Summer time is here, as are the long, lazy days of reading. (I can dream, can’t I?) Here are a few of the books I’m reading this summer. Comment with your own reading, below.
Memento Mori, by Muriel Spark
Thanks to Michael for the recommendation. I’m quite enjoying Spark’s examination of old age, the petty relationships that never quite sort themselves out, and the inevitability of death. “Remember that you will die.” So we should.
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
Tartt is a Catholic convert and the author of three rather popular novels. I’m surprised I had never heard of her until recently. Her latest novel is an enormously ambitious odyssey of sorts spinning out of a terrorist attack, exploring the emotional fallout of losing the only real family one has, and what happens when we latch unhealthily to replacements.
The Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, by Pope Gregory I
We know about many of the early monks and anchorites in the West thanks to Gregory’s dialogues. They include a Life of St. Benedict which is magisterial in more ways than one. The saints that inhabit his dialogues lived lives full of miracles and battles with the Devil. You can tell that Gregory has a great fondness for the monastic life he left behind.
On the Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies, edited by Brian J. Daley
Fr. Daley helpfully collects and translates these early sermons on the Dormition and Assumption of Mary. It is fascinating to read some of the legends that sprung up around the Blessed Virgin’s death and resurrection, how some of them have survived in modified form, and how others were eventually discarded. It also makes one yearn for a revival of good Catholic preaching.
The City of God, by St. Augustine
I made the mistake of starting this monstrous tome as a competition with my brother-in-law. He finished it in a few weeks, and I’ve already been going for months. Maybe I’ll finish it before the summer is out, or maybe it will drag into autumn.
Complete Poems, by Basil Bunting
Bunting is forgotten among the modernist poets, but he was a peer with Eliot, Pound, and others. I can’t say that I understand most of what he writes, but reading his verses aloud is pleasant enough that I keep reading.
First & Second Maccabees
There aren’t many books of the Bible I haven’t read, but the Maccabean war epic is among them. So far it’s a rip-roaring good time. Greece has no idea what’s it’s gotten itself into.
The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher
It’s always good to have some light reading in between more difficult books. Butcher’s urban fantasy, neo-noir, action-adventure series is a lot of fun, if a bit sketchy in places. He has limited insight into human nature, but what he has he exploits well.
How about our faithful readers? What are you all reading this summer?