After having no power since Thursday afternoon because of Tropical Storm Fay I am finally online again. I must say I much prefer Fay Wray to TS Fay, but there was a typhoon heading to Hong Kong and I wonder if their is a name connection there.
Though I did get a lot of reading done. I was able to finish Tim Power’s Earthquake Weather which is the third book in his Fault line series. I really do enjoy all of his novels for not just going the route of an alternate history, but a hidden history in our own time line. Declare is my favorite of his novels, but I enjoy all of them.
Next up I read Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book by Walker Percy. I finally got around to reading his books and so far I am hooked. I certainly loved his wry humor and this book and such an accurate dissection of society. I especially loved this bit “… though for every Mother Teresa, there seem be be 1,800 nutty American nuns, female Clint Eastwoods who have it in for men and are out to get the Pope.”
The next day I read Life of Christ by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. I had previously started it, but I read the last 600 pages of it throughout the day. This is certainly a great book along the lines of Frank Sheed’s To Know Christ Jesus and The Lord by Romano Guardini where the story of Jesus via the four Gospels is told along with insights by the author. Pope Benedict’s great book Jesus of Nazareth is also along these lines, but is more technical than a general retelling like the other books. If you have ever watched Archbishop Sheen’s television show you will know some of the themes the he uses in the book, but mostly this is an excellent synthesis of Jesus’ life. I received a copy of this book from Image publishing since it is the fiftieth anniversary of it’s release. I had been meaning to getting around to reading this book since I have read many of his other books and am glad to have had the opportunity to read much of it in one day since it is really a classic. Highly recommended.
After that I read The Final Bow: A Novel by Alan David Justice. Happy Catholic had previously recommended a book this author podcast in full called The Communion of the Saint which was an enjoyable story in an Anglican storyline. The author is also an Anglican. The Final Bow is an earlier book that he wrote that is no longer in print, but I picked it up on Amazon used for less than a buck. I wanted to get this book since it tells the story of St. Genesius the actor who was reportedly martyred in Rome during the Emperor Diocletian. He is the patron saint of actors as well as jesters. Very little is known of this saint and so the author had a lot of leeway in telling the story. I really did enjoy the story which does a good job of giving the historical background of the persecutions by Diocletian of what turned out be be the last of these types of persecutions. The writing is solid along good characterization and of course when writing on a martyr you know how it is going to end. My only caveats were that an explanation of the Trinity by one character lapses into the heresy of modalism and the other is that while some martyrs are mentioned it seems popes like St. Marcellinus are not mentioned at all with no mention of the papacy, though not surprising coming from an Anglican writer. Still though an enjoyable read.
I am though really glad to have electricity and internet connectivity back. I was able to tweet my status one from a restaurant that had free wireless, but mostly I forcibly fasted from the internet and survived. I am also really thankful for LED book lights since they are really great for night reading for long periods of time without using a lot of battery power. My first instinct when a hurricane approaches to make sure I have batteries for my book light just in case.
Just found out the feast of St. Genesius is August 25. Tomorrow! It probably wasn’t a coincidence that you read the book just yesterday… Sanctus Genesius, Ora Pro Nobis.
Idly curious, what did you do for electric power so you could read? I assume it was darkish outside in the rain.
Ray from MN,
At the end of the post I mentioned the use of a book light that uses LEDs. These are great since they provide good illumination and use low battery power.
In Lancelot, Percy says something like: “Don’t nuns realize they look better in nun clothes than in pantsuits from JC Penney?”
You like Tim Powers?! Wonderful! I’ve read all his books and short stories. He’s actually a friend of mine, and a good Catholic.
Walker Percy rocks! Esp. Lost in the Cosmos! He’s got plenty of nonfiction essays as well, as in Message in the Bottle and Stranger in a Strange Land. Check those out.
I was introduced to Tim Powers via Jimmy Akin who he is also friends with. So far I have read 8 of his books including his latest Three Days to Never which was great.
I read The Moviegoer not long ago and will be reading the The Thanatos Syndrome next. No doubt I will be going through all of his writings.
I miss Fulton Sheen’s Life of Christ. My folks had it on the bookshelf when I was growing up. Unfortunately it got dispersed when we moved out of that house. I do remember this line from it, though: “The tragedy of Judas is that he could have been St. Judas.”
Oh, if only the world would stop looking to Oprah for self-help and pick up Lost in the Cosmos!
Fulton Sheen’s Life of Christ brough me back to the church from Pentecostalism. A Catholic gave it to me in 1984 and it sat on my shelf because the title looked good. Until 1999 when I started it & could not put it down. That began my journey back.