What I'm Reading Now

Too many books is what I’m reading now. It’s starting to get to me. And I don’t think it would be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that I’m still reading Moby Dick. Yep, I’m one of those people now, slogging his way through the middle of it. Will I give up? I don’t think so. I hope not. It’s still really, really good. So it’s not the quality that’s got me slogging. Like I said, it’s the other stuff.

Taking books out of the library has done it, I think. In the past two weeks I’ve read five web design and programming books. Three of them really excellent. It has me looking at the internet in a deeper way – more concerned about it’s future (and the future of what I write) – than I ever thought I would be. Plus, it’s giving me something else to be nerdy about. Who knew there was a Web Standards sized hole in my heart? Check my code for this post, even. I’ve lovingly wrapped your book in cite tags, Mr. Melville. The machines know it’s a book now, rest easy.

I’m also reading Andrew Lang’s Blue Fairy Book to my son. One of those books I missed reading as kid. It showed up on my radar when I was reading a lot of Chesterton and Lewis. I can’t remember which of those fine fellows pointed Lang’s color books out to me but here’s a nice quote from Chesterton on fairy stories:

Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

By the way, read Chesterton. You don’t necessarily have to read Lewis (Gasp! Heretic!) but Chesterton is a must.

I’m off. I’ve got a lot of not reading Moby Dick and feeling guilty about it to do. Wish me luck!

9 responses to “What I'm Reading Now”

  1. What books of Chesterton should be read?

    I’ve only read the Father Brown stories and The Man Who Was Thursday.

  2. If you’re referring to Lewis’ Narnia series I always thought there were only two really good books (“The Horse and His Boy” & “Silver Chair”) and an ok one, primarily because it’s so popular (“Lion, Witch, Wardrobe”) out of the whole thing away! I should have read it first when I was a kid.

  3. My fav Lewis book has become “Till We Have Faces,” though “Out of the Silent Planet” is pretty good too.

  4. Oh, and I find Chesterton works best in small doses. He’s great at zingers and bon mots, but after awhile he can be too… pompous? Or smugly clever? Cleverly smug? Something.

  5. I have that Out of the Silent Planet trilogy. I should get to it some time. (I should get to a lot of books.)

  6. Welcome to Upper Fort Stewart, Dawn. I’m glad that you chose to comment on this particular post first because, if you’re checking up on the comments, you get to also meet Imani and Elliot, two of my regular commentors, who’re doing my work for me here. 🙂

    So, Chesterton. You might try reading The Everlasting Man, Orthodoxy, and his book on St. Francis. Then we’ll be caught up. Chesterton can be a bit too clever, I guess. But I find Lewis to be a little, I don’t know, pedestrian? That sounds too elitist. I think I just mean dull.

    That said, Till We Have Faces is on my wishlist and Lewis’ Surprised By Joy has had a lasting effect on me.

  7. Thank you for the welcome and Chesterton suggestions, Ian. I have followed Elliot’s blog for awhile and occasionally bug him. I am pleased to find yours and Imani’s blog.

    I thought Lewis’ A Grief Observed was touching but it’s been some time since I read it.

    I remember enjoying the Lang series, especially the later titles like Brown and Pink Fairy Books.

  8. I’ve read a lot of Lewis but it was so long ago I’ve forgotten most of it! Except Screwtape Letters and Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, because I read them again last year for my Episcopal book club.

    Chesterton I like, though Orthodoxy has been setting on our shelf for as long as I’ve been married and neither of us have managed to push through more than the first two or three chapters. Chesterton has a rep for writing at speed and never, but never, proofreading or editing. That could explain a lot.

    You will be an educated man when you finish Moby Dick.

  9. I’m glad to have you around, Dawn, and I’m excited to hear that you found Imani’s blog. There’s some great stuff there.

    I didn’t know Chesterton was a speed writer, Clemens. Maybe that’s why I like him so much. I kind of favor the rough-edged. And I know what you mean about Moby-Dick, I think. There’s some wild thought in there. And some moments of sheer horror (the whiteness!). It deserves it’s tough rep.

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