Sponsored Content
Top Headline Comments 2-27-2011 [Andy] | Main | Latest Threat to Domestic Tranquility - "Fox Geezer Syndrome"!
Also, Open Thread [ArthurK]
February 27, 2011

Sunday Book Thread

A few new books this week.

First up is Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s classic novel A Canticle For Leibowitz. (I had to replace my old paperback copy, which finally fell apart from having been read so many times.) This book is usually classed as "science fiction" or "post-apocalyptic fiction", but it defies easy categorization. It's easily one of the best novels of the 20th century, in my view. (A good companion volume to this book is Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose.)

I like hardboiled detective fiction, especially from the old Hammet/Chandler era. (Though my appreciation of Dash's work suffered when I found out he was a goddamned Commie.) Not many writers still work in this genre in the present day, and the best of these is James Ellroy of L. A. Confidential fame. But this is not his best book, in my view: his best is The Big Nowhere. If you like your dames sultry and lippy, your crimes bloody, and your cops unafraid of a brutality beef, than Ellroy is your man.

Augustine's City of God is one of those essential books that comprise one of the foundation stones of the Western world. It is at once a book of theology, history, and politics (Augustine of Hippo originally intended it as a defense of Christianity against those who thought the Christians had brought down the Roman Empire). The book ended up being more about the eternal conflict between good and evil, between the desires of a man's body versus that of his spirit, and the difficulty of living a good life on a fallen earth. I'm always shocked at how few high schools or colleges assign this book any more (or if they do, they relegate it to "Religious Studies" courses when it should more properly be in the Western Civ curriculum). It's not exactly an easy read, but it's very worthwhile.

What's everyone else reading?

digg this
posted by Monty at 09:21 AM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Bertram Cabot, Jr.: "Egyptians never let the cat out of the bag. ..."

mindful webworker - squeak squeak squeak SQUEAK!: "[i] If you haven’t ever trained a dog with o ..."

BurtTC: "Best part is she is a much calmer dog in addition ..."

jim (in Kalifornia): "Vid october 2020... ..."

jewells45 fuck cancer: "Oh gosh I missed your post Miley. Sorry about abo ..."

Eromero: "Over the past 25 plus years Mrs. E and i have had ..."

jim (in Kalifornia): "Snake vid: Depends on the temp. Depending where ..."

BurtTC: " BurtTC I'm sorry for your loss as well. Poste ..."

Art Rondelet of Malmsey: "I 100% second every bit of Piper's advice about e- ..."

BurtTC: "Does anyone have any tips for walking on a leash w ..."

olddog in mo: "Had a bobcat in my fenced backyard once. I was st ..."

CaliGirl: "BurtTC I'm sorry for your loss as well. ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64