20 January 2006

Book List

My cousin Norman had a great blog idea about identifying all the books we're reading at the moment. I think I'll chime in--as my bedside table is full of books!

1. Romeo & Juliet, by William Shakespeare. Sorry, but January is Shakespeare month for my classes. My advanced honors students are working their way through R&J, and they are watching different productions of the play and analyzing the differences. Every time I read it, I get something new like Romeo's line: "He jests at scars that never felt a wound." Everyone has a friend like Mercutio who can't help but make fun of us when our hearts are impassioned. If only we could dismiss them so eloquently.

2. 1 Timothy. I'm studying the qualities of a leader--and I find myself wanting in many respects. God has seen fit to give me some unique positions of church leadership at the moment, and I am struggling to find myself worthy.

3. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire. Righteousness in the morning; wicked at night! It's about the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. Maguiare has created a fantastical world and really fleshed out this character. Is she "wicked" or just a misunderstood Animal rights activist? I'll have to let you know how it turns out, but it is a yellow brick road of adventurous fun and great characterization.

4. Homeric Moments, by Eva Brann. One letter removed from Hitler's mistress, Brann--a classics professor--has wonderful insights into The Odyssey and The Iliad, two of my favorite books. She exposes wrinkles in the Greek versions and insights into the characters I had never thought of--and that's something to say, considering I've read The Odyssey six times and The Iliad three! I am a Homerphile.

5. Six Questions of Socrates, by Christopher Phillips. I found this book at school. His chapters follow the six basic questions of the great Greek philosopher: What is virtue? What is courage? What is justice? What is piety? What is moderation? and What is good? Personally, I would rather focus on what is good than what is Wicked.

6. The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster, by Kaye Gibbons. I have an exceptional student who has grown up in Tennessee's foster care system with whom I'm working on a book project. Gibbons's Ellen Foster is a wonderful character who takes you into her tragic life and somehow makes you feel whole. It's a story about survival and much, much more--a miracle considering the child's upbringing in an abusive home and, then, foster care.

That's it. I'm aching to get my hands on more books. I have yet to start Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat, but as you can see, I have much to finish first.


Joelle said...

Hey JD. It was nice to meet you and your family over break! I hope you all are doing well and having a good weekend!

AMcNulty said...

Hey JD, I am always amazed at how much you read it is unreal. I am in CA now and I start the program on Thursday. Tell the family hi.