Tag Archives: currently reading

Whatcha Reading…? 1/28/2019 Book Update

Back in 2016-2017, I used to do an occasional “Whatcha Reading” update. Basically, when I find myself buried in avalanche of current reads, I like sorting them out on here. 

Now, I know what you are thinking! “BUT WHAT ABOUT THAILAND?!” I promise I’m still here. The thing is, due to certain circumstances, I spent the weekend at home. And really, the most exciting thing I accomplished was laundry. I’ve strained my brain to make laundry an entertaining story, but mostly it involved me lacking the correct change and making strategic visits to the convenience store to get more. Mostly I read. And as I’ve decided to tackle several rather long books courtesy but my new Kindle, a “Whatcha Reading” update is the best way I can describe my weekend.

Without further ado, I present you my current reads: Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, Ethics by Aristotle, The City of God by Saint Augustine, Pamela by Samuel Richardson, and Letters to a Diminished Church by Dorothy L. Sayers. (And lest you think my reading involves only intellectual works, I must confess I recently finished To Catch A Bad Guy by Marie Astor, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joane Flunke, and The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Cruise – all as horrible as they sound.) As you can see, I’m working through the As on my Kindle. 

Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas is 95,666 pages long. I’m 1,520 pages in –  about 1%. I do not plan on finishing it this year…or next…or maybe the year after. But the work played an instrumental role in developing Western thought so I figure it is worth the long term commitment. 

Ethics by Aristotle…I am not sure what I think about this one yet. Obviously, I’m familiar with Aristotle’s theory of virtue as the mean between two extremes. He jumps around quite a bit, however, between personal application of virtue and civic virtue. His explanation of justice I found particularly intriguing. Mostly I feel like I miss as much as I understand. But I find his method of explaining things helps me better understand Aquinas. (Similar formatting of arguments.) 

I purchased my copy of The City of God by Saint Augustine instead of getting the free version and I am amazed the difference a good translation makes. I am not particularly far into the book but I’m quite intrigued. It begins with a seeming history lesson about the barbarians who sacked Rome but did not touch the Christian churches. Amidst this strange beginning, Saint Augustine weaves several points about human suffering. 

Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson was published in 1740 and I’ve been dragging myself through it since last July. Though a remarkable literary achievement for its time, I find the entire work slow and irritating. But I’m also stubbornly determined to finish it since it was a ‘first’ for many literary tropes we use today. (And Jane Austen read it.) 

Letters to a Diminished Church by Dorothy L. Sayers is incredibly good so far. I find it easier to grasp than her work about the trinity, The Mind of the Maker. In this book, she tackles Christian doctrine. She continues to emphasize the creativity of God and the importance of creation for human identity. I’m convinced this one will end up an immediate favorite. 


Meandering Through Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

Two years after putting it down, I’ve picked up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling again. It is the last one in the series and I feel like I ought to have read it by now. The thing is…I can’t seem to get into it. Maybe too much time has past since I read book 6. But I tried reading it immediately following book 6 and I still struggled with it. That’s why I put it down! 

A part of me realizes this is a very interesting story but I’m just not feeling engaged with it. I put it down and think, ‘ughhhh, have to pick that back up again.’ To make myself finish, I’ve refused to let myself go to the library and so it is now basically the last book in the library basket. This measure is only partially working, however, because I’ve been inspired to read books I already own and never finished. 

Maybe my problem is with how long it is? That doesn’t normally daunt me, but in this case it feels like I’m not making any progress. 

I know it is dangerous to say anything bad about Harry Potter. I’m ready to accept the consequences because I’m trying. I really am. I’ll finish this! Somehow…someday! 


Whatcha Reading…? 4/22/2017 Book Update

“What are you currently reading?” asks the Get To Know You form. I look at the inch provided to respond in and don’t know whether to laugh or cry. What am I currently reading…??

I am in the middle of quite a few books right now. The problem is time. I’ve been in the midst of several books for weeks and there are twice as many unread in my library basket but I don’t seem to be finishing them at my usual pace. I think I need to take a reading day. However, for now, here is what I am currently reading:

Legend by Marie Lu, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior, Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, New Collected Poems by Wendell Berry, and The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. I’m still working on An Autobiography by Agatha Christie and Jack by George Sayer.  I am re-reading Manalive by G.K. Chesterton and listening to Bleak House by Charles Dickens on audio book. 

I don’t have much time today so I won’t go into the relative merits of each of these reads but there are some really interesting ones. And some less interesting ones. Hopefully you’ll see a few reviews with these names over the next week!


Whatcha Reading…? 4/6/16 Book Update

 

My reading has slowed down over the past week. I’ve only finished 4 books since my March 29th post about Girl Online. (Laugh if you will, that is slow for me!) As none of those 4 books were particularly interesting, I decided today it would be more fun to write about what I’m currently reading. I’m about 3/4ths through 3 different books. 

I have been “flipping” between two hardcover books and one audio book. The hardcovers are The Lady Investigates: Women Detectives & Spies in Fiction by Patricia Craig and Mary Cadogan, and Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire. The audio book is David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. 

The Lady Investigates has been an interesting, but pretentiously written, read. The Golden Age of Murder, by Martin Edwards,  does a much better job of referencing books without condemning them.  However, it has provided some fascinating tidbits. Did you know early lady-detectives were almost always blond (including Nancy Drew)? It didn’t take long, however, for redheads to make an appearance in the genre and completely take over. For a long time, almost every female detective had at least something of a reddish hue. Also, girl detectives emerged in girl magazines in England and America at roughly the same time. But where in England girl detectives usually had a trusty dog as a sidekick, American girl detectives were much more likely to have boyfriends! 

Wired to Create started off “stupendously” interesting, and has descended to “mildly” interesting. There are lots of good quotes and tidbits about the creative process, but the authors write as if each of their points were brand new thoughts. Yet I don’t think anything they’ve said is particularly groundbreaking or shocking. It makes sense that passion about your work, occasional solitude, and an openness to new experiences help creativity. I’m reserving final judgement, however, till I’ve reached the end. 

As for David Copperfield, I’m loving and hating it at the same time. I’ll probably post my review on here once I finally finished. The book is on 32 hours worth of CDs. I don’t think I would have gotten through the first chapter if I were reading this in print. With nothing better to listen to in the car, I’ve made it through quite a bit, actually. I like David. I hate Dora. I think ‘this book is so intriguing and subtle, totally going to be 5 stars‘ and then Dora opens her mouth, or even enters the room, and I immediately think, ‘Never mind. One star. One star for Dora.‘ I think she is dying, though, so we shall see how this goes. 

I think that is everything I am currently reading. I’ve been meaning to read Dracula for quite some time and I’ve acquired quite a few books about the Founding Fathers recently that look interesting. However, I own all those, and books I own tend to get pushed aside for library reads. Maybe my hold will come in and I will have an excuse to go to the library and find more books!