Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It's that time of year again to look back and see what I read. Here is the list, not in any particular order:
1. Firestar by Michael Flynn
2. The Christian Philosophy Of St Thomas Aquinas by Gilson, Etienne
3. Andy Catlett: Early Travels (Port William) by Wendell Berry
4. Rain Gods: A Novel by James Lee Burke
5. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford
6. Schoenstatt's instrument spirituality by Joseph Kentenich
7. The Alchemy of Paint: Art, Science and Secrets from the Middle Ages by Spike Bucklow
8. The Hunters: A Novel by James Salter
9. Hannah Coulter: A Novel (Port William) by Wendell berry
10. Relentless: A Novel by Dean Koontz
11. Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner
12. Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
13. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Harper Perrennial Modern Classics) by Annie Dillard
14. Guide for the Perplexed by E. F. Schumacher
15. The Scarecrow Michael Connelly
16. How to Read a Book (A Touchstone book) by Mortimer Adler
17. The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book) by Neal Stephenson
18. Fire in the City: Savonarola and the Struggle for the Soul of Renaissance Florence by Lauro Martines
19. Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence (Enterprise) by Tim Parks
20. Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture Ross King
21. The Beekeeper's Apprentice: Or On the Segregation of the Queen/A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (Mary Russell Novels) Laurie King
22. The Vindication of Tradition: The 1983 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities Jaroslav Pelikan
23. The Brass Verdict: A Novel Michael Connelly
24. Night and Day by Robert B. Parker
25. Dean's List by Jon Hassler
26. Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long by Eliot Coleman
27. Dead and Dying Angels (The Dos Cruces Trilogy) James Mangum
28. The Shack by William P. Young
29. Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) by Stephenie Meyer
30. Rough Weather by Robert B. Parker
31. How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine by John Jeavons
32. Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series) by Steve Solomon
33. What Happened at Vatican II by John O’Malley
34. Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
35. Sepharad by Antonio Munoz Molina
36. Second Nature: A Gardener's Education by Michael Pollan
37. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
38. The Kitchen Madonna by Rumer Godden
39. The Seville Communion by Arturo Perez-Reverte
40. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.) by Barbara Kingsolver
41. Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard's Theology of the Feminine by Barbara Newman
42. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
43. A Rulebook for Arguments by Anthony Weston
I had a couple of themes going: I read several gardening books during the worst drought in my entire life. The reading was great but the weather discouraging. Maybe I'll give the serious garden another try this spring since we are have a ton of rain this winter.
Florence, Italy was another theme. I am hoping to go to Italy someday and began some basic history reading.
I indulged my guilty pleasure of crime fiction with my standard authors: Connelly, Parker and Burke.
I discovered the novels of Wendell Berry. Maybe the timing is just right but these books really resonate with me on a very deep level. I have checked out a bunch more to read over the holidays and am looking forward to it.
Re-read a couple of favorites: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Brideshead Revisited, both terrific. Brideshead is in my shortlist of all time favorite books.
I also read two vampire books this year- my first ever and probably the last- although one should never say never. Not my cup of tea.
Overall a satisfying year of reading and again I give thanks for the library without which I would not be able to read near as much.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Go here for a bigger image.
Now that I have sent out my Christmas Cards I can show you my painting I did this year to put on the card. This has become a tradition now that I have been doing it for three or four years. This years the painting is a little bit grimmer that it has been in the past several years. I guess it reflects how I am feeling about the state of the world these days. Things seem to be getting darker. But I love Christmas because in the darkest time of year we are reminded of the INCARNATION. The light has come into the world and the darkness can not overcome it. Thanks be to God.
I also thought Pope Benedict's 3rd week of Advent message went well with my painting so I am adding it as well:
"I see here in St. Peter's Square so many children and teenagers, along with parents, teachers and catechists. Dear friends, I greet you all with great affection and I thank you for coming. It gives me great joy to know that in your family the tradition of the Nativity Scene is still kept. But it is not enough to repeat a traditional gesture, however important. Try to live in the reality of every day what the crib is, the love of Christ, his humility, his poverty. This is what St. Francis did in Greccio: he created a living Nativity scene, to be able to contemplate and adore it, but above all to know how best to put into practice the message of the Son of God who for our sakes was stripped of everything and became a little child”.
"The crib is a school of life where we can learn the secret of true joy. This does not consist in having so many things, but in feeling loved by the Lord, in becoming a gift for others and loving one another. Let us look at the Nativity Scene: the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph do not seem like a very lucky family, they had their first child in the midst of great hardship, and yet are filled with deep joy, because they love each other, help each other and, above all, are certain that in their history God is at work, present in the Infant Jesus. And the shepherds? What reason would they have to rejoice? That baby will not change their condition of poverty and marginalization. But faith helps them to recognize in the 'infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger', the 'sign' of the fulfillment of the promises of God for all men 'whom he loves' (Luke 2,12.14), even for them!” .
"This, dear friends is what true joy is; the feeling that our personal and community lives are visited and filled by a great mystery, the mystery of God’s love. We need more than things to rejoice, we need love and truth: we need a God close at hand, who warms our hearts, and responds to our deepest yearnings. This God was manifested in Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary. So that Child, that we put in the manger or cave, is the centre of everything, He is the heart of the world. We pray that every man, like the Virgin Mary, may accept as a centre of their lives the God who became a Child, the source of true joy".
We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!