Been readin’ lately

Well Alright I’ve been book tagged by Blue Christian Jon and now with an obnoxious glare I’m going to admit to what I’ve been reading lately. Now I read for different reasons. Some books like The Man Called Cash by Steve Turner I read for sheer pleasure. Then I walk around boring everybody with my knowledge of the odd doings of a personal hero and legend but nevertheless old and now dead guy, Johnny Cash. If I were my son I’d think I was strange, but that’s another story.

I recently prided myself in finishing On Love from Faith, Hope, Love by Josef Pieper. It makes up more than half the book. Faith and Hope take up like 40 pages each but Love must be closer to 140 pages. I counted the other night but now I can’t remember. Anyway, there’s reading and then there’s READING and Pieper makes you feel every page. If you don’t know Josef Pieper I’ll just say he’s a classically trained Thomist whom I really enjoy. I began with his book Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power which a Catholic friend gave me years ago. Well it was so timely and well put that I asked Jon about Pieper’s book on Eros that he’d mentioned was so good. [The first self-proclaimed Thomist I encountered scared me to death. I was studying in the St. Louis public library on Locust and this Aquinas student just kept bringing photocopies of books and laying them beside me telling me to read. And I kept going from floor to floor trying to hide until he’d find me and say “check this out” until I finally said “I’m not interested please stop!” But I digress. ] Pieper’s fresh introduction to Aquinas and Classical thought makes me want more and more. Though I’m full for a while with On Love thank you very much. I ordered Pieper’s The Four Cardinal Virtues to sell at the Fest on the advice of a trusted friend here. I’ve got to buy a copy of Faith Hope and Love soon so I can mark up my copy of On Love and use it in some memoirs someday. There’s a lot of clarification of what Love is and isn’t that I’ve never seen hashed out anywhere else. I did read Lewis’ The Four Loves and Pieper quotes him a lot. But Pieper quotes all the important writers, philosophers, theologians, and pundits of love from the 20th century and then sits back and profoundly lets it all make sense, or sometimes make questions. Either way I really had fun. There should be a quote somewhere about how some folks like me can’t really understand things unless they’re explained in little forty page philosopho-speaks by guys with German names. Then after sheepishly agreeing with whoever gave the quote I’d swear never to be like that in real life.

I’ve been skipping around through The Secular City by Harvey Cox. The chapter on sex was very good for the most part. Boy that sounds weird. Just picked up The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul two days ago and I’m heading into chapter two. Its one of those books I just start nibbling into thinking “there’s no way I’m really gonna finish this.” And then I just keep reading and reading cuz its good.

The book that has become my life lately is titled (today):
From Tannenbaums to Handel’s Messiah: A Chicago Christmas by Jim Benes (to be released in the fall of 2005). If you’ve seen Chicago Christmas, this is the revised and expanded version. I told Jim a few months back while peering over the stacks of papers and photos that filled the 4×10′ table “Man, I feel like I’m entrusted with your life’s work.” To which he replied “Oh please, its just a hobby gone awry.” I laughed. Then I hung up and cried over the work to be done.

books I’m not reading: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel, The Left Behind Series by Lahaye and Jenkins, Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen.

That’s what you get for book-tagging me.

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