Weekend Open Thread: What Books are you reading Right now?

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books

93 comments on “Weekend Open Thread: What Books are you reading Right now?

  1. Kendall Harmon says:

    It is sort of a joke with my wife since there is often a leaning tower of books by the bed that becomes a leaning tower of pisa a
    nd eventually falls over. Anyway, right now I am perusing:

    Spook Country by William Gibson

    [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_adv_b/?search-alias=stripbooks&field;-keywords=&author=tomkins&select;-author=field-author-like&title=john+wesley&select;-title=field-title&subject;=&select;-subject=field-subject&field;-publisher=&field;-isbn=&node;=&field;-binding=&field;-age=&field;-language=&field;-dateop=before&field;-datemod=0&field;-dateyear=2009&chooser;-sort=rank!+salesrank&mysubmitbutton1;.x=0&mysubmitbutton1;.y=0]John Wesley: A Biography[/url] by Stephen Tomkins

  2. Timothy Fountain says:

    Making another pass through [i] The Ascent of Mt. Carmel [/i] by St. John of the Cross. Every few years, I am moved to engage it again.
    Certainly relevant in these days where my “I wish it were/weren’t so” list is long. His spirituality insists that such craving is the worst
    hindrance to the “ascent of the mount” – the soul’s journey toward God.

  3. robroy says:

    [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812973011/002-0705810-5436867] Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World[/url]

    [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0670038555/002-0705810-5436867] Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe by Rosen[/url]

  4. Dan Crawford says:

    Jesus of Nazareth by Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI)
    The Taken by Dean Koontz

  5. Don Armstrong says:

    No Other God, A Response to Open Theism, by John Frame.

    Kingdom Prologue, Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview, by Meredith Kline

  6. DRT says:

    Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics from the Great War to the War on Terror by Michael Burleigh

  7. Timothy Fountain says:

    Oh, and for a class I’m teaching here in the parish, [i] This is the Night [/i] by James Farwell. See my comment in the thread above.

  8. Dee in Iowa says:

    The Nine – Inside the Secrfet World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin

  9. Grandmother says:

    Just finished, “Pillars of the Earth”, by Kenn Follett, a re-printing from 1989.
    Found out more than I truly wanted to know about Cathedrals, the church mechanations of the time and truly some other things. LOL

    Wonderful book tho, and he’s written a sequel, “World Without End”, available this month.

    Highly recommended for those who have the ‘stomach” for the 12th Century.


  10. Timothy Fountain says:

    Thanks for that post, Grandmother…I’m going by the Library today to pick up a Laura Ingraham book for my right-wing wife… will
    see if “World Without End” is in the new books, as I read “Pillars…” some time ago!

  11. Anglican Paplist says:

    Bourne Manifesto. Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Credo. John Robinson’s Dungeon, Fire and Sword.

  12. roanoker says:

    RELIGION IN WORLD HISTORY John C. Super and Briane K. Turley

  13. DuPage Anglican says:

    For pleasure, I’m just finishing a re-reading of [i]Godric[/i] by Frererick Buechner. As part of an academic seminar, I’m beginning to plow
    through [i]A Secular Age[/i] by Charles Taylor, and awaiting a lot more spare time than I currently have is the large chunk I haven’t yet read
    of [i]The Drama of Doctrine[/i] by Kevin Vanhoozer.

  14. Wilfred says:

    “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

    What else would you expect from Wilfred?

  15. Randy Muller says:

    Just about done with “The Calculus Wars: Newton, Leibniz, and the Greatest Mathematical Clash of All Time” by Jason Bardi.
    I’m disappointed with it. It’s not terribly well written.

    When done, I will resume my interrupted reading of “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer” by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin. This is a very well written and gripping biography.

  16. Sherri says:

    About half through with Lorrie Moore’s “Like Life”. Well begun on N.T. Wright’s “Following Jesus,” reading the appropriate
    New Testament books as I go along. And about to start Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend for a discussion group – I’ve read it before,
    but it’s been awhile.

  17. lauren says:

    This weekend I’ve been reading “Holy Feast and Holy Fast: the Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women” by Caroline Walker Bynum,
    “England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings” by Robert Bartlett, and bits of the Gospels in Old English. But I’m in graduate school full time,
    so I freely confess that 500 pages of reading about the Middle Ages in a weekend is Not Quite Normal. On the lighter side, I’m slowly working
    my way through Jane Austen’s letters and am about to begin re-reading Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather.

  18. Br_er Rabbit says:

    [i]The Last Unicorn[/i], the newly released deluxe edition which includes the sequel.

  19. Craig Stephans says:

    “A Year of Living Biblically” by AJ Jacobs. This is a great, lighthearted, funny, and enlightening book. Jacobs is a senior
    editor for Esquire magazine and a secular Jew living in NYC. He sets out to live according to all Biblical standards for one year.
    He spends the first 8 mos according to the OT and then 4 mos according to the NT.

    He has a open-hearted and honest, sincere approach to this task. There is nothing offputting in his writing.
    My wife and I both enjoyed it and have given it to others at seminary who liked it.

  20. RevK says:

    GENERATION KILL by Evan Wright
    THE WINDS OF WAR by Herman Wouk
    BEYOND THE GAP & THE GLADIATOR by Harry Turtledove

  21. David Hein says:

    Right now I’m reading-and enjoying–a birthday gift from a friend: Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, by Ted Kerasote.

    But I hear that there’s a new biography of Abp Geoffrey Fisher out that’s supposed to be excellent:


  22. NancyNH says:

    Guess my tastes at present aren’t as high-brow as some here. I just finished

    True Light by Terri Blackstock – book 3 in a series about a community facing the total loss of technology (scary)

  23. CharlesB says:

    Currently: No Perfect People Allowed by John Burke. Should not be read by anyone who is satisfied wth their church growth.
    Recommend: Golfing With God by Roland Merullo. Awful theology, along the lines of George Burns and Oh, God!, but great fiction for golfers.

  24. Verger says:

    Something light and quick – PLaying for Pizza by John Grisham

  25. TonyinCNY says:

    Richard Bauckman, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

  26. hossg says:

    Bones to Ashes By: Kathy Reichs a CSI type
    Over Sea, Under Stone: Book 1 of The Dark Is Rising Sequence
    By: Susan Cooper

  27. Charles Nightingale says:

    1. The Tin Roof Blow-down, by James Lee Burke
    2. The Policy Paradox by Deborah Stone
    3. Commentary on Romans by Martin Luther

  28. Chip Johnson, cj says:


    Yours looks interesting, I will have to try to find that author in the library…HA…

    Presently, I am working through Alister McGrath’s Christian Theology for my FDCM (Anglican EFM) on-line class,
    C.K.Barrett’s The Gospel According to Saint John for personal growth,
    and have just finished (again) the Bourne trilogy for fun.

  29. sfaficionado says:

    God’s War: A New History of the Crusades – Christopher Tyerman. Started Spook Country but set it aside (saddening as his Neuromancer was one of my favorite novels)

  30. Chazaq says:

    [i]Come, Creator Spirit: Meditations on the Veni Creator[/i] by Raniero Cantalamessa

  31. CryptoCatholic says:

    Just finished:
    1. Conversations with Stalin by Milovan Djilas (Yugoslav communist leader jailed for telling the truth)
    2. Wahoo by Richard O’Kane (wwII sub warfare)
    In progress:
    1. Divided We Stand (history of the Continuing Anglican movement)
    2. St Tikhon of Zadonsk, “Journey to Heaven”


    Phil Hobbs

  32. Jim the Puritan says:

    Spiritual/Church Related:

    “Walk Across the Room,” by Bill Hybels (present assigned reading for church leaders / voluntary for attenders on evangelism)

    “The Puritan Hope,” by Iain Murray

    “The Religious Affections,” by Jonathan Edwards


    “Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony,” by Lee Miller (so-so)

    “Treasure of Khan,” by Clive and Dirk Cussler (if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all, but I still like them).

    “A History of the Arab Peoples,” by Albert Hourani

  33. Charming Billy says:

    I always keep two books going at once:

    at home: “Jesus Through Many Eyes” by Stephen Neill

    at work: “Theological Turning Points” by Donald McKim.

  34. Sarah1 says:

    The Ego and the Id, S. Freud
    The City of God, Augustine
    Peter Wimsey Omnibus, D. Sayers

  35. Id rather not say says:

    Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before
    Robin Osborne, Archaic and Classical Greek Art

    I’m inbetween theology right now.

  36. Sherri says:

    IRNS, is the Osborne book good?

  37. Nate says:

    Terrell Bell, The Thirteenth Man: A Reagan Cabinet Memoir

  38. William P. Sulik says:

    I just finished [url=http://tinyurl.com/2jmhy4]First Among Sequels[/url], the fifth Thursday Next novel by [url=http://tinyurl.com/ad3d]Jasper Fforde[/url]. For those who like a really funny sci-fi, detective story about literature, this is the series for you. (but read them in order).

    I am currently reading [url=http://tinyurl.com/389zde]The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold[/url] by Geoffrey Robertson – so far, this is a thumbs up. What I like is that Robertson is skillfully laying the context for what happened and why. And the risk to John Cooke, the attorney who undertook the task (he was later mercilessly and cruelly executed).

    Nice feature, Kendall, I’ve been collecting ideas for my book stack. BTW, I recall your recommendation to the Plano gathering (or was it Plano east) about reading the old stuff in proportion to the new stuff.

  39. Larry Morse says:

    Look! Not a single book about the biogenetic revolution, not one. YOu must read Kass et al, Beyond Therapy, and I suggest McKibben, Enough, Staying HUman in an Engineered Age. And you really need to read Brave New World Again. Like it or not, ready or not, this is who you are about to become. LM

  40. Christoferos says:

    The Path of Celtic Prayer: An Ancient Way to Everyday Joy by Calvin Miller. Astonishingly good.

    The Rest of God; Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanan. Outstanding.

    The Law of God a compilation of Scriptures related to the Ten Commandments by T.M.Moore. Good for meditation, or so say many of the psalms….

    The Cruelty of Heresy by Fitzsimmons Allison

  41. Larry Morse says:

    What a strange thing. I have no doubt that the usual writers here read what I have said and think, “This guy has fallen off the deep end. All this talk from the science world is so much hype and advertising. Morse is really paranoid.” And in pspite of the fact that the evidence is right in front of your nose. LM

  42. Katherine says:

    Just completed “Islamic Imperialism” by Ephraim Karsh.

    Now reading John Julius Norwich’s “The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean.”

  43. Jim the Puritan says:

    38: I may be a Puritan, but I’ve always had a problem with executing the King. They sowed the seeds of their own destruction with the act.

  44. Jill C. says:

    Just finished reading Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead, second book in his King Raven Trilogy. It’s a retelling of the legend of Robin Hood, set in Wales.

  45. Bob from Boone says:

    I am reading Peter J. Bowler’s latest book, _Monkey Trials and Gorilla Sermons: Evolution and Christianity from Darwin to Intelligent Design_, and am reviewing it for “Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith: The Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation” (asa3.org). this book is a magisterial study of the development of Darwinism and the responses of liberal Christianity and fundamentalism and conservative anti-Darwinist movements to its various permutations; well written, with a clarity and elegance of exposition and grasp of knowledge that is impressive. The story itself is much more complex than usually depicted. Highly recommended. Bowler is professor of the history of science at Queens University in Belfast. Find more about it at [url=http://www.amazon.com/Monkey-Trials-Gorilla-Sermons-Christianity/dp/0674026152/ref=sr_1_1/102-4710530-5252930?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191715724&sr=8-1]Amazon[/url]

  46. NewTrollObserver says:

    A very interesting [url=http://www.amazon.com/Universalist-Movement-America-1770-1880-Religion/dp/0195129865/ref=sr_1_1/105-0329879-6146053?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191717002&sr=1-1]The Universalist Movement in America, 1770-1880[/url].

  47. Id rather not say says:


    Yes, Robin Osborne is a very good classicist. The book is one volume in a series. However, not the best introduction for the very beginner.

  48. Jason Miller says:

    [i]We[/i] by Yevgeny Zamyatin
    [i]Hymns on Paradise[/i] by St Ephrem the Syrian (for my thesis)

  49. RoyIII says:

    The Ionian Mission, Patrick O’Brian

  50. Elle says:

    Just finished A Wrinkle in Time.
    Working on Biography of a Germ by Arno Karlen and Absolute Truths by Susan Howatch.

  51. FDHUNT says:

    Currently reading the following:
    1. Do I know God?, by Tullian Tchividjian
    2. Growing in Christ, by J.I. Packer
    3. John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace, by Jonathan Aitken
    4. How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth, by Gordon D. Fee and Mark L. Strauss
    5. Not Ashamed of the Gospel: Sermons From Paul’s Letter To The Romans, by Fleming Rutledge
    6. Justification: What’s at Stake ib the Current Debates, edited by Husbands & Treier
    7. By Faith Alone: Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of Justification, edited by Johnson & Waters

  52. Athanasius Returns says:

    1. Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? – Philip Yancey (2nd time through this fine book)
    2. Recalling the Hope of Glory: Biblical Worshsip from the Garden to the New Creation – Allen P. Ross
    3. The Shape of the Liturgy – Dom Gregory Dix
    4. Athanasius, Select Works and Letters; Volume IV in The Writings of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers – Archibald Robertson

  53. WilliamS says:

    Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament & Contemporary Contexts by Joel B. Green & Mark D. Baker

    Eucharist, Bishop, Church, by John D. Zizioulas
    Catechetical Lectures, by Cyril of Jerusalem
    Anglicanism (again), compiled by More and Cross
    In Search of Frankenstein, Radu Florescu
    Pilgrim’s Progress (for the first time), by John Bunyan
    Dracula (for about the 13th time), by Bram Stoker

  54. stjohnsrector says:

    The Way by Msgr. Jose Escriva
    My Grandfather’s son (Justice Clarence Thomas’ autobiography)
    Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution

  55. ct layperson says:

    Total Forgiveness by RT Kendall and the accompanying workbook.
    I have started my first Thursday Next novel by Jasper Fforde. Saw this author recommended by Cap’n Yips.
    I also have a Wodehouse (Berty and Jeeves) going.
    I’m on vacation so the list is shortened to what I can carry. The Kendall books are being covered in a class at my parish. I recommend them – it’s hard to face into the subject but he is good.

  56. William P. Sulik says:

    Bob from Boone, thanks for the recommendation — this does look interesting. I was also going to recommend Ronald L. Numbers’ book The Creationists and was tickled to see that the Amazon page you referenced pairs your book up with a new version of the Creationists.

    Numbers clearly shows that “Creationism” is a belief which derives from the Seventh-day Adventist George McCready Price.

    Very interesting — I’m going to have to look into this and the new version of The Creationists.

  57. Gone Back to Africa says:

    I’m reading “Beyong East and West – Problems in Liturgical Understanding” by Robert F Taft as well as dipping into “Adventures in Missing the Point – How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel” by Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo.

  58. dpchalk+ says:

    Eucharist, Bishop, Church, by John D. Zizioulas
    Orthodox Psychotherapy, Metropolitan Hierotheos
    The Theology of Illness, Jean-Claude Larchet
    Mental Disorders & Spiritual Healing: Teachings from the Early Christian East, Jean-Claude Larchet
    The Vindication of Tradition, Jaroslav Pelikan
    The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell
    Long Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail, Roland Mueser

  59. Cennydd says:

    Benjamin Franklin, by Walter Isaacson.

  60. justice1 says:

    Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Eugene Peterson
    A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, J. I. Packer
    Church Next, Eddie Gibbs
    Deep Wounds, Deep Healing, Charles Kraft
    Tales of the Kingdom, David R. Mains (With the kids)

  61. physician without health says:

    The EPR3 report; the newest US Asthma Guidelines. This is a roughly 460 page document (when it appears in print it will likely be consolidated to fewer) which was released August 28. I am charged here with presenting the material so that other health care workers here can hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them.

  62. Briane says:

    Everything’s Archie Comics number 335 and 456.
    Thanks, Dad, for the plug or Joe’s and my book. A text that only a parent could love…. 🙂

  63. robroy says:

    I see Kendall with his long clobbered the carriage returns with his long http references, again. See[url=http://new.kendallharmon.net/wp-content/uploads/index.php/t19/article/4812/ ]here[/url].

  64. Verger says:

    Finished Playing for Pizza by John Grisham.
    Now reading The Sign of the Cross – The Gesture, The Mystery, The History by Andreas Andreopoulos.

  65. TimW says:

    Timothy Fountain,
    Are you reading St. John in Spanish or English? If in English, what translation are you using? I’ve never really found an English translation that I think does justice to the beauty of his writing.

  66. Oriscus says:

    PURITY IN MUSIC – Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut
    THE IMAGE OF THE CITY – Charles Williams

  67. Oriscus says:

    …oh, and a stack of journal articles, mostly on Church Music in the 16th century, but some also in the Social Sciences and Archaeology

  68. Bob from Boone says:

    William, #56. While I didn’t read it, just skimmed it, it appears that Numbers’ revised edition of _The Creationists_ is pretty much the first edition with a final new chapter on the Intelligent Design Movement. If you like Numbers, whom Bowler references in his book, you will certainly like Bowler.

  69. Laocoon says:

    Chariton’s [i]Callirhoe[/i]. Sometimes it’s good to go back and read old books slowly with no aim in mind.

  70. Sidney says:

    1. The Old Testament (yes, cover to cover for for the first time)
    2. Understanding the Old Testament, by Bernhard Anderson.

    I am a scientist, and have spent most of my life too busy to familiarize myself with most of the details of my faith, or even to read scripture outside of Sunday morning. Hoping to change that.

  71. Irenaeus says:

    Winston Churchill, Marlborough: His Life and Times

    Stephen Talty, Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan’s Great Pirate Army

    Milton, Paradise Lost

  72. Juandeveras says:

    “Treason”, Ann Coulter

  73. RickW says:

    ACT OF TREASON – Vince Flynn
    THE PENTAGON’S NEW MAP – Thomas Barnett
    Tokyo and Kyoto City Guides (in Japan right at the moment visiting)
    KNOWING GOD – JI Packer

  74. Timothy Fountain says:

    #65 Tim W. – the Kavanaugh/Rodriquez translation. It has the Spanish as well, at least for the poetry…

  75. RevK says:

    #73 RickW
    I’d be interested in what you think of Barnett’s PNM when you have finished it.

  76. rtbarr says:

    [b]Baudalino[/b] by Umberto Eco
    [b]Boomsday[/b] by Christopher Buckley
    [b]The Complete Short Stories[/b] by Flannery O’Connor

    Baudalino ties in with my third year EFM curriculum as it illuminates the Crusades and other aspects of life in the Middle Ages. The O’Connor is in preparation for a retreat led by Bishop Henry Parsley next month at St. Mary’s in Sewanee.

  77. johnd says:

    EFM – year 3
    Spook Country – William Gibson

  78. DonGander says:

    Does anyone have any infomation on the Sir Earnest Shackleton biograghy that was written in the 1980s? I read a library copy back then and have found its contents to be so useful since and would like to own a copy. It was a very large tome.

    No man on this earth has loaned me more leadership techniques and skills as Sir Earnest Shakleton.

  79. Kendall Harmon says:

    This has turned into a terrific thread–thanks for everyone’s participation.

  80. Kendall Harmon says:

    Yes, sorry, #63, I fixed it now.

  81. David Fischler says:

    I’ve always got a couple of things going at once. Currently:

    Ministries of Mercy by Timothy Keller

    and for light bed time reading:

    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

  82. trooper says:

    Upstairs book: Earth Abides, George Stewart
    Kitchen book (to read while the water’s boiling): The best of Clarence Day
    Recliner book: When Broken Glass Floats, Chanrithy Hin (my Cambodian Killing Fields obsession seems neverending)
    Bedtime with the kids: Harry Potter 7

  83. libraryjim says:

    William (post #38)

    I am [i]trying[/i] to get through [b]First Among Sequels[/b] but find it very difficult going. IMO, the only good book among the series was the first one [b]the Eyre Affair[/b].

  84. The_Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    Doctor Who and the Claw of Axos.

    Hey, its fun…

  85. Crabby in MD says:

    Just whipped through the entire “Mitfor” series by Jan Karon. What lovely, pastoral (in scenery and actions) in those books. Just simple faith that God provides. Wonderful counterpoint to TEC’s mud wrestling!

  86. William P. Sulik says:

    libraryjim, #83 – the Eyre Affair was also my favorite. I don’t want to spoil anything about the Fforde book, but [b]Sequels [/b] is not a complete book — it’s definitely a continuation and makes no bones about it.

    Bob from Boone #68 – thanks for the info.

  87. MattJP says:

    The autobiography of John G. Paton and wayyyyy to many medical school textbooks.

  88. MattJP says:

    to should be “too”

  89. StayinAnglican says:

    Lately I’ve taken to juggling books, so I am currently reading three.

    The Scarlet Letter- Hawthorne

    Seven Gothic Tales- Isak Dinsen

    The Motley Fool Guide to Investing (yup, I have finally reached that age where a kind of mild panic about retirement has set in and ‘investment’ is no longer a dirty word used only by the Man in a Grey Suit 😉 )

  90. StayinAnglican says:

    Looking through all the posts here, I have to wonder where the idea that conservatives are stupid and unsophisticated comes from? Not from any actual conservatives, I guess.

  91. Katie My Rib says:

    Over the summer I read the following:
    Peace Like a River – Leif Enger
    The Pick-Up – Nadine Gordimer
    Andy Catlett: Early Travels – Wendell Berry
    The Murder Room – P.D. James
    and Little Stone Bridges – Sarah Hey

    I’m currently reading “The Captivation of the Will: Luther vs. Erasmus on Freedom and Bondage” by Gerhard Forde, “Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment” by James R. Gaines, and “The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett (which is a novella and very funny!).
    Next on the stack is “A Russian Diary” by Anna Politkovskaya.

  92. Anonymous Layperson says:

    Today I finished up The Boy King: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation by Diarmaid MacCoulloch. Thank God we no longer have the power to “resolve” religious disputes via government power and coersion.

  93. rob k says:

    Michael Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box.