‹ speculatio pauperis in deserto

Tags / literature

Dec 31, 2023
Here are the top 10 new-to-me books I read in 2023, in the order I read them: Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, & Being, by M. Shawn Copeland Metamorphoses, by Ovid (translated by Stephanie McCarter) The Body of the Cross: Holy Victims & the Invention of the Atonement, by Travis E. Ables Bare Ruined Choirs: Doubt, Prophecy, & Radical Religion, by Gary Wills Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World, by Daniel Sherrell Nothing Gained Is Eternal: A Theology of Tradition, by Anne M.
In which I read Bullshit Jobs: A Theory & Swimming in the Dark & Silence: A Novel & Way Back to God: The Spiritual Theology of St Bonaventure & Doppleganger: A Trip into the Mirror World; & watched The Grapes of Wrath & May December & The Holdovers & The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes & Napoleon & The Muppets Christmas Carol & Home Alone & Poor Things & It’s a Wonderful Life & Saltburn & The Color Purple (2023).
In which I watched Killers of the Flower Moon, The Blair Witch Project, & The Killing of a Sacred Deer; & read Questioning God, Ways of Seeing, Revelations of Divine Love, & Julian of Norwich, Theologian. Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023). What an amazing film. I don’t even want to say much about it here, because I know I can’t do it justice in the space of a short paragraph.
I thought it might be fun at the end of each month to list the movies I’d seen that month & some thoughts about each. Rope (Alfred Hitchcock, 1948). Jacqueline & I decided to watch some Hitchcock in honor of Halloween at the end of the month. We’ve seen a few Hitchcock already, but not Rope. I enjoyed it, though it’s not my favorite of his (that remains Psycho). I love good, long scenes, & Hitchcock’s clever camera work to make the entire film seem like a single take really ratchets up the tension.
Inspired by Phil Christman’s recent post of the same name, here’s a list of a few things you would read if you wanted to figure out what I get out of Christianity. Here’s Christman’s own disclaimer regarding his list, which I also make for my own: This is not, by the way, a canon or an attempt at canon-making. It’s extremely personal, and reflects my personal circumstances, which are narrow, like everyone’s.
Dec 31, 2022
This year I read 63 books (actually a couple more, as there were some I didn’t log), & I tracked my reading with StoryGraph. This graph is so interesting; you can see the effect the fall & spring semesters have on my reading. Some of the more engaging books I read this year include: Transforming Fire: Imagining Christian Teaching. Mark D. Jordan. The Argonauts. Maggie Nelson. How to Be Normal. Phil Christman.
Yesterday I saw a tweet floating around asking for your “personal canon,” that is, which are the books that you have used to understand the world? Limiting myself only to written works (and not, say, music or film), here’s what I would say, roughly ordered according to when I encountered these books: The gospel according to Luke The book of Revelation A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Les Misérables by Victor Hugo Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander by Thomas Merton Proslogion by Anselm of Canterbury The Plague by Albert Camus The Prophets by Abraham J.