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« When to Say ’When’ | Main | Atrocity of the Day: August 15-17 »

August 15, 2008

Open book thread

Open_book_2 First of all, thanks to all of you who weighed in on the future and direction of our open book threads. If you haven't responded yet, but would like to, the floor is still open.

Now, to business. Often I use this thread to talk about what I'm reading and ask what you're reading. This week I thought I'd try something new. Many of us have, in addition to the books we're currently reading, those stacks of books piling up in the background that we never seem to get to, haunting us for months or even years. So this week I'm going to talk about a few good books that I should be reading and wish I were reading, but am not actually currently reading. Here are just a few of the entrants in Gina's Hall of Shame.

  • David McCullough, John Adams. Yes, THAT John Adams. I was so excited when this book came out, as Adams has long been one of my personal heroes. Begged for it for Christmas that year. Got it. Still haven't read it.
  • Barry Cooper, Beethoven. Got it even longer ago than John Adams. Started it. Still haven't finished it.
  • Charles Rosen, Piano Notes. Two piano-related books that I've been wanting to read are Note by Note and Grand Obsession. (Apparently the number of puns one can make about the piano is unlimited.) But I feel too guilty to buy them because I'm still on page 71 in this piano-related book, which I picked up in England some four or five years ago.
  • Joseph Pearce, Literary Converts. Started it, liked it, and then got distracted. It's still waiting.

And many, many more. And yet I still keep buying more books. Go figure.

How about you? What are you reading -- or not reading?

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Steve (SBK)

I just read "Of Mice and Men" for the first time this week.
I thought it was fascinating, and sad.
Can the multiplicity of English majors give me some interesting analysis on this story? Like the foreshadowing of having to shoot the old, smelly dog and Candy saying "I should have done it George"...
I don't think it's a kids book, as I don't think they'd 'get' it (and I bring this up because it seems to me this would have been a 'censored' book). Comments? On this book? Steinbeck? (This is my first Steinbeck book and I really liked how he wrote).

I've been wanting to read "The Great Omission" by Dallas Willard. Haven't got around to it (for a long time).

Also, heard good things about "The Diary of a Country Priest". Is this a good book?

And lastly, wanting to get my hands/eyes on St. Athanasius's "On the Incarnation".

Gina Dalfonzo

I am ashamed to say I've never read "Of Mice and Men." Some English major I am! Is anyone else familiar with the book? Or with "The Diary of a Country Priest"?

(I did read Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," but that was a very long time ago. Stylistically, I couldn't call him one of my favorites, though maybe I would like it better if I read it again now. It would be interesting to see. But in any event, I did find much of his imagery striking and memorable.)


It's been way too many years since I read "Of Mice and Men" (high school, I think) so I have no interesting analysis on that point. I remember thinking it was sad... beyond that I have nothing.

On my shelf waiting to be read:

"John Adams" (same one, Gina)

"Balkan Ghosts" by Robert Kaplan; bought this several years ago to read and haven't gotten to it at all. I keep thinking maybe I should read Rebecca West's "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon" first, but I don't own that one and the size requires a definite committment.

There are definitely others that I haven't read that I keep thinking I should get to... mostly classics I missed in school, or ones I see referenced other places.


At the moment I am in two works: G. E. Ladd's classic on the kingdom of God, and the second volume of William Bennett's popular history of America.

As for what's on deck--mercy, where to start? Maybe I'll tackle Niebuhr's "Christ and Culture" and then D. A. Carson's recently published response. But "Jesus Through Middle-Eastern Eyes" just arrived the other day and looks fascinating.

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