"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Monday, October 24, 2016

2016 Reads, Update #3

I’m almost a month behind from posting my reads for the third quarter.  I had a massive shift in plans, which I’m afraid will cause me not to complete the plans from the beginning of the year.  Most of the summer was taken up by the planned read of Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family.  This was the main read for my year of emphasizing German literature.  I’m a good 75% of the way completed, but it is a long book, and I have trouble keeping my attention on one book for that long.  So I added two unplanned books. 

One was a biography of St. Dominic de Guzmán, titled after the subject and written by the Dominican Sister, Mary Jean Dorcy.  2016 is the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Dominican Order, and I wanted to commemorate the occasion in some fashion.  The other iun[lanned book was Romano Guardini’s Learning the Virtures that Lead you to God, which was a selection for my Goodreads Catholic Thought Book Club.  When it was selected as the Book Club read, I decided to join in despite my busy schedule.  It was a book that had count my attention a while back.  Actually Guardini, despite his Italian name, is actually German, so it kept with the German literature based theme.

I read a couple of short stories—neither all that interesting—and two essays, which each are about the length of a short story.  One was a a personal essay by D. H. Lawrence about traversing through the German Alps and coming across crosses at the peaks, and the other by Joyce Carol Oats on Emily Dickenson’s crush on a particular pastor who she traded letters with.  Both very good reads.

I also finished reading all the Psalms in both the King James Version and in the modern Ignatius RSV translations.  I am also continuing this year’s poetry read, Some Desperate Glory.

I don’t know what of my original plans I will be able to complete in the remaining couple of months.  I’ve taken another excursion by reading Shūsaku Endō’s novel, Silence.  It too is a Catholic Thought Book Club choice, but I’m afraid I was the one who pushed this book to be read. It will be coming out in December as a major motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese and I wanted to reread it before the movie.   Please join me in reading Silence.  I've been posting quite a bit on it.  I will certainly be able to complete Buddenbrooks, and then I will have to choose between some of the remaining planned reads.  I am still working on works from last year. 

Here are my completed reads for the third quarter.

Completed 3rd Quarter:

Saint Dominic, a biography by Sr. Mary Jean Dorcy, O.P.
“Clair de Lune,” a short story by Guy de Maupassant. 
“The Crucifix across the Mountains,” a personal essay by D. H. Lawrence.
“The Woman In White: Emily Dickinson and Friends,” an essay by Joyce Carol Oats.
“The State of Grace,” a short story by Harold Brodkey.
The Book of Psalms, (Psalms 101-150) KJV and Ignatius RSV Translations.
Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God, a non-fiction book of Christian devotion by Romano Guardini.

Currently Reading:

Julius Caesar: Life of a Colossus, a biography by Adrian Goldsworthy.
Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style, a non-fiction book on writing by Virginia Tufte.
Some Desperate Glory: The First World War the Poets Knew, a book of history and collected poetry by Max Egremont.
Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family, a novel by Thomas Mann.
Silence, a novel by Shūsaku Endō. 

Upcoming Plans:

 “Gods,” a short story by Vladimir Nabokov.
 “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” a short story by Ernest Hemingway.
“The Light of the World,” a short story by Ernest Hemingway.
“Marius,” Volume III of Les Misérables, a novel by Victor Hugo.

My completed works from earlier in the year are the following:

Completed: First Quarter

“Master and Man,” a short story by Leo Tolstoy.
Interior Castle, a non-fiction book on spirituality by St. Theresa of Avila.
“A Cup of Cold Water,” a short story by Edith Wharton.
“In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,” a short story by Tobias Wolff.
To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel by Harper Lee.
Prayer for Beginners, a non-fiction book of devotion by Peter Kreeft.
“Saint Dymphna,” a short story by Mary O’Connell.

Completed 2nd Quarter:

“A House of Gentlefolks,” a short story by Evelyn Waugh. 
The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times, a non-fiction book by Jean-Charles Nault, O.S.B.
White Fang, a novella by Jack London.
The Book of Psalms, (Psalms 51-100) KJV and Ignatius RSV Translations.
“Hallelujah, Family,” a short story by Ludmilla Petrushevkaya, translated by Anna Summers.
“Wingstroke,: a short story by Vladimir Nabokov. 
“A House of Gentlefolks,” a short story by Evelyn Waugh.
“Miles City, Montana,” a short story by Alice Munro. 
“The Cabuliwallah,” a short story by Rabindranath Tagore. 
“1933,” a short story by Mavis Gallant.
“The Man Born Blind,” a short story by C. S. Lewis. 
“After the Storm,” a short story by Earnest Hemingway.

If you wish, you can read my 2016 Plans, here.  

You can read my 1st quarter update, here.  

And my 2nd quarter update, here


  1. I think I may have read “Clair de Lune,” by Guy de Maupassant many years ago when at school. I know I read "La Peste" by Camus, and several other books in French.

    Now here's a question for you:

    When you read all these books, do you still remember them time afterwards. For example, if I picked a book from last year's list, could you tell us what the story-line is, and the manin characters?

    Thank you for your e-mail. I will respond shortly.

    God bless you and your family.

    1. Do I still remember the books? It depends. Books usually, short stories not so much. I had to look up what that Emily Dickinson essay was about. I couldn't remember. I couldn't remember the Brodkey short story either.

  2. By the way ... what does it say on that cushion by the dog?

    1. I don't know. Not my picture. Picked it off Google Images. ;)