3 acts to a kind of romance in the next two acts. Leontes is a madman, but I find his poetry, contorted and complex and turbulent, to be some of the best Shakespeare wrote, and his change to repentance feels believable and representative of how true repentance and sorrow works. I think I like this late romance the best because it allows for a providential happy ending while not neglecting the costs of jealousy and irrational sin. Plus, it has the Exit, pursued by a bear stage direction (memorable alongside Enter Lear with Cordelia in his arms)

The Tempest - still the great final play that I remember it being. 

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - interesting for the first half, the next part becomes quite tedious to me.

February 2018

War and Peace (still reading this since last year)

The Iliad by Homer (in Caroline Alexander's translation)

Sanctuary by William Faulkner (the "potboiler" that Faulkner wrote for money and which Harold Bloom considers quite good)

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (reading this for the first time)

Electra by Sophocles (not as great as some of Sophocles' other dramas, but still great)

Walden by Henry David Thoreau - has tedious sections but is overall a wise, reflective work of American literature

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...