What is everyone reading?

MaryCecilia

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I just finished a Star Trek Deep Space Nine novel and am beginning (again) a book called Not of This World (about Fr. Seraphim Rose) I had started to read it before I had our baby girl but then things got 'crazy' and I forgot about reading it for a while. I've decided to start reading it again, from the beginning since I can't remember where I left off last.  I am also in the middle of a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories.  These are both pretty good books.  :)

Mary
 

Asteriktos

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Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives, ed. by Robert T Pennock. The first essay in this book is the worst work I have ever read. On any subject. It was written by someone with a PhD in philosophy, and it makes you realise exactly how bankrupt the Darwinian philosophy is.

EDIT--Let me rephrase the last sentence. I had spent nearly 40 minutes writing a mini-critique of this book, which I was going to post as a seperate thread, but then I noticed that I was going to be late for work, and I got tired of the whole thing, so I just erased it and posted a comment quickly on this thread. The last sentence would have been better though had I said: It was written by someone with a PhD in philosophy, and it makes you realise who intellectually bankrupt even the most educated among the Darwinist camp can be at times. Certainly most Darwinists are far better educated and intelligent than me, I didn't mean to imply that they were all idiots and I was the smart one. I was just frustrated that such a biased, contradictory, nonsensical piece could not only get published, but would be the very first essay and would set the tone for the entire book.
 

aurelia

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A Woman Of Substance..Barbara Taylor Bradford.  It's an old standby for mewhen i dont want to have to think while i am reading.
 

Krysostomos

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I`m just goin to start "The difference of the nature philosophy of Demoktiros and Epikuros" by Karl Marx - a work, that made him the doctor in philosophy.
The book is just published in the Finnish language: Demokriitoksen ja Epikuroksen luonnonfilosofian ero. Better late than never...
 

Ebor

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I just got a Harry Turtledove alternate history from the library:  "Ruled Britannia"  The premise is "What if the Spanish Armada had succeeded?"  It has Elizabeth I a prisoner in the tower for 10 years, Phillip of Spain's daughter Isabella ruling England with her husband Albert of Austria, and William Shakespeare as the main character.

Turtledove does excellent alternate history.

Ebor
 

Timos

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I'm working on "Counsels from the Holy Mountain" by Elder Ephraim...its like reading the Bible...its so huge. However, its good in that it is a series of letters from E. Ephraim to his (anonyumous) spiritual children (published with consent I'm sure) and  so its divided into sections relating to subject such as prayer, ilnesses, passions...etc. It can be a hard read and theres an "orthodox dictionary of terms" such as "isichia=quietude, panagia= all holy, gr. term used to venerate the Theotokos....etc.

Its good...but takes forever to finish unless u got loads of time on your hands or are reading it for school.
 

suzannes

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Devils, or The Posessed by Dostoevsky.  This is a new translation, not Constance Garnett.
 

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Counsels from the Holy Mountain is good.  I enjoyed that along with Monastic Wisdon which is a collection of Elder Joseph's letters.  Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi also has some similar books that very good but I think only one is out in English. ÂÂ

Right now I'm readying Way to Nicaea by Fr. John Behr which is very good.  It is taking forever though since I am also reading primary sources to go along with it.  But the end result will be good as his book gives the reader a solid patristic grounding.  His approach that patristics is mainly about the question "Who do you say I am?" makes the reader think a little outside the box. ÂÂ

Am re-reading Christ the Eternal Tao - I just love this book.  Pages 200-300 give the best short expanation of Christianity that I have ever read.  It is written towards either the secularist or non Christian - but really helped me, a struggling Orthodox Christian to better understand my own faith.  Too much matieral put out by Orthodoxy is aimed at winning converts from the RCC or Protestantism over technicalities - this rises far above that. ÂÂ

Also just finished The Science of God which an athiest slowly turning theist neighbor of mine read and wanted me to read so we could discuss it.  I think the whole premise of the book was off and had some very arbitrary arguments based on science - so in 30 years most of the science he uses to justify his view will have changed.  Also it simply has no deep theological understanding of Genesis, at all.  While Creationism is important to Genesis it is only part.  The deeper part of man falling and needing a saviour - plus the revelation of the Trinity even in the early chapters of Genesis aren't mentioned.  Still if it helped a struggling atheist/agnostic get a little firmer faith in theism then it isn't all bad.  ÂÂ
 

suzannes

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Oh, this translation in by Michael R. Katz, put out by Oxford University Press.  Translations of Dostoevsky always seem to be...problematic.  I think there's a great deal of irony, and even humour that is lost.  I'd love an opinion from someome who has read Dostoevsky in the origional Russian.
 

Ebor

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That's why I rather wish that I could read Japanese for my studies in that culture, Suzannes.  Even with good translators, how much is missed.

For my college class we've just read Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus" and 2 of John Donne's poems. 

Ebor
 

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right now:

daily readings from the desert fathers

On God and Man, theological poetry by St. Gregory the Theologian

finally embarking on a long-overdue rereading of the Lord of the Rings

and, Inkspell by Cornelia Funke, a German young adult writer along the fantasy vein - this is the sequal to the book Inkheart...both are wonderful, I recommend them for anyone w/ similar reading tastes to mine (I lean towards fantasy and/or children's-young adult literature as my reading of choice).

Ebor - although I loved my English major days which ended fairly recently, I don't envy you your Marlowe and Donne, because I was never left w/ any time to read my kiddie fantasy books - now that's all I do. Blessed freedom from school! :) someday I'm sure I'll hear my brick-sized Norton Anthologies of Literature calling to me to read the canonical stuff again, and they are on my book shelf waiting for just such a time, but for now I doubt it'll happen any time soon :)

D
 

Ebor

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Norton Anthologies as "brick sized"?  Not "cinder block"?  ;D  An advantage to them is that they have such a selection of great works all in one volume for easy of reading again. 

This course is a bit of a "easy one" for me I suppose as I've read a good number of the things we're studying years ago; it isn't all new to me.  I've actually read "Faustus" aloud in a group that met to read plays and was Mephistophiles.  We got into the ending in a big way and the guy reading Faustus got dragged off a short way.  (When we were working our way through Shakespeare we voted to NOT do "Titus Andronicus".)  and I've seen the movie that Richard Burton made.  Then again, I'm only taking one course to start out, so I am able to have other reading too.  ;)

Ebor
 

suzannes

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I so so LOVE Marlowe's Faust!  I've never read Goethe's, and I know I should, but I Marlowe's is SO great!!

"He who loves pleasure for pleasure must burn."

"Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight."

If you liked Dr. Faustus, Webster's The Duchess of Malfi is also really good.
 

Ebor

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Christopher Marlowe had a great talent for putting words together, didn't he?

I've never read all of Goethe either.

Have you read any of Marlowe's other work?

Ebor
 

suzannes

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I'd like to read Tamburlaine, and also The Jew of Malta.  I've got to get around to it, one of these days.
 

Ebor

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To pack such talent and writing that survived into such a short life.

For something *completely* different, we just read the children a couple portions of "The Cyberiad" by Stanislaw Lem: "Trurl's Electronic Bard" the section about the Steelypips and most of the early part where an incredibly stupid and stubbon computer is built.  Part of the gift is Lem's and part is the genius of the translator from Polish to English, Michael Kandel.  In the "Bard" one of the poems that the machine composes a poem about a haircut with all the words beginning with "S".  it's about Samson.

Ebor
 

Ebor

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Last week it was large portions of "Paradise Lost" by Milton.  This week (among other things) it's "Oroonoko" by Aphra Behn.  Considered by some to be the first English novel.

Ebor
 

Donna Rose

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Ebor,

Oroonoko....that's the one that is structured largely like a romance right? between an African princess and prince, iirc? i read it 2 summers ago i think...there was something troubling about the ending though, i cant clearly recall what. sparked lots of discussion in class. let me know your thoughts on it when you finish?

right now for me: yet another reread of the HP series (on Chamber of Secrets currently), planning to have Goblet of Fire read by Nov. 18 in time for the movie (but will still reread Order of the Pheonix and HBP to get all that detail better instilled in my memory bank for future reference)...and still plugging my way through LOTR - and enjoying it more than i think i did last time i read it, which is always a treat. it helps that i havent seen the films in a while - they are brilliant, but there are some details that dont match with the descriptions of Tolkien as i interpret them, the most important being the whole physique of Frodo (age and build)...so it's nice to reread w/ the films not as strong in my mind as they have been in the past.

D
 

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I am reading Living Theology by Pokrov Press.  It is interesting to read about lives of ascetics during Communism - rather dampens the anti MP opponents.
 

Asteriktos

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I'm set to start reading Radical Monotheism and Western Culture (With Supplementary Essays), by H. Richard Niebuhr. I very much enjoyed it the first time I read it, but that was over 5 years ago, and a lot has happend during that time. :)
 

Ebor

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Donna Rose said:
Ebor,

Oroonoko....that's the one that is structured largely like a romance right? between an African princess and prince, iirc? i read it 2 summers ago i think...there was something troubling about the ending though, i cant clearly recall what. sparked lots of discussion in class. let me know your thoughts on it when you finish?
My apologies for not getting back here in a while.  Yes, "Oroonoko" by Aphra Behn is part romance, part social commentary on both slavery and life in what is now called Suriname, part travelogue.  It all ends in tragedy: Imoinda and Oroonoko try to run away so their child is not born into slavery, but in the end Oroonoko kills her, is recaptured, and tortured/dismembered until he dies.  It lead to some lively discussion in my class as well about slavery, the fact that Oroonoko took others as slaves and sold them when he was a prince, "Is Behn decrying slavery?" and more.

Ebor
 

aurelia

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Just finished "Eragon" and loved it...have to get my hands on book 2 now.
 

ania

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For research reading, currently eating up "On the Beaten Path, an Appalachian Pilgrimage," by Robert Rubin, and any other books I can find on the Appalachian Trail (planning to hike at least part of it come May). 
For entertainment purposes, reading "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman.
For spiritual enrichment "The Orthodox Church," Timothy Ware.
 

Fr. George

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Taking my first plunge into Tolkien... hobbit, then trilogy, then maybe more?
 

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I'd start with The Hobbit, because it's a an easy intro (being primarily a children's book) and because it sets the stage so nicely for the LOTR trilogy. I was very glad I'd read about Bilbo's "There and Back Again" adventure before launching into the trilogy, as wonderful as the latter is. (Wonderful enough, IMHO, to merit several full re-readings over the years.)

Neat little piece of trivia: In the original 1930s version of The Hobbit, the ring Bilbo finds is a neat little thing, but not terribly sinister. It turns him invisible and all that, but it doesn't have the same corrupting power. When Tolkien started writing the continuation of TH, he realized the ring would be The Ring of Power, the focus of the story. So he went back and rewrote part of TH, having honest little Bilbo trick Gollum rather meanly to acquire the Ring, and lie to Gandalf about how he got it, to show its corrupting influence. This is the version one finds in bookstores today.

As for me, I'm enjoying The Paul Evdokimov Reader. Most impressive. But I've taken a brief timeout to re-read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
 

Fr. George

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BJohnD said:
I'd start with The Hobbit, because it's a an easy intro (being primarily a children's book) and because it sets the stage so nicely for the LOTR trilogy.  I was very glad I'd read about Bilbo's "There and Back Again" adventure before launching into the trilogy, as wonderful as the latter is.  (Wonderful enough, IMHO, to merit several full re-readings over the years.) 
This was the advice my friend gave me: Go Hobbit, Trilogy, then The Simarilion, then the Unfinished tales and whatnot.  Thanks for the trivia point, too!
 

Donna Rose

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Eragon and Eldest are so great, aurelia - you'll enjoy the 2nd book! go to your local library, it'll be in the kid's/young adult section. and cleveland - makes me so happy you're makin your first foray into Tolkien! you wont be disappointed!

as for me, i am kinda nuts right now w/ my books....i am still rereading LOTR (i'm in Two Towers now), Chronicles of Narnia (Prince Caspian), Harry Potter (Half-Blood Prince), and now I have moved onto the next book I am up to in the Redwall series (Salamandastron)...and finally, at last i got my hands on the sequal to Gregory Maguire's book Wicked, called Son of a Witch, which i just started last night and I am so excited about because Wicked was wonderful. anyone who is into fairy-tales or kid's stories at all, I recommend his work - he rewrites common fairy-tales w/ an adult sensibility (Wicked is the Oz story from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West, starting from when she is a little green-colored baby - others include Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror Mirror, the 1st a retelling of Cinderella and the 2nd a retelling of, i think, snow white).

so, yea, im in fantasy land - best place to be when it comes to books :)

D
 

aurelia

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Son of a Witch,

I LOVED Wicked, I so want to read the sequel.  ave to pay off some library fines first though...bad me... :eek:
 

Asteriktos

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C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church by Joseph Pearce.
 

Timos

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Starting on The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis De Montfort (130 pgs, TAN books) and Baudolino by Umberto Eco- its gonna take me forever to get through this one- its small type and its like 520 pgs.
 

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cleveland said:
This was the advice my friend gave me: Go Hobbit, Trilogy, then The Simarilion, then the Unfinished tales and whatnot.  Thanks for the trivia point, too!
Fantastic choices all!  I tend to read LoTR about once every year or so, and have done so since ca. 1982.  During my time at CSU I took part in two marathon readings (for both The Two Towers and The Return of The King) held at Mather Mansion.  I got to read a lot of the Gollum sequences, and was nowhere near as good as what was in the last two films.  Good times nonetheless.

Right now I'm reading At The Corner or East and Now by Frederica Mathewes-Green, and am about to start The Living Bread by Thomas Merton.

N

 

Elisha

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NicholasOhio said:
Right now I'm reading At The Corner or East and Now by Frederica Mathewes-Green....
So am I!  I'm on pg.103 at the moment.  I think she does a great job of weaving theology/praxis (and explaining it) with her narrative, but fails to really keep in mind that the actual praxis/ability of those in her own parish are beginners/amateurs wrt Orthodoxy and just doing their best - considering that she only has a few "cradle" Orthodox in her parish.  I'm enjoying the book - it is very light in reading and reads quickly.
 

BJohnD

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The Spiritual Counsels of Father John of Kronstadt, a 230-page "Reader's Digest" version of My Life in Christ.  I came across this book, a 1960s paperback in British-English translation, one evening before Vespers when I decided to take a peek at our parish's humble little library.  As soon as I opened it I became aware that it was exactly the book I needed to be reading right then, if you know what I mean.  It's an amazing work -- I highly recommend it or any similar distillations of MLIC.

(The book is old enough for the translator to have noted that while the "political situation" in the USSR had not permitted the MP to glorify St. John, the Church in Exile had done so.)
 

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Recently finished:

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros (English Version)
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Memoria de mis putas tristes by Gabriel García Márquez

Currently reading:

Apologia Against Those Who Decry Holy Images by St. John of Damascus
Christ in the Psalms by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon
Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides
 

NicholasOhio

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Elisha said:
So am I!  I'm on pg.103 at the moment.  - it is very light in reading and reads quickly.
I'm only on pg. 40 or so.  Just picked up a copy of Facing East as well, but I'm at least a week from being able to start on it.  My list is too long...I'll never get around to everything.

N
 
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