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Close to finishing Solzhenitsyn's "In the First Circle", the re-edited version published in 08 or 09 of his 20th century classic, "The First Circle". Hadn't heard of the first one, but I've enjoyed his other novels. This is again well written, and he dives into a great deal of Christian spirituality in it through the conversations of the prisoners. Unfortunately, the Soviets had a lot of prisoners and its hard to keep track of who is who, even with a character list in the beginning.

Then on to "Biblical Eldership". Then hopefully to "Remains of the Day".

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I just finished Peter Scazzero's Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, which I expected to be a relatively worthless Five Steps to a Wonderful Life self-help fest, but which instead turned out to be a helpful account of one pastor's battles against being a self-absorbed jerk, and the sometimes painful practices he is trying to build into his life so that he can be changed slowly but surely over time. I thought it was quite wonderful, and very encouraging to self-absorbed jerks like me.

Andy, I had the same thoughts about this book when someone glad-handed it to me a year and a half ago. I found it pretty helpful, though, and I'm still glad I read it. My copy's been passed around a bit :)

I'm currently reading DH Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, Aimee Bender's Girl With the Flammable Skirt, and Douglas Coupland's Microserfs (first two for class). On deck I've got Clutching Dust and Stars by Laryn Bakker, published by my good friends at *cino.

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I am trying to become a Thomist :-)

I have recently read:

The Christian Philosophy Of St Thomas Aquinas by Etienne Gilson

Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide by Edward Feser

Reality and Painting by Etienne Gilson

Art and Scholasticism by Jacques Maritain

On the fiction side I have read several novels by Wendell Berry, one I am rereading for our book group: Hannah Coulter. Berry's novels have really struck a chord in me.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

For my devotional reading I am spending more time reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Spiritual Diary: Selected Sayings and Examples of Saints which is an amazing book. For each day of the year there is a quotation from a saint and then a commentary. Each month is devoted to a different virtue, like March is mortification. Very profound stuff.

Edited by Jim Janknegt
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I am trying to become a Thomist :-)

I have recently read:

The Christian Philosophy Of St Thomas Aquinas by Etienne Gilson

Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide by Edward Feser

Reality and Painting by Etienne Gilson

Art and Scholasticism by Jacques Maritain

I am trying not to become a Thomist. This isn't all that hard, really, but I do have to be careful, given that every young theologian thinks that we'd be ok if we just read (insert 20th Century theorist) in the light of Aquinas.

Gilson's Being and some philosophers was interesting, though.

p.s. John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock's book Truth in Aquinas is interesting if you want to become a sort of perverse, post-modern Thomist. Not sure why you, or anyone, would want that, but there we are.

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P

-Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster (using this for a small group I'm in; very life-changing, in a lot of ways...for instance, I've been waking up 5:30 a.m. for the past month now, to pray/read scripture)

Celebration of Discipline is a pretty amazing book. I've been trying to re-read it lately.

As usual, when I'm supposed to be busiest with academic stuff, I've plunged back into non-required reading. Somehow it's all related, though.

I just finished Terry Eagleton's Reason, Faith & Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate. I quite liked it. Currently reading Kathleen Norris' Acedia & Me, and trying to get through From Pagan to Christian by Lin Yutang. It's a memoir (kind of) about religious traditions in China from a personal perspective -- Lin was a mid 20th century public intellectual who kind of interpreted China to the West, as it were - he's a great writer but he crams in a ton of philosophy that's a bit hard to follow.

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I'm currently reading through the compilation Bearing the Mystery: 20 Years of Image, and am enjoying it very much. Such a rich body of work. I am getting ready to start Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace.

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I am re-reading Shelby Foote's 3-volume, 2,700-page brick The Civil War. This might take a while. But it's wondrous history, and superb writing.

I've been wanting to read this series for years! Gettysburg, Antietam and Manassas are favorite vacation spots. :)

Currently I'm reading Raven's Ladder and hoping to finish it this weekend. Loving it so far! :D I'm also reading The Necessary Grace to Fall by Gina Ochsner.

I just finished Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos and The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson.

The last three books incorporate the supernatural--right up my writing-interest alley.

I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I'm really absolutely sure of some things that I don't quite know.~~Rob Bell April/09 CT

http://whythewritingworks.com

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I am re-reading Shelby Foote's 3-volume, 2,700-page brick The Civil War. This might take a while. But it's wondrous history, and superb writing.

I've been wanting to read this series for years! Gettysburg, Antietam and Manassas are favorite vacation spots. :)

Well, if you read it, and if you recall Ken Burns' PBS series on the Civil War, you'll quickly realize where Burns cribbed his script. :) Shelby Foote was a wonderful writer, and without ever losing sight of the larger narrative, he found ways to be utterly and compellingly human throughout almost 3,000 pages.

I've been to Gettysburg and Antietam; haven't made it to Manassas. Have you ever seen the buses that pull up to Civil War battlefields and disgorge all the old guys with wraparound sunglasses? One of these days I'm going to be on that bus, with the sunglasses.

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Currently, I am reveling in the incomparable tales of Saki (H. H. Munro). Saki (1870-1916), an Edwardian writer of short stories and a few novellas and plays, is something of a combination of P.G. Wodehouse, Oscar Wilde, and Ambrose Bierce. He writes of children and animals with dazzling wit, invention, and audacity. In his hands, the self-righteous and the "horribly good" are met with cold justice, aunts are skewered by sarcastic nephews, and all good intentions and attempts at reformation are thoroughly thwarted.

Read some of Saki's stories here; special mention is due the wonderful stories, "The Lumber Room," "The Toys of Peace," and "Tobermory." A good overview of Saki's life and work is here. Also Christopher Hitchens wrote an appreciation in the Atlantic.

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I've been to Gettysburg and Antietam; haven't made it to Manassas. Have you ever seen the buses that pull up to Civil War battlefields and disgorge all the old guys with wraparound sunglasses? One of these days I'm going to be on that bus, with the sunglasses.

My wife and my sister-in-law would have loved an air conditioned tourbus when we visited Gettysburg. My brother, who has been through Foote twice, preferred his own exploration. it was tough. Then I saw the spot where Armisted died. Very personal and emotional. Glad I wasn't with a tourbus.

Edited by Rich Kennedy

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I am re-reading Shelby Foote's 3-volume, 2,700-page brick The Civil War. This might take a while. But it's wondrous history, and superb writing.

I've been wanting to read this series for years! Gettysburg, Antietam and Manassas are favorite vacation spots. :)

Well, if you read it, and if you recall Ken Burns' PBS series on the Civil War, you'll quickly realize where Burns cribbed his script. :) Shelby Foote was a wonderful writer, and without ever losing sight of the larger narrative, he found ways to be utterly and compellingly human throughout almost 3,000 pages.

My wife and I just finished seeing that (2nd time for me, 1st for her). We both love his interview segments in that.

I've been to Gettysburg and Antietam; haven't made it to Manassas. Have you ever seen the buses that pull up to Civil War battlefields and disgorge all the old guys with wraparound sunglasses? One of these days I'm going to be on that bus, with the sunglasses.

My mom was a Civil War buff and I grew up about an hour and a half from Gettysburg, so I've been there more times than I can count - we sometimes went 4-5 times a year on day trips.

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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I am re-reading Shelby Foote's 3-volume, 2,700-page brick The Civil War. This might take a while. But it's wondrous history, and superb writing.

I've been wanting to read this series for years! Gettysburg, Antietam and Manassas are favorite vacation spots. :)

Well, if you read it, and if you recall Ken Burns' PBS series on the Civil War, you'll quickly realize where Burns cribbed his script. :) Shelby Foote was a wonderful writer, and without ever losing sight of the larger narrative, he found ways to be utterly and compellingly human throughout almost 3,000 pages.

My wife and I just finished seeing that (2nd time for me, 1st for her). We both love his interview segments in that.

I've been to Gettysburg and Antietam; haven't made it to Manassas. Have you ever seen the buses that pull up to Civil War battlefields and disgorge all the old guys with wraparound sunglasses? One of these days I'm going to be on that bus, with the sunglasses.

My mom was a Civil War buff and I grew up about an hour and a half from Gettysburg, so I've been there more times than I can count - we sometimes went 4-5 times a year on day trips.

Wouldn't you know, the Civil War series is on PBS right now. Totally wrecking my plans for doing research for a research paper. B)

We were going to do the Gettysburg/Manassas/Antietam circle last week over spring break, but it's hard to envision the battles when the sites are buried under snow. 8O Another time in a much warmer season, I guess. :huh: I'll keep an eye out for the tour bus/men wearing wrap-around sunglasses crowd. ;)

I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I'm really absolutely sure of some things that I don't quite know.~~Rob Bell April/09 CT

http://whythewritingworks.com

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I am re-reading Shelby Foote's 3-volume, 2,700-page brick The Civil War. This might take a while. But it's wondrous history, and superb writing.

I've been wanting to read this series for years! Gettysburg, Antietam and Manassas are favorite vacation spots. :)

Well, if you read it, and if you recall Ken Burns' PBS series on the Civil War, you'll quickly realize where Burns cribbed his script. :) Shelby Foote was a wonderful writer, and without ever losing sight of the larger narrative, he found ways to be utterly and compellingly human throughout almost 3,000 pages.

My wife and I just finished seeing that (2nd time for me, 1st for her). We both love his interview segments in that.

I've been to Gettysburg and Antietam; haven't made it to Manassas. Have you ever seen the buses that pull up to Civil War battlefields and disgorge all the old guys with wraparound sunglasses? One of these days I'm going to be on that bus, with the sunglasses.

My mom was a Civil War buff and I grew up about an hour and a half from Gettysburg, so I've been there more times than I can count - we sometimes went 4-5 times a year on day trips.

I am re-reading Shelby Foote's 3-volume, 2,700-page brick The Civil War. This might take a while. But it's wondrous history, and superb writing.

I've been wanting to read this series for years! Gettysburg, Antietam and Manassas are favorite vacation spots. :)

Well, if you read it, and if you recall Ken Burns' PBS series on the Civil War, you'll quickly realize where Burns cribbed his script. :) Shelby Foote was a wonderful writer, and without ever losing sight of the larger narrative, he found ways to be utterly and compellingly human throughout almost 3,000 pages.

My wife and I just finished seeing that (2nd time for me, 1st for her). We both love his interview segments in that.

I've been to Gettysburg and Antietam; haven't made it to Manassas. Have you ever seen the buses that pull up to Civil War battlefields and disgorge all the old guys with wraparound sunglasses? One of these days I'm going to be on that bus, with the sunglasses.

My mom was a Civil War buff and I grew up about an hour and a half from Gettysburg, so I've been there more times than I can count - we sometimes went 4-5 times a year on day trips.

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Currently reading The Apocalypse of Our Time, and Other Writings, by Vasily Rozanov, edited by Robert Payne. Published in 1977, the book's no longer in print. Borrowed the copy I'm reading via inter-library loan. Has to go back in two days. I'm not quite done, and won't be, but no matter. I knew less than 50 pages in that I would have to buy a copy of this book, so today I ordered a used VG copy for 60 bucks incl. shipping. Stung a bit to spend that much, but no choice: reading Rozanov, even in translation, is electrifying. For all his faults (I'll not list them here, but if you're at all familiar with him, you'll know what I mean), he's a writer of staggering genius.

For the Word of God and God wills always and in all things to accomplish the mystery of his embodiment. – Maximus the Confessor

My blog. My SoundCloud page.

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Memnock the Devil by Anne Rice and I'm still working on Raven's Ladder. Trying to read just for fun at this point in the semester is near to impossible. But, I refuse to give up totally. :)

I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I'm really absolutely sure of some things that I don't quite know.~~Rob Bell April/09 CT

http://whythewritingworks.com

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Just finished Chuck Klosterman's Eating the Dinosaur. Has anyone read Klosterman? I was intrigued but couldn't figure out if Klosterman's insights amounted to a hill of beans. That didn't stop me from plowing through the collected essays, however.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Currently reading The Apocalypse of Our Time, and Other Writings, by Vasily Rozanov, edited by Robert Payne. Published in 1977, the book's no longer in print. Borrowed the copy I'm reading via inter-library loan. Has to go back in two days. I'm not quite done, and won't be, but no matter. I knew less than 50 pages in that I would have to buy a copy of this book, so today I ordered a used VG copy for 60 bucks incl. shipping. Stung a bit to spend that much, but no choice: reading Rozanov, even in translation, is electrifying. For all his faults (I'll not list them here, but if you're at all familiar with him, you'll know what I mean), he's a writer of staggering genius.

My account of returning the above book today, and it's not as boring as you might think...

http://extravagantcreation.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/not-just-another-day-at-the-library/

For the Word of God and God wills always and in all things to accomplish the mystery of his embodiment. – Maximus the Confessor

My blog. My SoundCloud page.

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