Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week’s post is about the last ten books that came into my possession. I should admit right off the bat that most of these were gotten at the library. You know your thesis is done when you finally return the library books a year later…
I cannot recommend this book enough. It intercuts scenes of Hopkins life with the last days of the nuns who died on the Deutschland. What I love most about the book is how it emulates Hopkins language throughout like this:
In that northern latitutde sunset occurred just before four o’clock, and he could look up at the skies and watch the stars wink like diamonds as he strolled the cold gray lawn with his rosary. Soon there were bright boroughs of starlight, like the May-mess of fruit-tree petals on a lawn, and in the constellation of Cancer the Christmas cluster called Praesepe–Latin for the manger from which cattle are fed and in which the newborn Jesus was laid. He kissed his hand to the stars. Walking back inside the house through the kitchen entrance, he … felt unworthy of such happiness.
Here we are given a glimpse into the experience that became “The Starlight Night”.
2. Kombucha Revolution
This was a gift for my wife. I had no idea that we could do more with kombucha than make the drink. It’s full of recipes.
3. Adult Learning
Through this book, I found a home in the humanistic education model. That might make me seem like a stick-in-the mud pedagogically, but there’s this: “The growth and development of learners was to be brought out by love in a loving environment.” YES!
4. The Strange
I’m enjoying the new things Monty Cook is doing in gaming. The system is fresh and the possibilities of a multi-verse of recursions is exciting.
5. A Guide for the Perplexed
Not Maimonides’ amazing work, but the philosophical musings of Schumacher of Small is Beautiful fame. I was doing a lot of business research at the time and needed a palate cleanser. I had just read an article relating Schumacher to Schumpeter (father of innovation) and this seemed like a natural choice.
6. A Necessary Luxury: Tea in Victorian England
Tea and Victorian literature. What’s not to love? My favorite aspect of this book is the analysis of the tea scenes in Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady. James opens the novel with a tea scene and a sense of languid tranquility. No other time is seen as “more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” The shadows “lengthened slowly” and everything is suggestive of “leisure still to come.” Time itself seems to stop as “from five o’clock to eight is on certain occasions a little eternity.” In her analysis of tea in Victorian novels, Julie Fromer describes the scene as “a scene of leisure, plenty, pleasure, and eternity, with time and the shadows stretching out and lending an impression of endless ease and enjoyment.”
7. Book History Reader
This is such a useful collection. It has Walter Ong’s work on how writing as a technology changes us, Eisensteins proposal of print as a paradigm shift, and Iser on the interaction between readers and the text.
8. 101 Bonsai
9. Martin Buber and the Human Sciences
The exciting thing about Martin Buber’s philosophy is that it makes relationships a category of being. Instead of being defined by thought as in Descartes’ cogito, we are defined by relationship. This book is a collection of essays that explores the possibilities of applying I and Thou to different disciplines.
10. Reading the Underthought: Jewish Hermeneutics and the Christian Poetry of Hopkins and Eliot
I love this book. This is one of those situations where I find things I wished I knew how to articulate reflected back at me. Meyer and Deshen are meaning-makers of the highest quality, proposing that having multiple meanings “is thus a normal state of affairs; divine truth, as available to human beings, is regarded as multiple by necessity.” This reminds me, I need to do a post on the underthought. It’s Hopkins’ masterful take on how poems affect us through metaphor.