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What is everyone reading?

Iconodule

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Kind of hard for me to admit this, but I'm actually reading through Lord of the Rings for the first time. About to finish Fellowship right now.
 

Iconodule

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Iconodule said:
Kind of hard for me to admit this, but I'm actually reading through Lord of the Rings for the first time. About to finish Fellowship right now.
Some initial thoughts:

I love it. I should say I tried starting it in elementary school, but I was off-put by the amount of humor at the beginning. Yes, even in third grade I wanted only the grimmest reading. I was hoping LOTR would be very grim and I was disappointed. Having gone considerably further now, it makes more sense to me. I am generally not a fan of the concept of "comic relief" but Tolkien handles it better than most. It makes the grim bits all the grimmer, which is what I suppose comic relief is supposed to do.

This book would have a really hard time getting published today. It begins exceedingly slowly. I say that not as a strike against the book- I think the slow, comfortable, plodding beginning in the Shire sets a really good contrast for the terrifying journey ahead. But today's readers generally want snappy beginnings. Editors and agents are obsessed, it seems, with everything being in place in the first couple pages. Prologues are almost dogmatically rejected out of hand. I hope we can recover the virtue of patience and quiet beginnings.

As much as I love the Peter Jackson films, I think he makes some serious mis-steps. For one thing, he turns the comic relief aspect up to 11. Too many hobbit and dwarf jokes, too much dorky D&D dialogue ("They have a cave troll!"). Gandalf's explanation to Frodo regarding Bilbo's pity to Gollum is well done, but they leave out one important part- it was Bilbo's pity that saved not only Gollum, but Bilbo himself from being as susceptible to the Ring's evil influence as other folk. Also, the body of the Watcher in the Water should not have been revealed. It's much more unsettling not knowing what all those tentacles are connected to, in my opinion. Generally though Jackson covers the Mines of Moria scene very well- the pervading gloom and horror is well-conveyed.
 

Asteriktos

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Human Knowledge According to Saint Maximus the Confessor, by Nevena Dimitrova
 

thenerdpaul

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RobS said:
My priest gave me the Old Orthodox prayer book, and ummm yeah there's a lot of bowing...
That's one of my favorite parts about the Old Orthodox Prayer Book.  ;D It's also a big reason why I started researching more about the Old Rite.
 

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I am about half-way through Archpriest Avvakum: The Life Written By Himself published by the University of Michigan. (By half-way I mean half-way through the translation itself, not the editorial stuff which I'll get to afterwards). So far I am amazed, not only at the quality of the writing but also at the things Archpriest Avvakum and his family went through! What a sad life he had.  :-[
 

RobS

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Pensees - Pascal. First time reading this and I am in love...
 

William T

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For a bit of self torture I'm reading The Myth of the Twentieth Century an old theology book that either was Nazi or influenced /  officially approved by the Nazis'  I don't know how far I can get in it, frankly it's about as obnoxious as most of this kind of "philosophy" or theology that started in the mid 1800's and carries on down to the present day.  They are all interchangeable to me at this point, and I have not now, nor have I understood what gets these people all amped up.  Maybe I don't have enough"Nordic Blood" in me, and am of a lower blooded or ordered soul...anyway it's all hipster doofus stuff.  This German / French philo-theology strand is just Madam Blavatsky for a more refined Salon culture to me, I guess this book though is probably bottom of the barrel even for that... but frankly it's at least less dry and much more clear than goofballs like Hegel or Heidegger. 

The authors name is Alfred Rosenberg who came from a  "bourgeois Jewish family" so this must be his rebellion.  Before this I used to consider one of the best examples of a "self hating Jew"  in this culture was Otto Weinegar:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Weininger

he was an ultra-misogynist who thought "Jewishness" was too feminine.  He got into all this Madame Blavatsky style culture and reasoning as well, then he killed himself.

Anyway, strange stuff.
 

Asteriktos

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Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective, by Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev
 

RobS

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Asteriktos said:
Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective, by Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev
Is this going to be the next "Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future"?
 

Antonis

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Has anyone read The Way, by Fr. George Metallinos?

To contribute to this thread, I am currently reading The Brothers Karamazov and Saint Nektarios: The Saint of Our Century.
 

RobS

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Antonis said:
I am currently reading The Brothers Karamazov
First time reading it? I'd like to start reading the Idiot soon. I've read TBK 3 times.
 

Antonis

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RobS said:
Antonis said:
I am currently reading The Brothers Karamazov
First time reading it? I'd like to start reading the Idiot soon. I've read TBK 3 times.
Second. I haven't read The Idiot or Crime and Punishment, but they're both on the list!
 

Arachne

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Getting into the spirit of the season.

 

Asteriktos

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I am as well:



(iconodule recommended one of the short stories in the volume, Count Magnus)
 

Volnutt

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Asteriktos said:
I am as well:



(iconodule recommended one of the short stories in the volume, Count Magnus)
Count Magnus is a single short story, and it's not in that graphic novel (which is really good, regardless). The Count Magnus adaptation is in volume 2.
 

Asteriktos

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Not sure if the cover is causing the problem or what, but what I have on my kindle is a collection of short stories, and (I just checked) Lord Magnus is the next story I'll come to (I'm currently on one titled Number 13). I grabbed that image off the amazon page that I bought it from, but perhaps the cover is actually for a different product than what the page is actually for?
 

Volnutt

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Asteriktos said:
Not sure if the cover is causing the problem or what, but what I have on my kindle is a collection of short stories, and (I just checked) Lord Magnus is the next story I'll come to (I'm currently on one titled Number 13). I grabbed that image off the amazon page that I bought it from, but perhaps the cover is actually for a different product than what the page is actually for?
Ah, ok.

Yeah, that's the cover of the first volume of the graphic novel adaptation of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.
 

Asteriktos

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Theatrical Shows and Ascetic Lives: John Chrysostom's Attack on Spiritual Marriage, by Blake Leyerle
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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In the spirit of the season, I thought I’d share some of my favorite nonfiction books that deal with the themes of horror and spiritual warfare. Let me know if you have questions about any of these books, or if you’d like for me to recommend something specific from this selection.

I should also mention that the best book on spiritual warfare that I've ever read (apart from the sacred scriptures) is "Life of Anthony" by St. Athanasius. You can find a PDF file of the book at this link: http://www.stmarkchicago.org/St-Anthony-The-Great.pdf

Also, in the spirit of the season, I encourage you to please share here some of your favorite books that deal with these same themes.

With the righteous fire of Christ, let us burn out the hellish light of Lucifer!


“Christ gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” [Galatians 1:4]

“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” [I John 3:8]

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” [Romans 16:20]

“He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” [Colossians 1:13]

“And He said to them, ‘I beheld Satan fall from heaven like lightning.’” [St. Luke 10:18]

"Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” [St. John 12:31]

“And concerning judgment, the ruler of this world has already been judged.” [St. John 16:11]

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:38-39]


Selam
 

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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy  - Eric Metaxas
 

Asteriktos

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Does anyone know of a book that explores Migne and his publishing work, but which is meatier than God's Plagiarist: Being an Account of the Fabulous Industry and Irregular Commerce of the Abbe Migne?
 

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Kind of all over the map lately...

St. Silouan the Athonite - still reading this one, the spiritual struggles I'm going through are the same ones St. Silouan suffered in the beginning when he arrived at Mt. Athos. I'm getting a lot out of this book spiritually.

Pascal's Pensees - reading this in bits still

Heidegger's Being and Time - reading this for the first time in the Mac/Rob translation (only read intro and a few chaps in Stambaugh). I read Macquarrie's Existentialism book a few months ago which I liked a lot so thought I'd give his co-translation of BT a try.

Tolstoy's Death of Ivan Illyich - brilliant

Forgot to include Christos Yannaras' Freedom of Morality is superb. Loved it. Him and Zizilouas are fascinating thinkers.
 

Iconodule

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Asteriktos said:
I am as well:



(iconodule recommended one of the short stories in the volume, Count Magnus)
Cool, I didn't know these existed! I'll have to get my own. Thanks for the heads up.

I just finished reading Saint Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Moses for the second time.
 

RobS

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Iconodule any opinions on St. Nicholas Cabasilas' two major Orthodox books?
 

Iconodule

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RobS said:
Iconodule any opinions on St. Nicholas Cabasilas' two major Orthodox books?
I've only seen tiny snippets of them, so no opinion at all, other than that he's on the shortlist of people I need to read.
 

Iconodule

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Iconodule said:
Asteriktos said:
I am as well:



(iconodule recommended one of the short stories in the volume, Count Magnus)
Cool, I didn't know these existed! I'll have to get my own. Thanks for the heads up.

I just finished reading Saint Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Moses for the second time.
I should also add that MR James was an accomplished scholar and his translation of the New Testament apocrypha seems to be the standard English version (it's frequently cited in the English translation of Met Hilarion's Christ the Conqueror of Hell).
 

Asteriktos

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Iconodule said:
I should also add that MR James was an accomplished scholar and his translation of the New Testament apocrypha seems to be the standard English version (it's frequently cited in the English translation of Met Hilarion's Christ the Conqueror of Hell).
Huh, I didn't even notice! :)
 

Volnutt

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Iconodule said:
Asteriktos said:
I am as well:



(iconodule recommended one of the short stories in the volume, Count Magnus)
Cool, I didn't know these existed! I'll have to get my own. Thanks for the heads up.
You're welcome! I still need to get volume 2. I'm still experimenting with how much horror I can "take" with my newly squeamish post-surgery stomach.
 

Antonis

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Just finished Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, which I had to read after all the commotion on this thread about it! I enjoyed it.

Right now I am reading Khouria Krista West's The Garments of Salvation.
 

Asteriktos

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Elder Gervasios (Paraskevopoulos) of Patras: His Life and Pastoral Work, by Hierodeacon Cyril Kostopoulos
 

Antonis

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Asteriktos said:
Elder Gervasios (Paraskevopoulos) of Patras: His Life and Pastoral Work, by Hierodeacon Cyril Kostopoulos
Let us know how it goes. Those are my favorite kinds of books.

I am currently reading the first volume of Fr. Copleston's grand A History of Philosophy. This particular volume traces from the pre-Socratics to Plotinus. I highly recommend it for those interested in brushing up on the topic. It is very readable, and Fr. Copleston does not hide the fact that he writes from a Christian mindset (he was himself an Oxford-educated Thomist) while still managing to present each line of thought fairly.
 

Asteriktos

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Antonis said:
Asteriktos said:
Elder Gervasios (Paraskevopoulos) of Patras: His Life and Pastoral Work, by Hierodeacon Cyril Kostopoulos
Let us know how it goes. Those are my favorite kinds of books.
I'm most of the way done... I think the main problem is that there just isn't enough material included. It's kinda short overall (~25k words I'd say), but I also mean that it often goes over events in outline form without really getting into any depth. It just feels like the summary of a summary of his biography and beliefs. Maybe that was by design (something translated and published is better than nothing), but it leaves things feeling a bit threadbare.
 
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