What’s on my (figurative) shelf

I say figurative because as a penniless young artist (I heave a sigh of troubled dignity) I rely just as much on internet resources for my reading as on printed books. I much prefer print if I can get it (indeed, I have a prodigious number of library books lying in stacks on the floor of my room at the moment), but there are some works which I cannot afford and which my local libraries do not carry. Also. I have no bookshelves in my room at present. (Hence the stacks of books on the floor.)

Anyways. Here’s a quick rundown of what I’m reading right now. Aside from the Bible, which I am (or try to be) always reading.

Augustine on the Psalms. I’m making use of the online Christian Classics Ethereal Library for this one (CCEL.org). In this season of life I’m attempting to grow in appreciation for the history of God’s work of grace after Jesus. I’ve been spending some time in the Fathers in pursuit of this. Augustine on the Psalms–CCEL.org

Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado. In the past couple of months I’ve become involved in a local ministry that reaches out to mostly unchurched kids in downtown Aurora. We’re using this book as a curriculum for our small groups, and even though I’m only a couple of chapters in, so far, so good.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I have this one out from the library right now. It’s in a volume together with A Tale of Two Cities, which I finished a couple of weeks ago. Reading this as part of a project to become more familiar with some of the great Western literature.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I read probably something approaching a two thousand pages of Lewis in the space of three weeks last month. I grew up with Narnia and I’ve always been a fan. I’d read a smattering of his essays along with The Screwtape Letters over the years, but for the most part, my exposure to Lewis until recently was only through other people quoting him and commenting on his thought. Figuring it was time to become more personally acquainted with Lewis, I read the entire Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength), Till We Have Faces, Mere Christianity, Surprised By Joy, The Four Loves, The Great Divorce, and The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses in fairly rapid succession. I still have a fairly substantial list of Lewis works to make my way through, including The Problem of Pain, Pilgrim’s Regress, Reflections on the Psalms, The World’s Last Night and several others. In the meantime, I’m keeping my C.S. Lewis tab open with our little red copy of Screwtape.

This Day and Imagination in Place by Wendell Berry. Singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson was responsible for my introduction to the farmer-novelist-poet-activist Berry. Right now I am enjoying a book of his poems and a book of his essays. Just kind of sipping on them, really.

The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging by the editors of Huffington Post. I checked this one out of the library to learn what I could from some of the most successful bloggers on the planet about how to blog successfully.

Bruce Springsteen: Two Hearts, the Definitive Biography, 1972-2003 by Dave Marsh. Just started in on this one. Springsteen is a huge musical influence.

The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Several of the Holmes stories scared the crap out of me as a kid, but I was also drawn in to the suspense and mystery and all that fun stuff. Now a twenty-two year old with a (somewhat) more sober mind, the latter effect takes precedence over the former. Silver Blaze is, I think, still my favorite Holmes.


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