2021: March Review

Challenge Progress:

Science Survey:

The Storytelling Animal, Johnathan Gottschall (Anthropology & Archaeology)
Conspiracies Declassified, Brian Dunning. (Thinking Scientifically)

That’s now 5/12 categories filled.

Classics Club Strikes Back:

Davita’s Harp, Chaim Potok. We are now 5/50.

Climbing Mount Doom:

Jesus, Son of Man by Kahlil Gibran;
Ironies of Faith: the Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature, Anthony Esolen

Southern History/Literature:

Travels with Foxfire.

The Unreviewed

The Hardest Job in the World took a look at the 20th century presidency, analyzing how it had grown far beyond its original expectations and taken on so many burdens that the office is wholly unworkable. John Dickerson reviews the enormous divide between the qualities voters look for in a candidate and the qualities needed to actually execute the office. Few presidents realize how much of the job is taken up with foreign policy, and the demanding skills that takes. The book deserves a proper review but it’s been a busy month.

Ironies of Faith: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature, Anthony Esolen. Esolen conducts a survey of Christian literature — that is, literature created by Christian cultures, not just books like Pilgrim’s Progress — and examines irony as expressed in the authors’ handling of time, love, power, and the role of children. Esolen’s review includes items by Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Tolkien, and more. It begs a re-read, because as much as I enjoyed plumbing literature for prevailing themes, I’m not sure if I grasp the idea of irony as used in the book.

WTF Evolution?! & The Big Book of Autocorrect Fails. Both small books written for comedic value: one shares photos of animals with absurd features or habits, the other collects screenshots in which an autocorrect substitute made a statement far more inappropriate or hilarious than intended. I read these from someone’s library while dog & cat sitting.

How to Live: What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community. I’m aiming for an Easter review for this one — only appropriate.

The Newly Bought:

“No new purchases except for Read of England!”, I said. Hah.

For all the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History, Sarah Rose
A Visitor’s Guide to Jane Austen’s England, Sue Wilkes
The Rebel Killer & The Lost Outlaw, Paul Fraser Collard. Continuing the Jack Lark series..
His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik. The Napoleonic wars….with dragons.
The Fox from his Lair, Max Hennessey
Enemies: A History of the FBI, Tim Weiner.
My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok. Classics Club entry, but it will wait until May — RoE takes precedence.
Be a Man! Becoming the Man God Inspired You to Be, Fr. Larry Richards. Inspired by Pope Francis declaring 2021 the Year of St. Joseph, who is held as a model of masculinity. Fr. Richards is an energetic and entertaining speaker.
How to Live: What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community, Judith Valente
A History of Violence in Soviet Russia, Alexander Yakolev. This one was on sale for $1.
D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War 2, Sarah Rose. Someone had a used copy in very good condition for $2, so why not? I’m planning for a WW2 week later in the summer.

Back to the ol’ “No new books” promise for me.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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2 Responses to 2021: March Review

  1. Marian says:

    His Majesty’s Dragon! I never read it, but bizarrely enough, reading Novik’s biographic blurb was what made me think I could major in computer science and still be a professional author (1 down, 1 to go 😆 ). I’m eager to hear what you think of it!

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