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I started listening to the audio of Game Change, which I thought would be listenable but tell me little that I hadn't already heard a hundred times. Turns out I was wrong. I'm only a third of the way through it, but its depiction of Elizabeth Edwards -- the book is not exactly kind toward John either -- is truly stunning. I don't remember hearing much about this when the book came out. Guess I bought the media portrayal of the sympathetic, wronged spouse.

And she was wronged. But "sympathetic"? That's another story. Yikes!

"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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I'm reading two books. On the way to school I'm reading Love In The Ruins (Walker Percy) and at home I'm just beginning N.T. Wright's Simply Christian.

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

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  • 1 month later...

"The Christian Imagination" edited by Leland Ryken--dipping in and out of this one

"One. Life." by Scot McKnight--small group read

"the White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche" by Gary Krist

"In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson

Edited by CherylR

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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Finishing Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff - fascinating history, with a style at times biting, other times playful - effectively evokes life not only in Ancient Egypt, but with walk-ons by the likes of Herod and locales such as Ephesus. Great stuff.

Next up: How to Live, Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, by Sarah Bakewell - a recent blurb in the NYT Sunday Book Review was quite enticing

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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(With links below to related discussions)

In paper, reading Mark Bertrand's Back on Murder and finishing up Jonathan Rosenbaum's Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia. Gearing up for Tsotsi.

Audio: Born to Run in the car CD player and the slow-going Colonel Roosevelt on the iPod.

Edited by Christian

"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 George Eliot's Adam Bede in paper, which I'm firmly convinced is the greatest Bede since The Venerable, and Rob Bell's Love Wins on the Kindle, which I'm firmly convinced is not that wonderful of a book, from either the literary or the theological standpoints. On the up side, it's short.

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After rereading Cormac McCarthy's Suttree a few weeks ago, I've started quite a few books but only finished one, Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked. Hornby is my version of the proverbial "beach read." His sensibility and enthusiasms are so similar to my own, I usually knock out his books in one or two sittings, and Juliet, Naked was no exception. I can't seem to settle on a next read, though. I made it 150 pages into Bleak House before accepting that, unless I wanted to commit the rest of 2011 to a single book, I was never going to finish it. I also read the first few chapters of Annie Dillard's An American Childhood and Ivan Klima's Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light, but neither grabbed me like I wanted them to. Next up: I'm looking forward to Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids, which should arrive from Amazon in a day or two.

Edited by Darren H
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In paper: THE TRAGEDY OF ARTHUR by Arthur Phillips.

How is this, Ryan? I've read several other books by Phillips and liked them all.

Currently working through:

Loon, Jack McLean - Vietnam memoir. I'm reading it as an advance copy to review for LibraryThing. I like some of the day-to-day stuff McLean covers, some things that aren't often covered at all in other military memoirs (example: he looks a bit at how little time recruits are given to use the latrine in boot camp. Yikes.) Overall, though, McLean's aiming for a James Patterson-like delivery, and it doesn't work as well as he thinks it does.

Dance of the Dead, Christine Golden - Set in the Dungeons & Dragons setting of Ravenloft. It's about the crew of a riverboat stuck in a creepy swamp. The first few chapters were (no surprise) pretty awful, but the characters, plot and general writing have improved dramatically. Actually kind of compelling at this point.

Desiring the Kingdom, James K.A. Smith - Haven't gotten to far into it, but I like Smith.

The System of the World, Neal Stephenson - Yup, still on this. I at least am almost halfway through. My goal is to have it done by the end of the summer. Not Neal's best, that's for sure, but still enjoyable.

Next up: The Ale Boy's Feast, Jeff Overstreet (ever heard of him?); Little, Big, John Crowley; A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906, Simon Winchester.

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I finished A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan today. I got it for Christmas, but finally had time for it this week (grad school does that to me). I think I might be reading it again for a class this fall, which would be good, since I'm still not entirely sure what it was about.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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How is this, Ryan? I've read several other books by Phillips and liked them all.

It's my first Phillips book, so I can't compare to his previous texts (though, according to just about every review of THE TRAGEDY OF ARTHUR I've read, this one is an improvement on everything he's done before). For what it's worth, I'm really enjoying it.

Little, Big, John Crowley

Man, I hated that book when I read it in college. I wonder what I would make of it now.

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I'm slowly but surely reading through The Confusion by Neal Stephenson. Really enjoying it so far, it is indeed more interesting than Quicksilver. The nice thing is that, when I'm finished, I can use the book to plug a really big gap in my shelf space.

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Added a few more books to my list:

FIVE WOUNDS: AN ILLUMINATED NOVEL by Jonathan Walker. A Neal Gaiman-esque dark fairytale overloaded with Biblical references (it's styled to look like a Bible). Not very substantial--it seems more an exercise in dark whimsy for the dark whimsy's sake--but an interesting experiment.

SHIBUMI by Trevanian. A satire of the spy novel that, I'm told, makes for a fine thinking man's beach read.

JESUS AND THE EYEWITNESSES by Richard Bauckham. I've heard very good things.

Edited by Ryan H.
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I am currently re-reading The Golden Christmas by William Gilmore Simms. Not his best work by far, but a very charming work in which he juxtaposes Charleston with the Low Country, Saxon gentry with Huguenot aristocrats, the marked domains of men and women, of free men and slaves, and elders versus youth with a comic twist on the Romeo and Juliette, all set around Christmas time in the early 1850's.

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(With links below to related discussions)

In paper, reading Mark Bertrand's Back on Murder

I enjoyed Back on Murder and would like to read his second novel, but finding the time right now to do so is really difficult to do. :(

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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Diamond Age, again. And I am slowly working through the Ian Banks Culture series. It is so-so.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Guest Thom Jurek

Harold Bloom - The Anatomy Of Influence: Literature As A Way Of Life

John Swenson - New Atlantis : Musicians Battle For The Survival Of New Orleans

I just remembered--because of someone else's post--that I recently forced myself through Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad. I don't think it's ultimately about anything other than fragmented character studies pasted next to one another. It's amazing what can pass for a novel nowadays.

Edited by Thom Jurek
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BORIS GODUNOV by Alexander Pushkin.

And I am slowly working through the Ian Banks Culture series. It is so-so.

The ideas embedded into the world of the Culture novels are fascinating. The stories which Banks tells, unfortunately, do not always explore those ideas very well. But I've mostly enjoyed my time spent with the series, if only for its tremendous scale and occasionally impressive "popcorn storytelling" moments.

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What's Wrong With The World by G.K. Chesterton.

It's a bit of a slog to get through, but I find it particularly interesting as I'm majoring in sociology and I think Chesterton has some interesting, and valid, things to say, despite the fact that the book is 100 years old.

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

For pleasure: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer - only about 7 yrs after it was recommended in the United 93 thread, but better late than never! a beautiful, heartbreaking book

For professional edification: Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap, by Peggy Orenstein - only 50 pages in, but so far seems both erudite and readable

Next up (I think):

- The Vietnam War and Theologies of Memory, by Jonathan Tran

- Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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For pleasure: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer - only about 7 yrs after it was recommended in the United 93 thread, but better late than never! a beautiful, heartbreaking book

Though I generally hate books like that (and, in fact, I did hate his first novel, "Everything is Illuminated"), I really loved that book. Read it in 2006. Probably about time to revisit it.

As I've mentioned in the TV forum, I'm currently reading "A Game of Thrones" and really enjoying it. Much better than the show.

Finished Tom Franklin's "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" last night. Pretty good Southern mystery/thriller type book.

Next up:

"Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship" by David Peterson

The next book in "A Song of Ice and Fire" series

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For pleasure: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer - only about 7 yrs after it was recommended in the United 93 thread, but better late than never! a beautiful, heartbreaking book

I may have mentioned this in that earlier thread, or a related Lit thread, but when I listened to the audiobook of this, I was so overwhelmed by the conclusion that I just about drove off the road. Loved it.

I don't think I had a similar reaction to an audiobook until this year, as Emma Donaghue's Room reached its halfway point. I remember the section of Arlington Blvd. I was on, how much traffic was on the road (rush hour in the D.C. area -- crowded!) and how worked up I was.

"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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<!--quoteo(post=141628:date=Feb 9 2007, 02:12 PM:name=mrmando)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mrmando @ Feb 9 2007, 02:12 PM) </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><i>The Lost Painting</i> by Jonathan Harr. Fast but absorbing read about the search for Caravaggio's <i>The Taking of Christ,</i> which turned up in a Jesuit house in Dublin a few years back, after being mislabeled and then lost for centuries. Saw the painting at the National Gallery in Dublin, so naturally I had to read the book.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

That's a very enjoyable book. Did you see today's NY Times article about the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/09/world/europe/09florence.html" target="_blank">hunt for a lost Leonardo</a>?

Related:

Unknown Caravaggio painting unearthed in Britain

The painting, an intimate depiction of Saint Augustine dated to 1600, was found by a dealer in a private collection

"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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