16 July 2013

Summertime Books

I have not posted a list of books in a while. Summertime seems to be made for finding a cozy spot by the window and enjoying the long days of sunlight with several good books. When the heat is intense outside, reprieve an be found inside with stacks of books. I cannot read only one. There is always a small tower of books that I am currently leafing through. I can't help it.

A few books I have been reading lately:

Poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins - I read his poems every now and then just because, but I am devoting time to more of them from a little paperback I found in a used bookstore in Indiana. He was an Oxford scholar in 1863, and he is a favourite poet of mine. His poems are so interesting to read for the word usage; full of alliteration (which may seem like a tongue twister). But the language is so beautiful and coming from a place deep in his soul. He was a committed Disciple of God but he had struggles that anyone could relate to, and his poetry reflects the love of God, the omnipresence of God, and the loneliness of a soul that we all can feel here on earth.

Prose and Poetry by Matthew Arnold- A was also a scholar of Oxford (he died in 1888), who became an inspector of schools in England, then France and Germany. He wrote many criticisms of authors and poetry, which are enlightening and interesting. His poetry would have been well known in his time, and I think it is relatively well known today. His poems, unlike Hopkins, tends to dwell in a loss of faith and look to earthly love as the answer to questions and doubt.

The Molehill- Volume I- This is a collection of writings, stories, poems, and even drawings from contributors to the Rabbit Room (http://www.rabbitroom.com/). I am really enjoying the variety of writings in this journal. It is amazing to see the myriad of people who come together with the common interest of all things C.S. Lewis and the creative nature we all seek to embrace. It is inspiring.

The Flying Inn by G.K. Chesterton- British humour and a good adventurous story is something Chesterton does so well. Even if he adds a few dashes of strong opinions about Jews or Islam, I think he does that to provoke reaction and discussion among readers (because he was a very tolerant man). He would be the type to do that. He loved to debate in his time (the early 1900s). This book is about the British government outlawing alcohol unless served at a location where there is an Inn sign, but then the government outlawed Inn signs. Two men travel around with a barrel of rum and an Inn sign, with many silly adventures along the way. As always, his books contain lots of silliness on the surface, but are actually about many deeper things that you realize you understand because of his way with words.

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf- I think I read this book described somewhere compared to reading the creation of a painting. As I read this book about a family taking a holiday on the Isle of Skye and the events that take place due to their inability to visit the lighthouse, I can see how it is like reading a painting. The descriptions are reminiscent of the strokes of a paintbrush blanketing a canvas. I am really interested to read more of this, as I am not very far into it yet.

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