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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Post About the Blog About Books

Guy of Houston -- Methodist Pastor, friend of Official VaA Spiritual Advisor Nolan Dynamite, and founder of Book Mining -- has asked several questions about books. Interesting questions. Nolan's answers are here. [Sorry 'bout Auburn there, Nolan.]

My own reflections:

1. One book that changed your life: (We'll assume the Bible is asssumed) The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis. Not a book, really; it's a collection of essays, but it had a lot to do with my becoming a Christian.

2. One book that you have read more than once: The Lord of the Rings. I've read it once every decade of my life and intend to continue doing so. I find something new every time I read it. I'm a geek about it -- I used to write notes to friends in Sindarin script. I read Dune several times as a kid, but became uncomfortable with its parallels with the story of islam and its "prophet." Today, I keep re-reading Patrick O'Brien's novels. They might be something to take on a desert island, too.

3. One book you would want on a desert island: (Again assuming the Gideons have left a bible in the drawer of my desert island hut; preferably the NIV) Either Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon or Delbruck's History of Warfare (first of four volumes). They'd keep me occupied for awhile.
4. One book that made you laugh: I loved P.G. Wodehouse as a kid, although it's aged poorly for me. Any H.P. Lovecraft; he tried so hard to be "eldritch," but wrote so badly... Okay that's more than one. I'll stop now.

5. One book that made you cry: The Kite Runner. 'Nuf said.

6. One book you wish had been written: The Elegant Universe, by Brian Greene. Heck, I just wish I understood it. The nexus of science and God holds great fascniation for me (as it did for many great scientists; not that I'm one...) and Greene has explained the current status of physics and cosmology about as well as it could be, although Lisa Randall comes close in Warped Passages.

7. One book you wish had never been written: I certaily share Guy's dislike of Descarte and the whole "Enlightenment" dichotomy of mind and spirit. The current Pope has had a few good words on this subject. For instance, here. Another I wish hadn't been written: Rousseau's The Social Contract -- or really anything by him. Most modern bad ideas about government derive from Rousseau somehow. It would have been better for millions slaughtered in utpian schemes born of his ideas if he had been drowned at birth.

8. One book you’re currently reading: The Confusion. It's part two of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. I love the way he weaves historical figures, scientific theory, the history of economics, word origins, etc., through the imrpbable adventures.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: I have a pile near the entrance to my attic that I've been meaning to get to. A dozen or so books I've left unboxed so I can get to them in the absence of the bookcases I really need.

10. Tag 5 others:
The Grand and Glorious KANH
Chefjef Ware
Audra Mickle
Emily H.
Raymond Thebo

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