Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Some notes on current reading

My Goodreads 'currently reading' page has eleven items on it - there were ten until I realised one was missing. I'm not actually reading them all simultaneously. In fact I've (temporarily) given up on some of them.

Those on the back burner: 
Saint Francis of Assisi, by G K Chesterton. I started to read this after finishing Chesterton's book on Thomas Aquinas, which was great. For some reason, Francis just isn't cutting the mustard in the same way, and I only got about halfway through.

Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. One of those books I feel I should read. I haven't managed to get very far into it. Whether it's the translation, or Bonhoeffer's style, it's just not getting across to me.

Christian Wiman's My Bright Abyss. I've started this twice, and did get further the second time. But currently it's circling the airport waiting for instructions to land again.

Coming to Peace with Science, by Darrel Falk. I began this after reading Tim Stafford's The Adam Quest, in which Falk's book is mentioned. Sorry, Mr Falk, I think you're trying to do a good job, but I couldn't hold onto both sides of the argument the way you seem to be able to. Still to be finished...

Those making progress (albeit slowly)
Hatred: Islam's war on Christianity, by Michael Coren. I'd like to keep on with this one, but the part I've read seemed mostly to consist of long lists of deaths of Christians at the hands of Muslims. Grisly details. Time will tell whether this one stays on this part of the list.

Did God Really Command Genocide? by Paul Copan and Matt Flanagan. I've read a good deal of this, but it's hard work for my kind of brain, and it seems at times as though there's a lot of semantic nit-picking which has its points, but doesn't help me keep up.

ISIS: Inside the army of terror, by Michael Weiss. This is worth pursuing, but has just got side-swiped at the moment.

Climate Change, by Alan Moran et al. This is good, sometimes too technical for me, but overall worth reading. However, it's temporarily come to a halt.

Books I am reading: 
The Intolerance of Tolerance, by D A Carson. This is very good, and I'm close to finishing it.

Thomas Aquinas: a Portrait, by Denys Turner. Again, very good, though at times I have to read very slowly to understand the arguments. But keeping on with this.

Sermons Preached at Brighton: Third Series, by F W Robertson. Robertson was a 19th century preacher, and these sermons (not actually recorded while he was speaking, but taken from his notes) are very helpful, and insightful. I've been reading these bit by bit in the evenings, and am nearly finished. (I've already read some of the sermons twice, so it's taken me longer than it might.)

The Four Books, by Yan Lianke. I'm reading this to review it, and it's hard work. Not hard to read, but just hard to keep focused. On one hand it's very grim, and Lianke's style, intentionally, is repetitive, so that what's said in one paragraph will be repeated further down the page in a slightly different way, or in one of the other 'books.' It's a satire, but very dour, and you have to wonder again and again why the Chinese seem to have so willingly allowed themselves to be led up the creek by Moa and his terrorists. Yes, perhaps it being terrified that was the problem. But so often in the book the people being 're-educated' are actually offered a way out...and they don't take it.

Alert readers will notice that there are actually 12 books here. I kept remembering other ones I hadn't included on Goodreads initially. So that was good. Updated!




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