"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

02 May 2009

Books, Books, Books

I made an order from Amazon a week or so ago, hoping that some of the books would come in about the time the term ended. Much to my dismay, they shipped them immediately and they have already arrived. So I now have ten new books sitting beside my Lazyboy and approximately 53,982 pages of student writing to plow through before I can justify doing more than stare at them longingly.

Books on culture and faith:
The Death of Christian Culture and The Restoration of Christian Culture, both by John Senior
Images of Hope: Meditations on Major Feasts by Benedict XVI
Culture Making by Andy Crouch

One on politics:
Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin

Creative nonfiction:
Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire

We the Underpeople by Cordwainer Smith
Eifelheim by Michael Flynn
The Best of Gene Wolfe (short stories)
Ancestral Shadows (ghost stories) by Russell Kirk

John Senior was a classics professor, well-loved, at my alma mater; I've been seeing a number of articles about him lately and, since I never took any of his classes, I thought it would be good to get to know him this way. The fiction writers are all new to me, recommended by commenters at the Touchstone weblog Mere Comments. I've read some of Kirk's nonfiction, but none of his fiction. I confess to reading the first story in the Wolfe collection and falling in love already. One more week . . .


Kamilla said...

I just read a very favorable mention of Eire recently, wish I could remember where. But the book intrigues me.

And I've had the Kirk ghost stories book on my list of possibles for ages.

Let me know what you think of both of those.

I'm going to have to get on Amazon myself as I can't find what I want without it. I'm looking for a couple of Julian Green novels, and then a couple of pieces of music - Rachmaninoff's 2nd (a particular recording of it) and Frederick Delius.

Of course, I have McNabb's short stories to finish and Tony's translation of Dante . . .


alaiyo said...

They were talking about all the fiction writers I mentioned at Mere Comments in that thread on sci-fi. I read the first Kirk story last night, very intriguing. He has an essay at the end on the genre which is interesting as well. I shall post reviews! I'd like to hear more about McNabb -- I decided not to get the book at this time, as it didn't really sound my cup of tea when I read reviews of it at amazon and elsewhere. Maybe next year! You will love Tony's Dante.

Happy reading!

GrumpyTeacher1 said...

Oh, how I know that feeling. I have a stack waiting for school to end, and I just ordered another book.

predictablepoet said...


I'm reading Lilith (finally) and The Great Emergence (I'm in chapter two and still don't quite know what to make of Tickle's style).

Winston said...

Culture Making is on my list this summer, I'm doing a roundup on books about Christians and the Arts and Christians and culture.

Right now I'm revisiting Modern Art and the Death of Culture!

And I just won a great memoir called The Unlikely Disciple about a Brown Undergrad who transferred to Liberty for a semester to understand the Christian culture. It's fresh eyes on something very familiar.

William Luse said...

approximately 53,982...

Sounds pretty precise to me, though I'll take you at your word that you don't actually count the pages. If I thought you did, it would give me nightmares.

Jeff Culbreath gave me a copy a long time ago of Senior's Restoration book, and it's worth the money you paid for it and I didn't.

Term's over for me, let the next term begin. Monday.

alaiyo said...

GT -- Good luck with the end-of-term dance. At least the thesis paper is done! :)

Megan -- do you like Lilith? I have read it several times and simply love it. I'm not familiar with the other book you mention; tell me more.

Winston -- thanks for visiting. Sounds like your culture studies continue apace . . . had time for any writing lately?

Bill -- I l believe that I would die if I had to start teaching again on Monday! We have a short "May term" which I refuse to teach, as neither literature nor writing can be taught in three weeks; and we don't, thankfully, have any summer classes here.

No, I've never actually counted the pages! But once we figured up the approximate amount of writing done by one freshman comp student over one term as part of our argument for keeping the classes reasonably capped . . . it was a most depressing moment for us all. :)

I hope you enjoy your "free" weekend, at least!


eutychus said...

Thanks for sharing your list. I have often wished that someone would create a list or blog made up entirely of book recommendations from Mere Comments and those who comment there.
This list of yours is a good start but unfortunately just add to my own growing pile next to my recliner

alaiyo said...

Thanks for visiting, Eutychus! I would love to see that list, too . . . but it *would* probably just mean more money for books that keep piling up!

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