What is everyone reading?

Arachne

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Alpo2 said:
I'm probably taking this way too seriously but I've often wondered do people who read much actually read those books from cover to cover and whether they only read fiction. Maybe I'm just lazy or slow reader but reading tens of books in a relatively short period seems impossible.
Cover to cover, fiction and nonfiction. I schedule in at least half an hour of reading time a day. Even if I only make it through 50 pages during that time, that's still a full-length book a week.
 

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Arachne said:
Alpo2 said:
I'm probably taking this way too seriously but I've often wondered do people who read much actually read those books from cover to cover and whether they only read fiction. Maybe I'm just lazy or slow reader but reading tens of books in a relatively short period seems impossible.
Cover to cover, fiction and nonfiction. I schedule in at least half an hour of reading time a day. Even if I only make it through 50 pages during that time, that's still a full-length book a week.
With a couple of exceptions, I don’t think I’ve ever managed 50 pages in half an hour.  Like Alpo, I’ve chalked it up to the kinds of books I tend to read and the speed at which I read (which seems slower than most, which I also attribute to book type). 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Like Alpo, I’ve chalked it up to the kinds of books I tend to read and the speed at which I read (which seems slower than most, which I also attribute to book type).
Right. The material must make a difference. If one is are reading in a foreign language (eg. Russian for me), it goes slower. If it's in one's own language with a topic one is familiar with, it goes faster. So for instance, compare an advanced medical textbook with a 4th grade biology book.
Some people seem to have a special knack for fast reading large volumes of material. Maybe their retention rate is less if they go too quick.
 

Arachne

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Mor Ephrem said:
Arachne said:
Alpo2 said:
I'm probably taking this way too seriously but I've often wondered do people who read much actually read those books from cover to cover and whether they only read fiction. Maybe I'm just lazy or slow reader but reading tens of books in a relatively short period seems impossible.
Cover to cover, fiction and nonfiction. I schedule in at least half an hour of reading time a day. Even if I only make it through 50 pages during that time, that's still a full-length book a week.
With a couple of exceptions, I don’t think I’ve ever managed 50 pages in half an hour.  Like Alpo, I’ve chalked it up to the kinds of books I tend to read and the speed at which I read (which seems slower than most, which I also attribute to book type).
I find I can read a lot faster on the Kindle than on paper, as my eyesight is not what it used to be. Even in nonfiction, a page hardly ever takes me more than a minute. I tend to cruise through a book at first read, then go back and reread if necessary. Pace matters a lot, but that's just my reading style.
 

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I tend to read several books at a time. Probably contributing to the slowness of reading. I also haven't been scheduling specific time for reading but looking to change that by logging off from internet more often and switch the online time for books and articles.

Currently (pretending to be) reading:
Hieromonk Damascene - Christ the Eternal Tao
Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Jonas Gardell - Never Wash Tears Without Gloves
Che Wung'en - Journey to the West (thanks Iconodule)
Arnold Bennet - How to Live 24 Hours a Day

That's more fiction than usual. I figured I needed some light reading and I don't think ever read Agatha Christie and it was free on my ereader's (Rakuten) store. First is just general fandom of Fr. Seraphim Rose. Would strongly recommend etc.  Third is an old favourite. A fairly heart-breaking story of AIDS epidemics of Sweden. Fourth was recommended on some thread here and I haven't read anything from China before. Last one I found from Cal Newport's book I read earlier. I used to hate self-help but some has it's use. Also free but from Project Gutenberg.
 

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2 days into the Reading Rush, I've read 356 pages so far... and I'm still way behind where I need to be to hit my goal of finishing all the books by the end of the week. Probably should have went with a poetry collection and a graphic novel or something in place of two of the larger books. ;D

The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, by various writers
A Guide to St. Symeon the New Theologian, by Hannah Hunt
Hidden Bodies (You, #2), by Caroline Kepnes

I guess if there's a bright spot so far it's that I'm not bored by any of the books (though Hidden Bodies is going to be a hate read)
 

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I am reading the plain text of English literature.
 

Asteriktos

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Asteriktos said:
A Guide to St. Symeon the New Theologian, by Hannah Hunt
I forgot how much of a renegade he was  8)

Hidden Bodies (You, #2), by Caroline Kepnes
One of the worst books I've ever read. I am so glad the TV show basically changes almost everything about this except the names and the location (and carries over the characterization of the main character from the first season).
 

Arachne

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Asteriktos said:
That looked intriguing, I went looking for the author, and found out she has edited at least four Cthulhu Mythos anthologies. I know what I'll be reading this Halloween season!
 

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De Oratione (Extracts from the Commentary on the Rule of St. Augustine & the Commentary on the Constitutions of the Order of Preachers) by Humbert of Romans (1200-1277); translated from the Latin by Fr. Thomas Crean, O.P.
 

Ainnir

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I need to read Parenting Toward the Kingdom again.  :-[
 

Fr. George

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Arachne said:
Alpo2 said:
I'm probably taking this way too seriously but I've often wondered do people who read much actually read those books from cover to cover and whether they only read fiction. Maybe I'm just lazy or slow reader but reading tens of books in a relatively short period seems impossible.
Cover to cover, fiction and nonfiction. I schedule in at least half an hour of reading time a day. Even if I only make it through 50 pages during that time, that's still a full-length book a week.
Honestly, maybe my peak mental state in the last 20 years was about 9 years ago when, for maybe a year, I was getting about an hour per day.  20-30-ish before bed (fiction or history), 20-ish while "contemplating the deeper meaning of life" (led the reader understand) (history or fiction - whichever wasn't at the bedside), and another 10-15 at work (spiritual).  Each attempt to replicate since then has failed - but I continue to hold out hope that it could "take" again soon.

(On the flip-side, because I'm in the car far more nowadays than I used to be, I do get a good amount of audiobook and podcast listening in... but it's not the same.)
 

Arachne

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Fr. George said:
Arachne said:
Alpo2 said:
I'm probably taking this way too seriously but I've often wondered do people who read much actually read those books from cover to cover and whether they only read fiction. Maybe I'm just lazy or slow reader but reading tens of books in a relatively short period seems impossible.
Cover to cover, fiction and nonfiction. I schedule in at least half an hour of reading time a day. Even if I only make it through 50 pages during that time, that's still a full-length book a week.
Honestly, maybe my peak mental state in the last 20 years was about 9 years ago when, for maybe a year, I was getting about an hour per day.  20-30-ish before bed (fiction or history), 20-ish while "contemplating the deeper meaning of life" (led the reader understand) (history or fiction - whichever wasn't at the bedside), and another 10-15 at work (spiritual).  Each attempt to replicate since then has failed - but I continue to hold out hope that it could "take" again soon.

(On the flip-side, because I'm in the car far more nowadays than I used to be, I do get a good amount of audiobook and podcast listening in... but it's not the same.)
I do my best reading on public transport. When I was working, I was packing some serious page numbers in just 28 minutes of transit (and maybe another 10 or so of waiting around) a day. Since I no longer have a commute, I've had to try other tricks. I only started logging my reading, and participating in challenges, after my son was born, in order to avoid dissolving into the mindlessness of early parenthood. For several years, bedtime story-reading and me going through the books he wanted to read in advance made up a good chunk of my reading, and reading something for myself was the primary challenge. But even now, days when I manage to go into town make a big dent in my TBR pile.
 

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Arachne said:
Asteriktos said:
That looked intriguing, I went looking for the author, and found out she has edited at least four Cthulhu Mythos anthologies. I know what I'll be reading this Halloween season!
Nice 👍
 

Asteriktos

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A unique little (56 pp.) booklet containing, well, notes on ecumenism by St. Justin Popovich. The notes are from 1972, translated from (mostly) Serbian by Aleksandra Stojanovich to English, published by Sebastian Press in 2013. There are several color icons, along with black and white icons and a couple photographs. The introduction mentions work on an edition of St. Justin's Complete Works, but who knows if that's still happening. Tbh if you've read other anti-Ecumenist works by St. Justin there's not a ton of new stuff here. Maybe the major point of difference here--and it's one the editors tried to emphasize--is that Justin gives more time to outlining an Orthodox ecumenism, balancing out the polemics against the forms/methods of ecumenism he opposes. Even in this though he's not really saying anything new, but rather just being more explicit about certain points. There was also a brief effort to present St. Justin as a more moderate voice, in opposition to those who are overly-zealous fundamentalists. But anyway, this isn't really something to sit down and read like a standard book; the bulk of this is literally just notes, and 12 pages are photocopies of the Serbian handwritten originals.







(sorry for the blurry photographs, my scanner is in storage)
 

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Is The Seven Storey Mountain worth reading? I started it a while ago, got about a quarter of the way through, and then discovered Merton's later affinity for Buddhism, eastern mysticism, and general questionable behaviour, and put it away.
 

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I think Gebre has read it at least? Hopefully someone will chime in here. I remember either starting it or just getting it from the library many years ago, but not getting very far before I got side-tracked and never kept going.
 

Asteriktos

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Currently reading this book by David Bentley Hart and... it's about the least Hart-like book I've read o_O no acerbic quips, no swipes at those who disagree, no $10 words, just historical facts given in a straight-forward manner

story hart.jpg


Here are some sample pages...
christian story hart pages.png
 

Asteriktos

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It certainly balances things well: gives info about historical Christianity but isn't dumbed down, covers a wide variety of topics, spends a decent amount of pages with different groups and time periods, and does so in a way that is accessible and visually interesting. Certainly there are books/sets that will teach you more about the in depth specifics of Christian history, but in the future if I'm asked for a book recommendation of an introductory text about Christian history for someone unfamiliar with all this stuff, it'll be this book.
 

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Attempting (again) to get back in to more expansive reading time.

Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel by Luke Timothy Johnson. Not terribly far in. (It's a follow-up to his Jesus Seminar rebuttal The Real Jesus.) Very grounded so far.

Via Negativa by Daniel Hornsby. I'm a few chapters in. Follows a newly-retired RC priest as he travels across country to visit close friends / former parishioners. Enjoying it to this point.

Death and Immortality in Middle Earth. Collection of papers from the Tolkien Society Seminar of the same name held back in 2016. I'm interested in about 80% of the articles, so I decided to pick it up. First one I read ("Facing death: how characters in The Lord of the Rings meet the prospect of their own demise and the loss of others") was a bit disappointing (both in the "not what I expected" and "not nearly as good as it could have been" categories).
 

Asteriktos

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Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, by Stephen King. Really good, though not quite as good as the movie imo.

Only One Thing is Needed, by Met. Nahum Strumica. Amazon says it's "a collection of sayings on Orthodox spiritual life taken from all his previous books," but "sayings" here is quite misleading. More like excerpts ranging from 4 to 15 pages.

The Philocalia of Origen. Sts. Gregory and Basil have good taste.
 

Asteriktos

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Attempting (again) to get back in to more expansive reading time.

Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel by Luke Timothy Johnson. Not terribly far in. (It's a follow-up to his Jesus Seminar rebuttal The Real Jesus.) Very grounded so far.

Death and Immortality in Middle Earth. Collection of papers from the Tolkien Society Seminar of the same name held back in 2016. I'm interested in about 80% of the articles, so I decided to pick it up. First one I read ("Facing death: how characters in The Lord of the Rings meet the prospect of their own demise and the loss of others") was a bit disappointing (both in the "not what I expected" and "not nearly as good as it could have been" categories).
So how did these two go? Only thing I've read by Luke Timothy Johnson was his commentary on the Epistle of James, which made for somewhat dry reading at times, but I still greatly enjoyed it.
 

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Guiding to a Blesses End : Andrew of Caesarea and His Apocalypse Commentary in the Ancient Church / Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou.
 

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Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher.

I know Dreher enjoys a mixed reputation here, but I suspect this new book might be the most relevant, if not most important, read of the year.
 
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Read I, Robot last week. Great book. Lots of fun in here. The games the author plays within his own structure is intriguing. On to the 'sequel' next, The Caves of Steel.
I_robot.jpg
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Recently finished Pachinko by Jin Min Lee. Best fiction I've read in years. Now reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. Knowing pretty much nothing about South African society it's nice to hear at least some background to apartheid, ethnic relations etc. Also very readable. An easy way to wind-down after work while possibly also learning something.
 

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Finishing up Commentary on the Apocalypse / Andrew of Caesarea ; translated by Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou.
 

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Commentary on Zechariah / Didymus the Blind, Translated by Robert C. Hill.
 

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aquinas.jpg


It's an interesting read. I know virtually nothing about Aquinas of Thomist philosophy. But it's (naturally) heavy on one of the things that repels me from Roman Catholicism - a fixation on classic, and especially Aristotelian, philosophy. It was the same with Pope Benedict XVI's "Introduction to Christianity". I don't understand the (in my opinion) retrograde obsession with situating the case for Christianity in the ancients.
 
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