Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Books, books, books, oh my...

It's with some regret that I'll admit I haven't been posting much on this blog of late, but I'm not turning that into a lead in for abandoning the project; on the contrary, I continue to maintain the hope (or illusion) that time and an inquiring mind will collide and something of more value than mere bits and bytes will spill on this electronic canvas! And it is not that I have been inactive, and the stack of books needing to be put away, and the remarkable books about to be embarked upon, gave me an idea for a blog entry! Yes, I have been reading, so here's a recent reading roundup...

It started with a desire to try, once again, to take on St Thomas (I may have written before on this). I had some time ago purchased Edward Feser's "Aquinas" which is in the "Beginners Guides" series; as a beginner it seemed apropos. Highly recommend it. I followed that with "Aquinas for the Perplexed" by Peter Eardley and Carl Still, which Fesse's book had relieved some of my perplexity. these were followed by "The Last Superstition, A Refutation of the New Atheism" by Feser. Feser is so readable, that I had to add to this his "Philosophy of Mind" thank you very much. First philosophy blog I've ever read regularly, Professor Feser brings it home at his blog.

Ok, I hadn't expected to be on the tail end of metaphysical schooling, but I did read Mortimer Adler's "Aristotle for Everybody, Difficult Thought Made Easy." I could get the hang of this, but I got side tracked by some light reading: Michael Coren's "Why Catholics are Right" (I used to regularly read Michael's column in the Toronto Sun), and Paul Murray OP's book on Teresa of Calcutta, "I Loved Jesus in the Night." Oh yes, also Jacob Neusner's "A Rabbi Talks to Jesus."  This book is quoted by Benedict XVI in his first volumn, Jesus of Nazareth. Its a book I'd recommend highly, read it twice, and will read it again.

But as we are entering the political fray, and so much is bandied about with regard to economics, by people that one suspects know little more about economics than how to spell it (or spend), I started low; "Economics for Dummies" by Sean Flynn. Yes, I had no idea! I followed that with "Basic Economics" by Thomas Sowell, a book which made me an instant fan of this deep thinker. These two books were to provide balance to reading I have done on the internet on alternate economic theories, such as Major Douglas' Social Credit, which still has some adherants, Modern Monetary Theory (Print and spend!), and the Binary Economics of the Just Third Way, an updated version of Distributionism. To cap this, I have recently finished "Economics as if God Matters" by Rupert Ederer. This book is a survey of the 100 years of Catholic Social Magisterium from Leo XVIII's Rerum Novarum to JPII's Centesimus Annus. There is much in this book to call up short ALL the main economic orthodoxies. Ederer makes the comment, almost in passing, that the failure of the materialist attempt to study economics as a mathematical science, is that it is a social science. Duh, when you think of it.

I followed philosophy and economics with a bit of history, history of what happens when philosophy and economics get taken over by materialism and vice; The Pink Swastika by Scott Levely and Kevin Abrams is an investigation and refutation of revisionist history which attempts to paint gays as a target of Nazi persecution and extermination, rather than as linked intimately with the Nazi movement and the extermination of the "people of God" whose very existance is a judgment on the consciences of those who practice unnatural vice. It's a chilling book.

But my next book, just started is a true gem; "The American Republic" by Orestes Brownsen. Our founders may have got a few things wrong, but they got more right. The book's introduction is over a hundred pages, and it is brilliant (this is the ISI edition, introduction by Peter Augustine Lawler). I also have coming in the mail a book by Robert Royal and George Weigel on the 100 year papal magisterium on social justice; that may well provide a different perspective than Ederer's book. And for Lent, I also have Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth vol II, which I hear is also excellent.

And it's not like I haven't done any fluff reading; I read the entire "Gunslinger" series by Stephen King over the Christmas season; my son induced me to try that crack and I was hooked. I also read CS Lewis' "Out of the Silent Planet," which I really enjoyed. Somewhere I have the next two volumes, I'll read them when I find them. Oh, and somewhere in all the above, I also read "The Human Soul" by Abbot Vonier and "St Albert the Great" by Kevin Vost. Oh, and I also ordered Teddy Roesevelt's "Social Justice and Popular Rule" but discovered it is volumn 19 of a limited edition of his collected works; unfortunately, the publisher did not cut the pages properly and it can't even be read with out some serious knife-work!

There are probably some others I've forgotten because I've already re-shelved them, but this is what I've swept of the table beside my chair this evening. Hopefully, run through the mental digester and cross-coorelated it will resurface in an intellegent manner. Then again... ;)

Good night and God bless


  1. Woo.. I didn't know Edward Feser ran a blog. Awesome! Thanks!

    1. He gets around; check out:

  2. There are probably some others I've forgotten because I've already re-shelved them, but this is what I've swept of the table beside my chair this evening.

    Marcus Magnus...I think that huge stack of books IS the table beside your chair.

    I second Feser's and The Pink Swastika, both of which I just read.

  3. RIGHT!The books are the friend of us,aren't they?