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

Sunday, February 11, 2018

My 2018 Plans

Given I can no longer plan with any certainty what I plan to read, I don’t know if outlining my plans make sense.  Maybe I should post separate this into two halves, the half I know what I will read and the half I would like to get to read if I may.  The problem is I don’t know how many I can list with any confidence that I know I will read.  Of course this all has to do with me taking on the role of moderator at the Goodreads Catholic Thought Book Club.  Books are nominated and put to a vote and chosen by the entire club.  But let’s try it. 

Books I know I am pretty sure I will read.

(1) From Islam to Christ: One Woman’s Path through the Riddles of God by Derya Little.  I know for sure this book will be read because I have already read it!  It’s a wonderful coming of age memoir about a Turkish girl who grew up Muslim, became an atheist, had a conversion experience to Christianity, and then through her research and learning found the fullnesst of Christianity in the Roman Catholic faith.  It’s a great story and I will certainly post something on it shortly.  In the meantime, I highly recommend it. 

(2) Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, but this is going to count as six books since I will be reading all three parts, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradisio, and I am reading two different translations, the Robert and Jean Hollander translation and the Anthony Esolen translation.  Again I’m pretty certain to to complete these.  It’s been picked for the book club and we’re doing Inferno now as you can see by my recent posts.  We will break after Inferno for other Catholic reads, return to Purgatorio I estimate around May or June, break again, and return for Paradisio by around September or October.  If you want to join in, either read along and comment on my blog, or join the book club.  It’s free.

(3) I’m going to squeeze in the next volume of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, which will be the fourth volume, which is called, “The Idyll in the Rue Plumet and the Epic in the Rue St. Denis.” 

(4) I’ll try to complete some of the ones I didn’t complete last year.  The Virgin and the Gipsy, a short novel by D. H. Lawrence should be a fast read once I get a week to concentrate on it.

(5) Another started last year but not finished was Hildegard of Bingen: Selected Writings, a collection of the saint’s writings translated and edited by Mark Atherton.

(6) I’ve started a gorgeous book on the life and art of the early Renaissance painter, Fra Angelico, simply titled Fra Angelico by Laurence Cantor and  Pia Palladino.  I will post on some of the paintings as well.

(7) I just purchased and have read more than a third of a short devotional, The Way of the Cross by Caryll Houselander.  It’s one of my reads for Lent.  I’ll have to see what the book club chooses. 

(8) My poetry read this year will be The Annotated Waste Land with Eliot’s Contemporary Prose: Second Edition by T. S. Eliot and edited by Lawrence Rainey.  I will post my thoughts on all five sections of the great poem.

(9) Biblical reads will Isaiah in Old Testament, and the Letter to the Hebrews, and the Letters of James, First and Second Peter, and if I have time the three letters of John and the Book of Revelations.  This year I will read all Biblical texts in both KJV and Ignatius translations.

(10) Of course the short stories, which will get picked mostly on impulse.  I only did eighteen last year but I will strive for my usual two per month.

(11) I’m reading The Chronicles of Narnia books with Matthew and so I hope to include one or two in this year’s read.  I’m actually well into the first of the series, The Magician's Nephew.  I’ve never read them, and what a joy it is so far.

Books I hope to get to:

(1) Three years ago I had started the tetralogy (a series of four) Parades End by Ford Madox Ford.  I had read the first two books in the series and I was supposed to read the third last year.  I did not get to it.  I really hope to get to it this year.  The third in the series is titled, A Man Could Stand Up —. 

(2) I really want to continue through a few books from French literature.  On my list for a very long time is Stendhal’s The Red and the Black.

(3) I want to read the recent Nobel Prize’s winner, Kazuo Ishiguro’s great novel, The Remains of the Day.”

(4) I really would like to read something by Alice McDermott and her most highly acclaimed work is Charming Billy. 

(5) I started Shakespeare’s trilogy of the Henry VI plays, so if I can I would like to read Part II and Part II.

(6) If I can persuade the book club to pick Pensées, by Blaise Pascal it would add to my French literature and to Catholic great works. 

Well, I know I’m not going to get to all that.  But one can only hope!


  1. F.Y.I....in the Narnia series, the first book published and traditionally read first is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. That’s where I started and the continuity is fine, but whatever. So, why is it you can’t “plan with certainty” what you are going to read?

    1. Because I'm moderator at the Catholic Thought book club at Goodreads, and we vote to select books. I have no idea what book will get selected as the book club read. And since we read at least a book every other month, that doesn't leave a lot of free time for the books I plan to read.

      So does it matter I didn't start in order? Somehow The Magician's Nephew came first in the sequence and that's what we started with. I'm ignorant on this. What should I read next?

  2. I don’t think it really matters in which order they’re read - if you got a set, just go with the next one in. That’s what I did, but The LW&W was first. I hope Matthew is enjoying the story!

    1. He was really enjoying it when we started. But reading only three or four pages at a time at bedtime is taking forever, and he's antsy to move on. But yeah, he likes it.

  3. Thanks for sharing and God Bless!

  4. Sorry this is off topic.. are you able to tell me where u found that beautiful virgin Mary statue from ur moms garden that u posted in 2013?

    1. Just a local gardening store. No where special. I bet if you google Garden Madonnas you can find them on the internet.