Thursday, June 09, 2005

Too Little Time, Too Many Ideas

I have to write a habeas petition this week. In other words, noooooooo time for much of anything but work; however, I will try to post a couple times this weekend, as I have finished A Thread of Grace, Unlock the Prison Doors, and want to post my response to Joe's earlier questions. Right now Bill is reading The Sparrow to me. I've read it before, but he hasn't (so it's working out well for both of us). Plus, I am listening to the Order of the Phoenix on my way to and from work in order to prepare for the release of the Half-Blood Prince in July; given that my commute is so short, it will probably take me until then to finish the cd of it anyway.

Nevertheless, three books, chosen by Bill and me, arrived from the History Book Club, namely

  • Gerald Harriss, Shaping the Nation: England 1360-1461 (Oxford Press, 2005). This one examines late medieval English history. It looks like it's full of interesting narratives about things like the Black Death, the Peasants' Revolt, War of the Roses, and so on.
  • Rosamond McKitterick, Atlas of the Medieval World (Oxford Press, 2004). It looks like it may have some good tidbits in it, but, at first glance, it doesn't look as interesting as I thought it would. Maybe I'll actually have time to read it within the next year.
  • Thomas Bokenkotter, A Concise History of the Catholic Church, Revised and Expanded Edition (Doubleday, 2004). This history is divided into five parts accompanied by some basic illustrations, and it's a tome. I think I may digest this one in pieces--definitely, not something to be read all at once.
Happy reading...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Books, Books, and More Books

I'm still working on my response to Joe's questions. With everything going on here, it's difficult to focus, and so my response is slow going. On an exciting note, I just got news, yesterday, that two of my dearest friends are getting married in October. Congratulations!

Anyhow, I've decided to pilfer and adapt to my own site something that The Little Professor does on her website: by the week, she lists any new book acquisitions. During the past month or so I've received a number of books, and here's a little tasting of what I've received...

  • Terry C. Barber, Unlock the Prison Doors (Advantage Inspirational, 2005) from Mind & Media. I'm not sure that it's quite my kind of book, but am looking forward to giving it a try. If you are interested in being a reviewer, please contact Mind & Media and/or Blogcritics.
  • Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (Penguin Books, 2002). It was recommended by my Maid of Honor (you know who you are), and, as she well knows, I can't pass any book that's even remotely related to Jane Austen or any of Brontes up. It's apparently a mix of genres and involves a literary sleuth of some sort.
  • Karen Joy Fowler, Jane Austen Book Club (Putnam Berkley Pub. Group, 2004). Are you detecting a pattern? I've been looking for a used copy of this book for a few months, and I've finally given in and purshased a new copy. The title seems pretty self-explanatory. I discovered the author via snippets on the dust-jackets of Mary Doria Russell's books.
  • Claudio Rendina, The Popes: Histories and Secrets (Seven Locks Press, 2002). Summaries like this one don't usually appeal to me; they end up covering so much ground that they say almost nothing. This one looks more complete. We'll see.
  • Jane Dunn, Elizabeth and Mary, Cousins, Rival Queens (Knopf, 2005). Elizabeth Tudor and Mary Stuart...need I say more.
  • Walter Issacson, Ben Franklin: An American Life (Simon and Schuster, 2003) and The Old Farmer's Almanac, Ben Franklin's Alamanac of Wit, Wisdom, & Pratical Advice (Yankee Books, 2003). They came in a double set. One is a biography and the other is a compilation of some of Franklin's actual writings.
  • Jacqueline Winspear, Jacqueline Winspear: 2 in 1 (Bookspan, 2005). I love historical novels and mysteries, so why not combine both and get a historical mystery? This version contains two novels Massie Dobbs and Birds of Feather both of which involve a female sleuth in post-Great War London.
  • Plus, I visited the library and picked up a number of books. As I finish them, I'll post a little about each book.
I'm going to finish reading A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell (I highly recommend Sparrow and Children of God) today, then I'll read Unlock the Prison Doors, and after that I'll return to The Trial of Henry Kissinger (a gift from Joe). I've enjoyed The Trial so far and hope to be able to comment on it next week.