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2015 Reading Journals


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Without Frontiers:  The Life and Music of Peter Gabriel, by Daryl Easlea - a bit gushy, but a decent overview of PG's career that more than amply covers the high points

Dying Every Day:  Seneca at the Court of Nero, by James Romm - fascinating reading; see the thread I've started

Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer - Book 1 of the Southern Reach trilogy; suspenseful, Lovecraftian tale




Authority, by Jeff Vandermeer - Book 2 of the Southern Reach trilogy

Acceptance, by Jeff Vandermeer - kind of a meh ending to the trilogy




River of Doubt, by Candice Millard - very interesting nonfiction account of Theo Roosevelt's late life exploration of an uncharted Amazon tributary

Elephant Company, by Vicki Croke - another good adventure tale, about a Brit in Burma who trains elephants and employs them to save allied lives in WW2

The Grand Budapest Hotel, by Matt Zoller Seitz - a delightful addendum to MZS' book from last year

Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby - not his best (that would be Juliet, Naked), but still very good and quite charming

Edited by Andrew

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


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- The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine: Volume 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition 100–600 (1973) - by Jaroslav Pelikan - 40stars.gif
- The Heresy of Formlessness (2002) - by Martin Mosebach - 50stars.gif
- Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity (2002) - by Lauren F. Winner - 30stars.gif
- The Autograph Man (2002) - by Zadie Smith - 30stars.gif
- Images: My Life in Film (1989) - by Ingmar Bergman - 40stars.gif
- Ingmar Bergman Interviews (2007) - edited by Raphael Shargel - 30stars.gif
- Masters of Cinema: Ingmar Bergman (2007) - by Jacques Mandelbaum - 30stars.gif
- What Coleridge Thought (1972) - by Owen Barfield - 40stars.gif
- Oblivion: Stories (2004) - by David Foster Wallace - 50stars.gif
- The Magic Lantern (1987) - by Ingmar Bergman - 30stars.gif
- The Last Interview and Other Conversations (2012) - by David Foster Wallace - 30stars.gif
- Girl with Curious Hair (1989) - by David Foster Wallace - 40stars.gif
- Pity the Beautiful (2012) - by Dana Gioia - 40stars.gif
- Quack This Way: David Foster Wallace & Bryan A. Garner Talk Language and Writing (2013) - by Bryan A. Garner - 40stars.gif
- Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths: Selected Aphorisms (1976) - by Karl Kraus, translated by Harry Zohn - 40stars.gif
- The Conservatarian Manifesto: Where Conservative and Libertarian Politics Meet (2015) - by Charles C.W. Cooke - 30stars.gif
- Balloon Pop Outlaw Black (2012) - by Patricia Lockwood - 30stars.gif
- Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain (2011) - by Dwight Macdonald - 40stars.gif
- Coeur de Lion (2007) - by Ariana Reines - 30stars.gif
- Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals (2014) - by Patricia Lockwood - 30stars.gif
- Terrapin and Other Poems (2014) - by Wendell Berry - 40stars.gif
- Trace (2014) - by Simone Muench - 30stars.gif
- Mercury (2011) - by Ariana Reines - 25stars.gif
- Disappearing Address (2010) - by Simone Muench & Philip Jenks - 40stars.gif


- Death Comes for the Deconstructionist (2014) - by Daniel Taylor - 35stars.gif

- The Cow (2006) - by Ariana Reines - 20stars.gif

- Welcome to Braggsville (2015) - by T. Geronimo Johnson - 35stars.gif

- Profit and Loss (2011) - by Leontia Flynn - 40stars.gif

- Ruins (2013) - by Morgan Meis - 40stars.gif

- Aesop's Fables: A Classic Illustrated Edition (1990) - by Aesop, by Russell Ash - 40stars.gif

- Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work (2009) - by Matthew B. Crawford - 40stars.gif

- The Mad Farmer Poems (2008) - by Wendell Berry - 50stars.gif

- How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem (2015) - by Rod Dreher - 35stars.gif

- Dazzle Ship (2014) - by Isabel Galleymore - 35stars.gif




- Infinite Jest (1996) - by David Foster Wallace - 50stars.gif




- Complete Guide to Money: The Handbook of Financial Peace University (2011) - by Dave Ramsey - 30stars.gif

- Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church (2015) - by Rachel Held Evans - 30stars.gif

- Texts From Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters (2014) - by Mallory Ortberg - 3.0/5

- Signifying Rappers (1990) - by David Foster Wallace & Mark Costello - 3.0/5

Edited by J.A.A. Purves
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Stengel: His Life and Times by Robert W. Creamer

One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson (after dinner read aloud)




resuming Money: An Unauthorized Biology by Felix Martin




Vinyl Cafe Unplugged by Stuart McLean (after dinner read aloud)

I Don't Care If We Never Get Back by Ben Blatt & Eric Brewster

The Human Age by Diane Ackerman (after dinner read aloud)

Professional Sexual Ethics, ed. by Particia Beattie Jung and Darryl W. Stephens




The Bat by Jo Nesbo




The Circle by Dave Eggers (after dinner read aloud)




Personal History by Katherine Graham




11/22/63 by Stephen King (after dinner read aloud)




Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughn

Cairo by G. Willow Wilson

Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson



The Final Solution by Michael Chabon (after dinner read aloud)

One Mississippi by Mark Childress (after dinner read aloud)

The Martian by Andy Weir


Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean (after dinner read aloud)

Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film

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  • 4 weeks later...

Asterisks indicate first read.



Ada, or Ardor* 

The Public Burning*




started on The Tunnel* (Gass) [this is a book that will take some time, but I don't want it to go unrecorded until I finish, as I've done in other cases]




Invisible Man

Ulysses: A Study* (Gilbert)
St. Thomas More*
The Golden Bough
* (a paperback reprint of the 1922 abridgment. I'd love to tackle the 12-volume edition someday, plus the Aftermath supplement.)

Led Zeppelin: When Gods Walked the Earth*




Berlin Alexanderplatz*

Love is Colder Than Death: The Life and Times of Rainer Werner Fassbinder* (Honestly, it was somewhat disappointing. RWF is possibly my all-time favorite filmmaker barring Tarkovsky (and even there, they're so incomparable that I consider them both in singular to be my favorite), and I was disappointed with the biography, having expected more ink on the films themselves. There's a lot of stuff that goes on in them. Perhaps not as much as, say, Godard, but still.)

Edited by Kinch

Did George Clinton ever get a permit for the Mothership, or did he get Snoop Dogg to fetch one two decades late?

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Let's see if I can be a little more consistent about keeping up with this, since I do think it's helpful to keep track. Won't bother with exact dates this time.



Le Ton Beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language by Douglas Hofstadter. Multifaceted reflection on various issues involved in translation, especially of poetry. Any capsule summary is necessarily inaccurate: this is equal to his monumental Gödel, Escher, Bach in scope and ambition, though not quite in execution.

Reading the Map of Knowledge: The Art of Being a Librarian by Peter Briscoe. More of a pamphlet than a book, but I'll include it since it's so good. Addresses questions of canon-building and what it means to be well-read with great insight.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. Loved, loved, loved this in so many ways. Undisciplined in its composition, but full of wisdom. I love its faults as much as its virtues.

The Trade Wind, Fair Wind to Virginia, and The Wind in the Chimney by Cornelia Meigs. Three excellent children's books by an author remembered today mostly for her Louisa May Alcott biography, Invincible Louisa.



Inventing the American Astronaut by Matthew Hersch. Excellent history of spaceflight as a profession, one not very well understood in popular culture's image of astronauts. My biggest complaint is the subpar copy editing.



Presenting History: Past & Present by Peter Beck. Not very deep in its analysis, but valuable for the historians it chooses to profile and its good journalistic coverage of their life and work.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Wonderful, but too palpably the first half of a great work. The part that Dostoevsky didn't live to write is anticipated too much for the part we have to be satisfying.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky. I don't know if this fanfic counts as a book (though on length alone it more than qualifies at 600,000 words), but my goodness, is it ever a fascinating read. I'll start a thread soon.

A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race From the Colonial Era to Obama's America by Jacqueline Jones. Good, thought-provoking work on the different ways that race has been constructed in American history. Reaches a little too far with some of its arguments.

The Pilgrim's Regress by C. S. Lewis. Reread this imperfect but dearly beloved book in the Wade Annotated Edition, edited by David C. Downing. I often don't like annotated editions, but this is a book that needs one.



The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Narrative history at its best: a broad research foundation woven into a thrilling story. I really do need to read Team of Rivals now.

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection by Pope Benedict XVI. Excellent, of course. Its readability is truly amazing.



The Riddle And Other Stories by Walter de la Mare. Loved it.

Edited by Rushmore
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Let Your Life Speak: Listening the Voice of Vocation - Parker J. Palmer, 4/5

Consulting the Faithful: What Christian Intellectuals Can Learn From Popular Religion - Richard J. Mouw, 4/5

Homespun Gospel: The Triumph of Sentimentality in American Evangelicalism - Todd M. Brenneman, 5/5

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners - John Bunyan, 4/5

Faith and Politics in the Life of Moses - Preston Manning, 3/5

Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness - Eugene Peterson, 5/5

Damned Nation: Hell in America From the Revolution to Reconstruction - Kathryn Gin Lum, 5/5

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership - Henri Nouwen, 4/5

The Outsider - Albert Camus, 4/5



Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings - James R. Payton, 5/5

Now and Then - Frederick Buechner, 4/5

Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture - Jaroslav Pelikan, 5/5

A Little Exercise for Young Theologians - Helmut Thielicke, 4/5

Rob Bell and a New American Christianity - James K. Wellman, Jr., 4/5

The New Testament and the People of God - N.T. Wright, 4/5

Power Failure: Christianity in the Culture of Technology - Albert Borgmann, 3/5

In His Steps - Charles M. Sheldon, 2/5

The Eucharist and Ecumenism: Let Us Keep the Feast - George Hunsinger, 4/5

The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination Examined and Refuted - Francis Hodgson, 3/5

Christ and the Media - Malcolm Muggeridge, 3/5



The Christian and Anxiety - Hans Urs Von Balthasar, 2/5

Being As Communion - John D. Zizioulas, 2/5

The Writings of the New Testament - Luke Timothy Johnson, 3/5

In The Winter Dark - Tim Winton, 3/5

The History of Christian Thought - Jonathan Hill, 4/5

After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters - N.T. Wright, 3/5

Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism - George Grant, 2/5

The Soul of Ministry - Ray S. Anderson, 3/5

True Christianity - Johann Arndt, 4/5



The Devil's Hunting Grounds - Harry Blamires, 3/5

Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology - Neil Postman, 5/5

Fundamentalism and American Culture - George Marsden, 5/5

The Malaise of Modernity - Charles Taylor, 4/5

The Lord's Supper - Thomas Watson, 4/5

Between Heaven and Hell - Peter Kreeft, 4/5

Take One - Karen Kingsbury, 2/5

A Change of Heart: A Personal and Theological Memoir - Thomas C. Oden, 5/5

Greybeards at Play - G.K. Chesterton, 2/5



Guilt-Free - Thomas C. Oden, 4/5

Woman in the Church - Louis Bouyer, 2/5

Reclaiming Pietism: Retrieving an Evangelical Tradition, Roger E. Olson & Christian T. Collins Winn, 4/5

The Lyrical Theology of Charles Wesley: A Reader - S.T. Kimbrough Jr., 4/5

Corrective Love: The Power of Communion Discipline - Thomas C. Oden, 4/5

The Juvenilization of American Christianity - Thomas E. Bergler, 3/5

The Lord and His Prayer - N.T. Wright, 2/5

Art Needs No Justification - H.R. Rookmaaker, 5/5

Nathan Coulter - Wendell Berry, 4/5

Experiencing the Trinity - Darrell W. Johnson, 4/5

The Structures of Scientific Revolutions - Thomas S. Kuhn, 2/5



Experiencing God: How to Live the Full Adventure of Knowing and Doing God's Will - Henry T. Blackaby, 2/5

Christian Reconstruction: R.J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism - Michael McVicar, 5/5

The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? - David Bentley Hart, 4/5

Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace - James Torrance, 4/5

The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism - Carl F.H. Henry, 3/5

Real Presences - George Steiner, 2/5

In Discordance with the Scriptures: American Protestant Battles Over Translating the Bible - Peter J. Thuesen, 5/5

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God - Jonathan Edwards, 3/5

Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society - Dorothy L. Sayers, 4/5

Catholics - Brian Moore, 4/5

The World's Last Night and Other Essays - C.S. Lewis, 4/5

Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis - William J. Webb, 4.5/5



Love, Covenant & Meaning - Jonathan Mills, 5/5

Renewing the Center: Evangelical Theology in a Post-Theological Era - Stanley Grenz, 4/5

America's Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation - Grant Wacker, 5/5

Theology of Culture - Paul Tillich, 2/5

Deviant Calvinism: Broadening Reformed Theology - Oliver Crisp, 3/5

The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief - George Marsden, 4/5

A Highly Favored Nation: The Bible and Canadian Meaning 1860-1900 - Preston Jones, 4/5

Someone - Alice McDermott, 5/5

The Star Wars - J.W. Rinzler, 3/5



Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for this Urgent Time - Marva Dawn, 4/5

Age of Fracture - Daniel T. Rodgers, 3/5

Sincerity: How a Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notion that we All have Something to Say (No Matter How Dull) - R. Jay Magill Jr., 2/5

Christianity in a Secularized World - Wolfhart Pannenberg, 4/5

For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy - Alexander Schmemann, 4/5

Of Human Life: Humanae Vitae - Pope John Paul II, 2/5

Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age - Jonathan Grant, 5/5

From Brokenness to Community - Jean Vanier, 3/5

Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism - Molly Worthen, 5/5

The Gifts of the Small Church - Jason Byassee, 4/5

Idiot Psalms: New Poems - Scott Cairns, 2/5



The Knowledge of the Holy - A.W. Tozer, 4/5

Viper's Tangle - Francois Mauriac, 4/5

The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Reformation - Justo Gonzalez, 5/5

The Presence of the Kingdom - Jacques Ellul, 4/5

Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry - Hans Boersma, 4/5

The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion - Peter Berger, 4/5

Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Gay Celibate Christian - Wesley Hill, 4/5

The Domestication of Transcendence: How Modern Thinking About God Went Wrong - William Placher, 3/5

The Abolition of Man - C.S. Lewis, 5/5



Descent Into Hell - Charles Williams, 4/5

The End of the Modern World - Romano Guardini, 5/5

Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness From the Modern Myth of the Self - Marilynne Robinson, 4/5

The Last Christian on Earth: Uncover the Enemy's Plot to Undermine the Church - Os Guinness, 3/5

A War For the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars - Andrew Hartman, 5/5

A Beginner's Guide to New Testament Exegesis: Taking the Fear Out of Critical Method - Richard J. Erickson, 2/5



Modern Social Imaginaries - Charles Taylor, 3/5

The Art of Biblical History - V. Philips Long, 3/5

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise - Chris Taylor, 4/5

Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement - Christine Rosen, 4/5

The Heart's Desire: Satisfying the Hunger of the Soul - James Houston, 4/5

The Way of the (Modern) World: Or, Why It's Tempting to Live As If God Didn't Exist - Craig Gay, 5/5


From Nature to Experience: The American Search for Cultural Authority - Roger Lundin, 2/5

The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations - Christopher Lasch, 4/5

Begotten or Made? - Oliver O'Donovan, 4/5

Least of All Saints - Grace Irwin, 4/5

Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith - Henri Nouwen, 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

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  • 1 month later...


- Images: My Life in Film (1989) - by Ingmar Bergman - 4/5

- Ingmar Bergman Interviews (2007) - edited by Raphael Shargel - 3/5

- Masters of Cinema: Ingmar Bergman (2007) - by Jacques Mandelbaum - 3/5




- The Magic Lantern (1987) - by Ingmar Bergman - 3/5

Even with those ratings in mind, in your opinion, are there pieces that one could regret missing out on if they were to stick with Images? (Bear in mind that I've been toying with the idea of doing some major Wikipedia contributions to all things Bergman.)

Did George Clinton ever get a permit for the Mothership, or did he get Snoop Dogg to fetch one two decades late?

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Even with those ratings in mind, in your opinion, are there pieces that one could regret missing out on if they were to stick with Images? (Bear in mind that I've been toying with the idea of doing some major Wikipedia contributions to all things Bergman.)


Absolutely, especially if you are already a Bergman fan.  When I rate any book 3 out of 5, I enjoyed it and I'm still glad that I read it.  Bergman isn't really a writer and I'm afraid both books might lose a little in translation, but they are still worth it if you love his films.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This has been an unbelievably slow year for me so far. 






Cold Days (The Dresden Files #14), by Jim Butcher

A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5), by George R.R. Martin (audiobook)




Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America, by Michael Dobbs

Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon (audiobook)

When Helping Hurts, by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbert




Asking: A 59 Minute Guide, by Jerold Panas



The Lord of the Rings (Return of the King), by J.R.R. Tolkien


Currently reading

Reamde, by Neal Stephenson

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

Edited by Jason Panella
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