For the past few weeks I’ve been house and dog sitting deep in the country, enjoying a screened-in back porch with a view of a pecan orchard. I thought I’d be getting a lot of reading done, but it turns out that novels are hard to take on when a playful and energetic terrier is demanding attention. But I’m back to regularly scheduled programming, with some interesting books in the post. I’m starting this week with Azar Nafisi’s Republic of the Imagination: America in Three Books, and continuing with My Life with the Saints, one man writing about personalities through the ages who have inspired him in his vocation as a Jesuit priest working with the poor. I was hoping to learn about obscure medieval personalities, but most of the figures are well-known and many are 20th-century figures like Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and John Paul II.