October 01, 2004

Dear sir or madam, will you read my book?

After realizing that I had read nothing but dime-store paperbacks for the entire month of August, I imposed a moratorium on science fiction reading for all of September.

Well, now it's October, and I quite satisfactorily started reading C. S. Lewis' Space trilogy, and have an anthology of Jules Verne novels on deck. 8-)

Anyway, here's now September's reading plan worked out:

  • The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight by Jimmy Breslin. Completed. Polished it off on a single cross-town bus ride. I remembered this book being longer. And funnier.
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Abandoned. Now I understand why I never finished this one in high school. IT'S CRAP! The edition I borrowed had 130 pages, and on page 60 I tossed it into the book-return bin. I swear, if I had read another unreadable line of James' turgid prose about the deranged nanny fawning over her beautiful, lovely, innocent children, I'd have tossed my lunch.
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Completed. And how. Easily one of the best recent novels I've ever read, er, recently.
  • The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor. Incomplete. I tried, really, but O'Connor is slow going, and this is a long book. She was a master of the short story genre, and some of these stories are classics: "Revelation," "A Good Man is Hard to Find," and "Good Country People" in particular.
  • A poetry anthology. Never started. I really wanted to get into a poet I had never read, but unfortunately the local library doesn't have a volume of George Herbert in its collection, and I didn't feel like defaulting to T. S. Eliot.
  • Here I Stand by Roland H. Bainton. Completed. A good read that neither demonizes nor whitewashes Martin Luther's life and theology.
  • Keep in Step with the Spirit by J. I. Packer. Complete. Almost. Actually I'm about 20-40 pages from the end, but I can't return it to the church until Sunday so I wasn't too strict on the deadline. Packer focuses his considerable talent on the theology of the Holy Spirit, including a Biblical definition of holiness and critiques of some schools of thought on that subject. The last half of the book is a good, balanced critique of the Charismatic movement.

    In the theology slot I also found the time to work through He is There and He is Not Silent by Francis Schaeffer.

  • The New Oxford History of Music. Don't ask. I got through the introduction.

Well, 5 books in a month ain't bad.