A Bookish Christmas

Most years I receive a good number of books, but this year was slightly unusual, not because of the number of books I received, but because of the eclectic variety.  I can’t wait to start reading them.


The Present Age: On The Death of Rebellion by Søren Kierkegaard
I’m somewhat of a rebel myself, so this should be interesting …
War in Heaven by Charles Williams
Williams was a friend and contemporary of C.S. Lewis.  His novels were supposed to be peculiar, so this one will be an adventure.
Selections from the Canzoniere and Other Works by Petrarch
Suggested by Tom at Wuthering Expectations, this one just turned up under the tree!
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
I’ve been reading so many books titled Meditationslately.  I’m looking forward to Aurelius.  I think he’ll have some interesting tidbits to share
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
I was so enthralled, yet puzzled by my read of this book that, of course, I needed the annotated edition
Buddist Scriptures
I need to read more eastern classics.  Well, at least, now and then.
Letters to Children by C.S. Lewis
Surprisingly I didn’t own this small, yet enchanting,  book.  Well, I do now.
Pastors in the Classics by Ryken, Ryken & Wilson
A book that explores the clergy in various classic novels such as The Warden,  The Canterbury Tales, The Scarlet Letter, Diary of a Country Priest, The Power and the Glory, etc.
The Intellectual Devotional by Kidder & Oppenheim
Okay this is a neat book!  Seven fields of knowledge correspond with the seven days of the week and each imparts a little information on that field.  For example, Thursday, which focuses on science, could talk about Albert Einstein, The Milgram Studies: Lesson in Obedience, Friction, etc. or Tuesday, which is literature, could talk about Moby-Dick, Postcolonialism, William Faulkner, etc.  It is sooooo interesting. 
Books not in photo:
And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran
Lusseyran was blinded as a young boy, but he did not let this handicap stop him and instead, at 16, organized a resistance group in France during World War II
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
It’s not on my recent TBR list, but I’ll get to it one day
On the Nature of Things by Lucretius
I’d kind of like to read Plato and Aristotle before tackle this one.
The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
What can I say?  I can’t wait to read this one!
So now I have even more reading material to keep me busy.  Luckily December has been a month for catching up, with good success, and I’ll be able to start January with almost a clean slate.

So what wonderful books did you receive this Christmas?

25 thoughts on “A Bookish Christmas

  1. WOW!!! Either there is someone in your life who knows you really well or you shared a wish list!!!! Those aren't exactly typical books someone chooses as a Christmas present.

  2. Oh, you lucky!! You got War in Heaven! "Peculiar" is one word for it, yep. And the Lusseyran memoir is one of my all-time favorites; it is an amazing book. You've got so much great stuff there!!

  3. Ooooh what an intriguing stack of books! I loved War in Heaven. It is strange but not as strange as his Descent Into Hell, a book I never quite finished but plan to get back to soon. I find Charles Williams to fall somewhere between C.S. Lewis fiction for adults and the weirder side of G.K. Chesterton. I read Meditations last year and loved it. Kierkegaard is at the top of reading priorities for the coming year. I look forward to comparing reading notes in coming months.

  4. What a wonderful haul! I approve of reading Kierkegaard 🙂 The Present Age: On the Death of Rebellion is a great place to start too. I have heard so many good things about C.S. Lewis' letters to children. A very eclectic haul for sure. The Classics encompass a plethora of genres.

  5. We have a great university bookstore near us that often has wonderful sales. I'll pick up a book for myself here and there, then pass them to my family for a Christmas present, usually in early October, so I've forgotten about the book by the time I receive it. Three of the books in the photo were chosen by others though, so it appears that they have a very good idea of what type of reading I'm interested in.

  6. Well, I must admit that it was on your blog that I discovered Lusseyran, so thanks! I own three Williams books now that just stare at me. Soon I have to pick one up and take the plunge.

  7. The weirder side of Chesterton description is scary ….. I think I struggle to get him even when he is not being weird. :-Z

    I have a feeling that I'm going to like Aurelius' Meditations better than Descartes. Talk about overthinking!

    I'd love to compare notes, Carol … I'm so happy to find someone whose reading tastes are similar to mine!

  8. Wow, what a great stash! 🙂 Kierkegaard's on my list…I've read Meditations and The Man Who Was Thursday, both excellent books. Looks like your list is quite diverse, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on these!

  9. Yes, I've been happily reading some of your posts about Kierkegaard. He seems like a more positive type of existentialist ….??? I'm going to start Camus' The Plague in a couple of days, so it will be interesting to compare the two.

    Lewis' books are always lovely reads!

    Okay, I'm off to your blog to check out more Kierkegaard!

  10. I just went and read all your wonderful Chesterton reviews on your blog, Marian. I was looking for The Man Who Was Thursday, and while I had no such luck, I was introduced to a few others I now want to read. And it made me realize how much I miss your insightful posts! No pressure though. Life gets busy and sometimes we have to prioritize. I hope 2015 is a great reading year for you!

  11. I plan to make a post soon in which I propose a reading order (note the "I" here). It seems like a lot of people are interested in his works so it might help others too.

  12. I think that would be so helpful. I'll keep an eye out for your post. I have Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing, and I think one other of his works. I could imagine nothing better than having a recommended order for reading.

  13. Great books!

    I'm planning on reading Buddhist Scriptures – one of my friends recommended it to me many years ago. I've read parts and enjoyed it very much.

    I'm looking forward to the Forsyte Saga as well – going to try and squeeze it in somehow next year 🙂

  14. Buddhist Scriptures may be something that I take slowly in chunks. Probably a good plan.

    I'd like to fit in The Forsyte Saga too, but that may be only a happy dream. 🙂

  15. Thanks, Cleo! 🙂 I hope so too.

    If I recall, I was too puzzled by the ending of The Man Who Was Thursday to write a review. It's a great page-turner, though, and one I want to read again.

  16. The Man Who Was Thursday is in my plan to read in 2015. And the Kierkegaard title sounds great! I've read his "Fear and Trembling" several times and get something new out of it each time. Or it may be that I understand a little more each time I read it. Pastors in Classics has always been a topic that interests me. I didn't know a book has been written about it!

  17. You are braver than I am in tackling Tristram Shandy. This used to be required reading at university for all literature students but it seems not to be feature as much now.

  18. Oh my, Kierkegaard…. and Marcus Aurelius…. and Petrarch…. I'm overwhelmed with fear, as all are on my own personal TBR list. I'm looking forward to your reviews – maybe you'll break the ice.

    A very diverse list indeed! And the Forsyte Saga – I think I own two of the three Penguin Modern in the series, all sitting in dust on my shelf somewhere, I bought them after my grandmother told me how sometime in the late forties she read it and enjoyed it a lot.

  19. I'll be curious as to what you think about The Man Who Was Thursday. I think it would be an excellent book club book because it would get good discussion going.

    Oh, I have Fear and Trembling —- thanks for the reminder —- if I remember, it's not too long, so I should pull it out and read it as well.

    The Pastors in the Classics book looks very good: there are about 12 books that are analyzed in great detail and then another 58 books which have a lighter analysis.

  20. I'm not that brave because Tristram Shandy does scare me a little. I'm not sure if I'll get to it this year ……. for chunksters, I have Ovid's Metamorphoses, Bleak House and Herodotus' Histories which will take priority.

    I wonder why TS was required reading for university students? I wouldn't have expected that but perhaps it was a trend and trends come and go …..???

  21. I don't think you need to be afraid of Petrarch (it's small and the writing is really quite lovely) or Aurelius (Roman's are always so sensible and straightforward) but Kierkegaard may be another story. Luckily the book is short. I'm reading Descartes now and if the book was large it would explode my brain, but luckily it's short so I can take it in small chunks and meditate on it.

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear from you and have you join in the discussion!