The Sweet Serenity of Books

bookstacks-05-05-2009It seems that I have fallen out of the habit of formally keeping track of the progress I make in reading books.

Not that I have stopped reading, of course, but simply that I have not bothered to maintain an ongoing chronicle as I once did.

The transition between my former site and this one, coupled with our recent relocation from the East Coast to East Texas, has not helped in this arena.

However, I have managed to keep track of my readings in the well-worn Composition Book that accompanies me to work every evening.

Granted, the format is a bit rougher than the streamlined month-to-month layout I used to maintain…  the average entry consists of something like: 05/01/2009: just finished The Road, Cormac McCarthy writes Fiction that burns my eyes and makes my Soul ache.”

Pithy but adequate, I suppose. However, I wanted to have a place dedicated to keeping a consistent record of what I was reading and when. Eventually, LORD willing and the creek don’t rise, I hope to include some interactions or expression of what I gained/learned from reading each text or, at the very least, whether I felt the material was worthy of my time and energy.

So, after a few minutes of cobbling together scribbled notes and library receipts, I have managed to organize my reading list for the current year. You can find a link to the page along the margin of this site, just beneath the Flickr link.

For future reference, my 2009 Reading List (in progress) will be found here.

A few points of order…

In looking back, I could not help but notice how much more I have been able to read since taking my current job. As mentioned previously, one of the primary “perks” of the overnight shift is that it grants me a great yawning intermission in the middle of the night with which to read and study at my own leisure.

Also absent henceforth are references to specific works of the Scriptures. I do not want to go into much detail, but let me simply say that it is no longer practical for me to list books from the Bible that I read for pleasure. I will mention that I am spending a lot of time in the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of John.

Something else I must mention is my excitement at recently discovering Cormac McCarthy…  from the moment I first started reading his work, I was reminded of a something an old friend of mine said in reference to Franz Kafka:

“…I think he is the most honest secular author I’ve ever read.”

This phrase may or may not contain a rather different meaning to me than it does my friend, something as multifaceted as “honesty” can mean not a few different things with regards to Literature.

Furthermore, I have scarcely encountered a literary “villain” as complex or as philosophically significant as Anton Chigurh…  I think about him all the time, and what he represents.

I am still in the process of organizing last year’s Reading List and will have that online with the others as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, I invite you to take a glance at what I have read and please feel free to share with me what you have read or what you are reading right now. I am organizing my queue of Summertime books and could use some recommendations.

Be it lightweight Beach reading or thick theological tomes…  I value your thoughts, share them with me.


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