Reading weather has arrived in the High Plains: cool, grey, raining enough to dissuade me from going out and strolling in the cool, grey weather. Yes, I’m writing, but this is the sort of day—week—to settle down in a good chair with your hot beverage of choice and one or more good books.
This is a partial list, because I have a biography of Belisarius, an environmental history of Hokkaido, and a few other things at school, plus the history of battlefield archaeology in Germany that the cat keeps interrupting (there is no room for cat and book in lap.) And one about women in Song-Dynasty China that I’m dipping in and out of as I need material or expansion of ideas I’ve encountered elsewhere.
So what am I working on? Still chewing my way through Heart of Europe about the Holy Roman Empire. There is so much in this book that I have to read a chunk, then think, and return to the book.
Margaret Ball’s new one Insurgents. It’s fast, catchy, and entertaining. A full review will be up next week.
C. Chancy’s Seeds of Blood, the sequel to A Net of Dawn and Bones. The war against vampires, werewolves, and other evils has just begun…
Anthony Esolen’s Out of the Ashes, a cry-of-the-heart to rebuild American culture from the core. The author is Catholic, and presents more plaints than solutions, but it’s a fast read and I can sympathize with him.
Sarah Orne Jewett the Country of Pointed Firs, a 19th century novel that I read in installments many years ago (as in 20+) about the coast of New England. It is a novel of place.
Jones and Savino, Supervolcano about vulcanology and the Toba Event. It’s OK. I’m skimming chunks because I know most of the scientific background already.
C. S. Lewis The Abolition of Man His essays about culture require thinking and chewing, but a friend loves them, so I’m working my way through.
Kate Paulk’s ConSensual I love her stuff but I have to read it in small doses and in places where bursts of laughter won’t draw people’s ire.
S. Stillwell Slavery and Slaving in African History Not a happy topic, but he includes all the historiography and a lot of material I can incorporate into my classes. Contrary to the modern media, Europeans did not introduce slavery to Africa, let alone in the 1500s. Prior to the mid 1600s, more Europeans than Africans were enslaved – see the Ottoman Empire and Crimean Tatars, among others.
G. R. Murphy S.J. The Heliand An English translation of the first Saxon-language New Testament version. Jesus was the leader of a war band and was born in the hill fort of Bethlemburg. I’ve read parts in the original Old Saxon, and German translations, but the English makes the contrast more striking. This is NOT Luther’s translation of the Gospels, no way.