Jump to content


Photo

What we're reading


  • Please log in to reply
719 replies to this topic

#1 Andrew

Andrew

    And a good day to you, sir!

  • Member
  • 2,209 posts

Posted 04 July 2005 - 11:12 PM

Hey all:

I thought it might be worthwhile to do an analogous thread to 'What We're Watching' in the Film section - i.e., books that we found worthwhile, but we're not sure they merit an entire thread.

Anyway, here's a book that I've found enlightening recently:

Epileptic, by David B. - this is a French autobio-graphic novel, telling the story of David's childhood/adolescent/early adulthood years in the shadow of an older brother with intractable seizures. To say the least, his parents were not traditionally minded, so the family visited macrobiotic communes, acupuncturists, magnetists, among others, in seeking a cure. As this occurs, David feels increasingly angered by his brother's sickness, as he realizes he is powerless to offer any meaningful aid. The artwork on the pages is quite distinctive, as David often depicts a heavy dose of spiritual forces that are involved in these trials for a cure - the darkness on display on certain pages is almost overwhelming at times, yet I found this to be a worthwhile window into this family's suffering.



#2 Phidippus

Phidippus

    Member

  • New User
  • 29 posts

Posted 05 July 2005 - 12:35 AM

Don't know if it's quite "literature", but I just finished a reread of Mattingly's book on the Armada. It reads like a novel, or as close to one as a good non-academic account of such a subject can. It's certainly well written, and still one of the best books on the subject in English. It certainly does not lack colourful incidents, such as the battle at Coutras, Drake's raids, the "Day of the Barricades", the siege of Sluys, and of course the battle in the Channel and its aftermath.

#3 SZPT

SZPT

    Interpersonal Augustinian Knight

  • Member
  • 1,232 posts

Posted 05 July 2005 - 01:15 AM

Just finishing up Reel Spirituality (late to the game, I know). My next read will probably be my Final Cut Pro Production Suite manual. Good Lord, it's a doozy! I mean it's huge! Monolithic!

#4 Anders

Anders

    Globe-trotting special agent

  • Member
  • 2,961 posts

Posted 05 July 2005 - 05:47 PM

I just finished Nick Hornby's newest, A Long Way Down. Kind of "meh." Not even close to the genius of High Fidelity

#5 bluewoad

bluewoad

    Member

  • New User
  • 25 posts

Posted 06 July 2005 - 10:23 AM

I'm about halfway through Mark Noll's latest, Is the Reformation Over? about softening Catholic/Protestant relations.

I'm also about to read the third volume of Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori and dive into Debra Murphy's The Mystery of Things.

Other than that, I'm just working my way through my review-book slush pile: so many self-published books, so little quality.

#6 Mark

Mark

    Musical Berger de Brie I

  • Member
  • 984 posts

Posted 06 July 2005 - 11:00 AM

Now re-reading Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood (plug for the Book Club thread! plug for the Book Club thread!), with Woodward/Bernstein's All the President's Men on deck (a good time to dust off the copy I bought for 25 cents last year what with the renewed timeliness).

QUOTE(Anders @ Jul 5 2005, 05:47 PM)
I just finished Nick Hornby's newest, A Long Way Down. Kind of "meh." Not even close to the genius of High Fidelity

View Post


Oohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... just what I didn't want to hear after the huge disappointment that was How to Be Good. I hope Hornby hasn't lost his mojo.

#7 Jeff Kolb

Jeff Kolb

    Existential Interpersonal Benevolant Ruler

  • Member
  • 446 posts

Posted 06 July 2005 - 01:02 PM

Recently finished: George R. R. Martin's impressive (and unfinished) fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Finally...a unique and recommend-able author of modern fantasy/medieval-fiction .

Just finished: Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, a very readable essay/instruction-manual on modern punctuation. Delightfully British.

Starting: The Master and Margarita, on the suggestion of my fiance, who loves all things weird and Russian.

#8 Anders

Anders

    Globe-trotting special agent

  • Member
  • 2,961 posts

Posted 06 July 2005 - 03:56 PM

QUOTE(Mark @ Jul 6 2005, 10:00 AM)
QUOTE(Anders @ Jul 5 2005, 05:47 PM)
I just finished Nick Hornby's newest, A Long Way Down. Kind of "meh." Not even close to the genius of High Fidelity

View Post


Oohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... just what I didn't want to hear after the huge disappointment that was How to Be Good. I hope Hornby hasn't lost his mojo.

View Post




I'm thinking the biggest problem with this one is that it has four main characters and the narrative POV is shared among the four. Certain characters are simply less interesting (Maureen) or less engaging (JJ). Personally, I would rather have read a book about Martin or Jess.

#9 gigi

gigi

    ReMember

  • Member
  • 950 posts

Posted 06 July 2005 - 04:39 PM

I have the attention span of a hyperactive goldfish and so read many many books at a time, usually over a period of a few months. At present:

The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Pass Your Driving Theory Test
Cloud Castle Lake - Vladimir Nabokov
On the Natural History of Destruction - WG Sebald
Falnnery O'Connor & The Mystery of Love - Richard Giannone
Silence - Shusaku Endo (rereading)
The Christian Tradition Vol 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition - Jaroslav Pelikan
Red Earth & Falling Rain - Vikram Chandra
The Unconsoled - Kazuo Ishiguro
PCOS Diet Book - Colette Harris
The NIV Study Bible - Various
Understanding WG Sebald - Mark McCulloh
Producing & Directing the Short Film & Video - Peter Rea & David Irving
The current issue of National Geographic
The current issue of Sight & Sound

*sigh* I wish I were still a student.

#10 WriterJon

WriterJon

    Member

  • Member
  • 20 posts

Posted 08 July 2005 - 09:04 AM

Just finished Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The book aspires to be a prequel to J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, and I think it half-succeeds in this goal. As a children's action-adventure book, it succeeds incredibly well.

#11 smith_chip

smith_chip

    Member

  • Member
  • 93 posts

Posted 08 July 2005 - 12:30 PM

I recently finished Light Theology & Heavy Cream by Robert Farrar Capon. It is a wonderful, short book about food and theology. It is the funniest theology book I've read since Capon's classic The Supper of the Lamb. When we have family or friends over for dinner, my wife knows that I am really enjoying myself when I pull The Supper of the Lamb out to start reading the toasts (this usually only happens after several glasses of wine!)


#12 Jazzaloha

Jazzaloha

    Member

  • Member
  • 168 posts

Posted 30 July 2005 - 01:16 PM

Based on Talk of the Nation's summer reading recommendations, I read Cast of Shadows by Kevin Guilfoile. The novel is sci-fi/thriller about a cloning doctor that clones the killer of his daughter. Not the greatest, but it kept me entertained for the most part.

Also, based on the same program, I'm in the process of reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. One of the participants on the program raved so much about it, I decided to check it out. I'm enjoying that so far.

I'm also reading a book called Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. This is a book about designing man-made things in ways that can be truly be recycled. The authors challenge current environmental approaches of reducing harm and waste from man-made products to one that eliminates harm and waste by design products in a certain way.

#13 stu

stu

    Member

  • Member
  • 899 posts

Posted 30 July 2005 - 06:41 PM

So that I can share my pain with everyone, I am reading:

"Violence and Metaphysics" - Jacques Derrida
Given Time - Jacques Derrida
The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida - John Captuo
"God and Philosophy" - Emmanuel Levinas
Forgiveness - Vladimir Jankelvitch
Geneology of morals - Frederick Nietzsche (sometimes before going to sleep, which is not healthy, let me tell you)
Ontology and Pardon - John Milbank (over and over, until it goes in)

The above books completely sap any desire I have to read for pleasure. Once this dissertation/degree is over, I will read normal books again, about love, life, people and things.

Edited by stu, 30 July 2005 - 06:41 PM.


#14 Christian

Christian

    Member

  • Moderator
  • 10,965 posts

Posted 30 July 2005 - 07:20 PM

I hear ya, Stu. I'm wrapping up Systematic Theology 2 this week, then heading to the beach for a week. As per usual the past couple of beach trips, I'll take another volume of two of The Chronicles of Narnia -- which ever one or two follow The Horse and His Boy, which I read two years ago.

Today I went to the library in search of a good fiction book. I came away with War of the Worlds, which I'm mildly interested in, and three nonfiction books that looked interesting (they always do; why can't I dive into fiction any longer?):

David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Lisa Rogak, Dr. Robert Atkins (author's name escapes me at the moment)
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Movie Wars

I'll also bring along the latest Atlantic, which arrived in our mailbox today, and I may pick up the all-fiction issue that just hit newsstands.

Then, come September, it's back to seminary reading for another year. And then I'll be finished, if all goes according to plan.

Edited by Christian, 30 July 2005 - 07:22 PM.


#15 DanBuck

DanBuck

    Bigger. Badder. Balder.

  • Member
  • 2,419 posts

Posted 30 July 2005 - 08:10 PM

QUOTE(Christian @ Jul 30 2005, 08:20 PM)
I'll also bring along the latest Atlantic, which arrived in our mailbox today, and I may pick up the all-fiction issue that just hit newsstands.

Then, come September, it's back to seminary reading for another year. And then I'll be finished, if all goes according to plan.

View Post



It looks good. I'm glad to see we're trhu with the Levy/Toqueville essays. The article on Arafat is gargantuan!


#16 Darrel Manson

Darrel Manson

    Detached Existential INFP Dreamer-Minstrel Redux

  • Member
  • 6,698 posts

Posted 30 July 2005 - 08:14 PM

I've just started the third section ("Fiat Voluntas Tua") of A Canticle for Liebowitz. I was suppose to read it the first semester of undergraduate school - I'm finally getting to it.

#17 rathmadder

rathmadder

    Linguistic Barthian Thinker

  • Member
  • 146 posts

Posted 31 July 2005 - 03:19 AM

Just finished A History of God by Karen Armstrong which is a learned, well written and altogether fascinating look at the histories of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, pretty much from the start to the present day. The only qualm I would have is that she falls into the conventional contemporary trap of excusing Islam for just about everything (which I don't have a problem with, it redresses the balance) but teeing off on Protestantism (Luther in particular, I do have a problem with this and I'm a Catholic.) Having said all that, it is a brilliant book. Gigi mentioned the Jaroslv Pelikan book, that's recommended in the Armstrong bibliography, I might check it out. I've just got Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham to review for a paper, I don't know what it'll be like, I loved A Home At The End Of The World but seemed to be the only person in the world who thought The Hours was precious and contrived. I also read The Third Testament by Malcolm Muggeridge, scripts from a TV series he did on Tolstoy, Bonhoeffer, Pascal among others. Not much to it but what's there is thought provoking. Also read recently Fire From Heaven by Harvey Cox which was a fantastic look at Pentecostalism, he's an excellent writer I hadn't come across before.

#18 Darrel Manson

Darrel Manson

    Detached Existential INFP Dreamer-Minstrel Redux

  • Member
  • 6,698 posts

Posted 09 August 2005 - 09:24 AM

Last night I started the new John Irving book, Until I Find You. At 800 pages, it'll be a while.

I was very happy with A Canticle for Leibowitz. Knowing a bit of Latin would have helped, but I managed.

#19 BethR

BethR

    Getting medieval on media

  • Member
  • 2,860 posts

Posted 09 August 2005 - 09:44 AM

QUOTE(Darrel Manson @ Aug 9 2005, 10:24 AM)
Last night I started the new John Irving book, Until I Find You.  At 800 pages, it'll be a while.

View Post


I'll be interested to hear what you think of Irving's latest. I almost bought it when I was book-shopping a couple of weeks ago, but decided to wait, although reviews have been intriguing. The World According to Garp and A Prayer for Owen Meany are still two of my favorites.

Instead, I picked up The Kite Runner, finally, after all the raves here. Haven't started it yet, but soon. And a new (to me) Guy Gavriel Kay alternate history/fantasy, Last Light of the Sun, with a setting closely resembling 9th-10th century England/Scotland/Wales/Scandinavia. So far, so good.

Edited by BethR, 09 August 2005 - 09:45 AM.


#20 Jeff Kolb

Jeff Kolb

    Existential Interpersonal Benevolant Ruler

  • Member
  • 446 posts

Posted 09 August 2005 - 11:49 AM

I recently finished Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. What a strange, strange book! And wonderful, too. I have no idea how it ever got published under the Communists censors.
And now I've started Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner.