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Recent reads:

The Guttenberg Elegies by Sven Birkerts

Of Human Bondage by W. Sommerset Maugham

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (on the recommendation of my 15 yr old brother)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (re-read for the umpteenth time)

Reading:

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (been a couple years and time for another read)

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

Twitter.
Letterboxd.

Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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I've been getting into the classics.

I read Les Miserables a few months ago, and this is now my new favorite book.

I read Tale of Two Cities shortly after Les Mis. This is the only Dickens book I have been able to finish. I liked it, but I thought Les Mis was far superior.

I have been reading through Steinbeck's works lately. Just finished Of Mice and Men, and have now started East of Eden. The first Steinbeck I read was Tortilla Flat, and I was sold.

Other recent reads...

Fahrenheit 451

1984

Color of Magic

The Prestige

Wise Blood

A Good Man is Hard to Find

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Exagerate the essential. Leave the obvious vague. ---Vincent Van Gogh

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Recent reads--

"Reading Like a Writer," by Francine Prose. It's a great book that encourages people to savor good books. Lots of it is old news, but it exposed me to a few authors I wasn't familiar with (but am now glad that I am).

"Lemons Never Lie," by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake). Fun pulply noir fiction. Hardcase Crime is putting out some great little books like this.

"Rainbows for a Fallen World," by Calvin Seerveld. Some of it was over my head, but wow--what a great book.

I'm currently on "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy. Definitely one of the most harrowing, disturbing things I've read, but also one of the best. Also "Elements of Style." It's been a while since I've read it, so I thought about giving it another spin. Great little book.

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What happens when you put a bunch of audiobooks on hold, and they all come available at the same time? Knowing that it takes at least 3 weeks (the standard checkout period) for me to get through one title, I

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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...and I'm currently reading:

lots of short stories by Chekhov

Hey, same here!

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I've only just started, too. So far, I've enjoyed "The Lady with the Dog," "Ariadne," and "The Betrothed." I'm currently reading "A Dreary Story." I keep noting the theme of the disillusioned idealist. Which stories have you read?

By the way, welcome, Ryan!

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Recent:

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud - Amazing!! Everyone should read this even if you're not into comics. I'm not and I loved it. It's about so much more than comics.

The Sovereignty of Good by Iris Murdoch - a good (no pun intended) philosophy read

Current:

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera - pretty good so far but I've been distracted by some of the below books.

The Best American Nonrequired Reading - I am thoroughly enjoying this. Check it out.

Pranks! - This is a collection of interviews with mostly little known artists, pop culture figures etc. talking about pranks they've done. The tone so far is countercultural in the sense of transgressing the norms of the established culture for its own sake rather than offering any sort of alternative vision. Nevertheless it is entertaining.

The companion book to season 2 of Art:21 - excellent for what it is.

About to start:

Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom

Edited by yank_eh
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I'm finding that between work, school, and parenting I have no time for leisurly fiction reading, but I have been reading for school.

Holy Scripture - Donald Bloesch. I don't always agree with him, but I enjoy Bloesch's books and this one was no exception. I found his chapters on revelation (not the book at the end of the Bible) incredibly interesting.

The Openess of God - edited. Written by a bunch of openness theologians, this book serves as a good primer on an open God. But because every essay was written by an open theologian, it was more than a bit one-sided. If you could find one, a book of contrasting opinions would probably be better.

And when I have a chance, I am slogging through Anna Karenina. I'm about 1/3 of the way through, which isn't too bad considering I am only able to pick it up maybe once per week.

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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The Openess of God - edited. Written by a bunch of openness theologians, this book serves as a good primer on an open God. But because every essay was written by an open theologian, it was more than a bit one-sided. If you could find one, a book of contrasting opinions would probably be better.

I highly recommend Tony Gray and Chris Sinkinson's Reconstructing Theology: A Critical Assessment of the Theology of Clark Pinnock for a different perspective. They engage very well with Pinnock.

Focus: The Art and Soul of Cinema now published - www.damaris.org/focus

Damaris: www.damaris.org CultureWatch: www.culturewatch.org Personal site: www.tonywatkins.co.uk

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I've only just started, too. So far, I've enjoyed "The Lady with the Dog," "Ariadne," and "The Betrothed." I'm currently reading "A Dreary Story." I keep noting the theme of the disillusioned idealist. Which stories have you read?

By the way, welcome, Ryan!

Thanks for the welcome. I've read "Vanka", "The Privy Councilor", and "A Calamity".

So far, they feel unfinished - although that's not a bad thing. Of those "A Calamity" has been my favorite - it essentially being a story of someone struggling with whether or not to commit adultery.

Nardis - I haven't read any Pushkin - but He's on my list.

Ryan

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished book 1 of Naomi Novik's "Temeraire" trilogy, and have started book 2. Realizing that I am not such a devotee of dragons, which must be why I gave up on Anne McCaffrey books long before they got really bad, and some elements of Novik's approach make me think she's read too much fanfiction, but she does know her early 19th century, and the writing's not bad.

Finished "Temeraire" books 1-3, but it now appears that Novik is writing a series, not a trilogy, since book 3 ends on a cliffhanger and the paperback includes a snippet of the forthcoming volume. Happy to report that books 2 and 3 improve over book 1, but my favorite alternate histories remain:

Guy Gavriel Kay, The Last Light of the Sun (ooh! just looked this up on amazon.com to confirm the wording of the title and found Kay's forthcoming novel, Ysabel!)

Mary Gentle, The Book of Ash (4 vols., starting with A Secret History)

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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I'm currently reading Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I'm not quite 200 pages in, but it's great so far.

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I'm currently reading Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I'm not quite 200 pages in, but it's great so far.

Excellent.

Did you read any more Chekov? I've read about 2 dozen short stories now and am really enjoying them, but they are generally pretty depressing. Characters with no hope, stories with no hope.

Ryan

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I ended up setting Chekhov aside because I got so engrossed in Anna Karenina. But I did read a few more stories, though not as many as you. You're right about the nature of the stories. I encountered many either dealing with love affairs that didn't work, or disappointment when they actually *did* work for a while but then managed to bring only grief and resentment on down the line. I did like what I read, though.

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I've recently read four books by Shusaku Endo - The Samurai, The Sea and Poison, Wonderful Fool, and Foreign Studies; the first two are my favorite. What an incredible author - his spiritual depth and sober vision reminds me of the best Graham Greene. His use of geographical, cultural, and temporal setting is quite effective, while the tension between Christian/nonChristian, Japanese/Western, and insider/outsider permeates his work. I've added three of his other books - Silence, Deep River, and A Life of Jesus - to my Christmas list.

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

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

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I've recently read four books by Shusaku Endo - The Samurai, The Sea and Poison, Wonderful Fool, and Foreign Studies; the first two are my favorite.
The person who introduced me to Endo had read most, if not all, of Endo's books and her favorite isn't on your list: Scandal. I've only read Silence, but loved it.

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  • 1 month later...

I recently re-read Athanasius On the Incarnation. But what I'm most excited about is Karl Barth's The Humanity of God. I've been a big fan of Barth's theology. It really resonates with me. However, I've never actually read any of his work - only what other's had said about it. For whatever reason I've been intimidated to read any of his books - mostly because I thought I had to start with Dogmatics - too daunting of task. But Humanity of God has been a great place to start and I've been devouring it. Great, great stuff.

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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I went through a string of books recently, but each took a long time to read--our coffee shop finally opened, and that's been occupying a lot of time! Still, I finished "the Drama of Scripture" (Craig Bartholomew) not too long ago...it's a good intro to the narrative aspects of the Bible, and well-written at that. Then I read Joseph Kanon's "the Good German," which I liked a fair bit (not as much as I would have hoped, though) and then Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men," which I definitely liked. Currently, I'm on "Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince," the only one of the series I haven't read. I'm a fan.

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I just finished reading Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun and Their Son by Peter Manseau and Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres. I definitely recommend both memoirs about growing up in a Christian home and being hurt by the Church. Manseau writes wonderful prose, and while much of his book deals with negative aspects of the Catholic Church (and Christianity in general), it's ultimately a tender love letter to his parents and a story about being firmly rooted in your faith. Jesus Land was gritty, enraging and just plain heart-breaking. It's been a while since a book had me in tears at the end.

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I have just started "The Universe Next Door" by James W. Sire and "How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil" by D. A. Carson. Both of these were Christmas gifts. I have also been spending a lot of time studying Genesis.

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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