"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

10 September 2009

Happy Days: New Books!

The day an Amazon box appears is always delightful! In this shipment:

Poetry and Creative Nonfiction
  • The Stream and The Sapphire by Denise Levertov
  • Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard
  • Love's Immensity: Mystics on the Endless Life by Scott Cairns
On Christianity
  • The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller
  • Jesus of Nazareth by Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI)
  • The Changling Sea by Patricia McKillip
  • The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell (a Kurt Wallandar mystery)
  • Dead Irish by John Lescroart (a Dismas Hardy mystery)
  • Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
  • The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos
  • In the Beginnng: First Novels in a Mystery Series by Mary Jean Demarr
  • The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey into How the World's Poorest People are Educating Themselves by James Tooley
  • The Paideia Proposal by Mortimer Adler
  • Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford
  • How to Think about the Great Ideas by Mortimer Adler

Yes, I've read the essays in Teaching a Stone to Talk -- I just didn't have the collection itself. A friend lent me The Changling Sea, and I had to have my own copy; McKillip's fantasy writing is some of the most beautiful I've ever read. (I hear it's uneven, but so far -- after three -- I'm a fan.)

I have begun the Kurt Wallandar mystery and am in love. I recall seeing one of Mankell's stories on Mystery and enjoying it -- but one never can judge the book by a television adaptation. They seem, however, to have captured his character quite well. The stories are set in Sweden (the author is Swedish and the books are translated), and I am enjoying the new (to me) setting and Wallandar's meditations on Swiss life and the changes he's seen over the years.

The rest sit beside my LazyBoy in the study awaiting their turn. First, however, I shall finish Scott Cairns' The End of Suffering and post a review of it. It's a lovely book, challenging and encouraging.

I plan to make another order soon -- recommendations are always welcome!


Lutestring said...

LOVE Denise Levertov. :)

You keep mentioning Scott Cairns and making me want to dig up his books! I will have to search out the one you recommended soon.

I always love seeing what you read.

I am reading an book called Awakenings by the neurologist Oliver Sacks. He was a friend of W.H.Auden, I believe, and a wonderful writer. He has such a love for the human and personal- and metaphysical and mysterious -rare in medicine today. I've only read a little bit but I am already bewitched.

Hope you and the B.C. community are well. <3

alaiyo said...

Scott Cairns is a must-read. I've heard of _Awakenings_ -- I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

Doing well -- and enjoying reading your weblog!

Bless you, dear heart!

Lutestring said...

I'll post my thoughts on it when I've read more. :)


Mrs. Lawson said...

I am thrilled that you like Patricia McKillip enough to continue reading her work. I'm a closet stalker of her books and short stories, by now. She is my favorite fantasy writer, I believe; although, granted, if I had to choose among her, MacDonald and Tolkien, it would be difficult. Still, I see her doing something very different . She is much more...personal. Her plots aren't as sweeping as Tolkien's, but her character development is deeper, and her description can only be properly described as lush, almost physically tangible.

I'm about to ramble horribly. Shall shut up now and go stroke my McKillip books and croom quietly to myself.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so many books to enjoy . . . Sit back and consume, Beth. You deserve the pleasure and will appreciate what you learn as well.

I'm still enjoying reading, but it's quite different since Mom died (I WILL pull her in every conversation :-). Can't concentrate or remember anything. Hopefully it's a passing phase! On the other hand, I can keep reading and enjoying the same books over and over and save money!

alaiyo said...

Good description of McKillip's work, LuCindy. I've only read three of her novels so far, but I have really, really liked them.

Marcy, just enjoy revisiting old favorites! There's a time for everything, and now is your time for taking it easy.