13 July 2010

Cleaning Up

Being a sluggish fellow, meaning inclined to indolence, things pile up in my home office. (I maintain a semblance of order at my church where appearances matter) This week I am going through the books on my shelves here, about 55 linear feet of space.

When I moved in, books went anywhere just to get them out of boxes. Over the intervening five years stuff has moved about a bit, and so it was getting a mite chaotic. Two nights ago, feeling a gust of industry blowing me along, I decided to sort them and reorganize them.

This, of course, turned into a review of my study success and failure rate. On my green arm chair are the books I have read in the last year or two, most of them at least. Maybe you'll find them interesting. In no particular order...

Theodore Rex (about TR)
The Courtier and the Heretic (about Leibniz and Spinoza)
Undaunted Courage (the Lewis and Clark Expedition) Stephen Ambrose
A Hundred Years of Solitude by G G Marquez
Mozart a Biography by Solomon
Pop 485 by Michael Perry
Byzantium by Michael Angold
Austerlitz by W G Sebald
The Confessions by Augustine of Hippo
Hard Green by Peter Huber
Christianity and the Social Crisis by W Rauschenbusch
Colored People by Henry Louis Gates
Nothing Like It In The World (Transcontinental Railway) Stephen Ambrose
The Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust
Paradise Lost, by John Milton
The Odyssey, Homer, the Fagles translation
The Purgatorio, Dante, Hollander version
The Making of American Liberal Theology, 3 vols. by G Dorrien (almost done!)
The Five Books of Moses by Robert Altman
The Cambridge Commentary on Isaiah, 2 vols.
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

Long on history, classics and religion. Short on novels and modern literature. And not nearly enough at that. I am working on a bio of Beethoven right now so can't take credit for that. And suspect that there are others I have set down somewhere and don't remember off hand. Still, not a very impressive list in terms of length.

But people seem interested in what clergy and other putatively educated people read, so there it is. Next time I'll share books on my office shelf that need to be read, handsome gifts among them, and not a complete list at that. But in case you haven't figured it out, I will never read all the books I have. Sad but far better than having more time than books, I would say.

1 comment:

Elisa (Nudelman) Winter said...

The best trick I've learned for getting more novels into my head in the short time I'm alloted here on this planet is audible.com. Sign up for $14.95 per month, get one credit a month, choose your book, download it to your computer and then to your ipod. The ipod goes with you everywhere, especially in the car, on airplanes, etc. Just listen to Jeremy Irons reading Lolita, or a whole cast reading Dune. Amazing and absolutely life-enhancing. Make sure you listen to a clip before you buy! There are some readers who should not be-- voices that grate on nerves. And then there's Davina Porter, who could read the phonebook and sound lovely and interesting. Don't forget to let your lovely wife choose a few too on car trips!