Current/Recent Reading List

01 January 2007

Reading List Update

I'm a book addict, so December (with b-day and Christmas) always brings a cache of dead trees that I have no shelf space for. And yet, I ask for more.

Any-hoo, for what it's worth, here is what my stack-o-books looks like as a result of December. This year there are a lot of spiritually-related titles, which wasn't really planned as I look back on it. Maybe the big Someone is trying to tell me something about my 2006?:


Refiner's Fire and A Winter's Tale, both by Mark Helprin. - After reading A Soldier of the Great War last summer, I can't get enough of Helprin


Manliness, by Harvey Mansfield - See last post for why I need this one. I actually heard Mansfield give a lecture based on this book way back last spring, at NC State. A brilliant, congenial man with an idiosynchratic writing style that takes a while to get used to.


Teacher Man, by Frank McCourt - Obvious why someone gave me this. I never read McCourt's other bestsellers, but this one chronicles his thirty years as a creative writing teacher. From a few glances, it looks quite good.

Gentle Regrets, by Roger Scruton - Memoir-esque essays from the British philosopher. Read a great review of this a year ago, and never got around to buying it until now.


Postmodernism 101 - A first course for the curious Christian, by Heath White - Yes, I've encountered more than enough postmodern readings in my life to know what it is (depending on your definition of "is"), but haven't read a serious take on it from a Christian, much less a philosophy prof. who professes Christianity. Already read this one, and enjoyed it more than I imagined I would.

The Language of God, by Francis Collins - Just read a couple of great reviews of this, and got excited about it. Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project, writes about his migration from atheism to faith, and squares evolution with belief in God.

Pensees, by Blaise Pascal - Been reading about Pascal for years, so thought I would finally go to the source. A Christian anti-Enlightenment Frenchman who was nonetheless a famous Enlightenment-era mathematician. Those were the days, I guess.

Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, by Frederick Beuchner - What better way to finish such a fun-sucking list than with sermons from an old Presby minister? Actually, Beuchner's reputation as a writer is well-established, and after I read an excerpt from one of these sermons, I was hooked.

So there you go. In addition, I need to read both The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare, not Helprin), and Pericles before we go see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform at Davidson College next month. Maybe I should just top the whole thing off with a grim cherry like King Lear.

Should have another stack to report on by late spring or so.

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