On the Bookshelf XII

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
After nearly two decades in Britain, the author decided it was time to return to the U.S. – but not before embarking on a grand farewell tour of the island that had so long been his home. Bryson is a keen and delightfully funny writer; in fact, he reminds me of Mark Steyn, if Mark Steyn ever did travel writing. Some of the humor is, shall we say, off-color, but on the whole this is easily one of the most entertaining books I’ve read all year.
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
Yes, yes – I said I was going to read this Hugo award-winner months ago. Better late than never, though, right? I’m a couple chapters in, and enjoying it immensely thus far. Fantastic writing, fantastic story. But as exciting as the action is, I get the feeling that this book is going to be about much more than space battles and aliens. Which is exactly why I picked it up to begin with.
Pensées by Blaise Pascal
“The last step that Reason takes is to recognize that there is an infinity of things that lie beyond it. Reason is a poor thing indeed if it does not succed in knowing that.” I’d all but forgotten about this one… until it appeared on my senior year reading list. Awesomeness.
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne
A beautiful, beautiful book, rich in passages like this one: “As yet God suspends me between heaven and earth, as a meteor; and I am not in heaven because an earthly body clogs me, and I am not in the earth because a heavenly soul sustains me.” Donne was a true wordsmith.
On the Incarnation by Athanasius of Alexandria
“Athanasius contra mundum.” I recently did a study of this man’s life, and the more I learn about him, the more I admire him. Such a remarkable defender of the faith. He penned On the Incarnation at the ripe old age of twenty; it’s short, potent, and what I love most is the passion with which it is written.

What’s on your bookshelf right now?

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9 thoughts on “On the Bookshelf XII”

  1. Athanasius!! Woohoo!!! cough… old habit. Egyptians Christians have a special love for Athanasius. :)

    I’ve read Starship Troopers a couple times now, and he never fails to fascinate me. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

    My bookshelf: Paradise Lost, beautiful language, but not an all time favorite, at least not yet.

    Aristotle on Rhetoric, what can I say, it’s Aristotle and rhetoric…*drools*

    Lord of Chaos from the Wheel of Time, every time I start one of these books I fail to see how there could possibly be another 8 books, and then I get to the middle of the book and I wonder how on earth he manages to wrap it all up in 8 more books…..

    Philip Schaff’s Church History: These six volumes are going to be the highlights of my reading this year. While I think Schaff underestimates the Eastern churches, his writing is beautiful and engaging.

    1. Aristotle on Rhetoric sounds awesome… maybe I’ll join you in drooling. I have The Rhetoric Companion by Douglas Wilson and N.D. Wilson, but I may add Aristotle to the shelf, too, now that you mention him. :)

      Schaff’s work sounds like a fascinating read; and of course, Wheel of Time has been on my radar for awhile – I’ve just been too hesitant to pick it up, considering its mammoth size. :) I must remedy that in the near future.

      1. I would definitely recommend Wheel of Time, with the caveat of course that I calculate that given my intense senior year schedule, it will take me a total of four and a half months to complete it. :)

  2. As always, Ink, your reading list is impressive and challenging. I’ve not heard much about Starship Troopers; I’ll have to take a look. And Pensées, wow! I wish my senior reading list had been so fantastic as to include that great work!

  3. You never cease to amaze me with the amount of books you manage to read! I read a lot, but I probably read half the books you do!

    “Starship Troopers” looks interesting. I might have to look into that one. :)

    To the KING be all the glory!
    Rebekah

  4. I love Heinlein. Starship was much better than the pretty bad movie they made from it. But it’s pretty early Heinlein. Later, he turned into a dirty old man. My favorite Heinlein works are Stranger In A Strange Land and The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. In fact, I think I like Moon better than Stranger. Red Planet is one that’s a lot of fun.

    I need to read some Pascal sometime. I’ve never read any. I’ve heard about Pensees, though.

    1. I’m enjoying ST so far. I’ve seen the three novels you mentioned on several sci-fi booklists, so I’m sure they’ll make it onto mine eventually. :)

      Pensees is fantastic. I bet you’d enjoy it.

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