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Showing posts with label KathyShaidle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KathyShaidle. Show all posts

Friday, 1 January 2016

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015

This year was a real surprise in how many books I got through. I managed to read 177 books. Many of them were non-fiction, some for a leadership course at work, some for personal or spiritual development. I discouvered some amazing authors this year both in my fiction and non- fiction reading. You can also read my book lists. You can see the list of all books read here, and favourite books here. There is even a favourite list of authors each year here.

Top Ten Religious Non-Fiction Books 2015

1. The Manual For Spiritual Warfare - Paul Thigpen
2. To Be A Father - Stephen Gabriel
3. Recovering Faith: Stories of Catholics Who Came Home - Lorene Hanley Duquin
4. Overcoming Sinful Anger - Rev. T.G. Morrow
5. Welcome Baby Jesus: Advent and Christmas Reflections for Families - Sarah A. Reinhard
6. Rediscover Advent - Matthew Kelly        
7. Prepare Him Room: Advent Family Devotions - Amy Welborn 
8. God Rides a Yamaha - Kathie Shaidle
9. A Catholic Alphabet: The Faith from A to Z - Kathy Shaidle
10. The Magnificat Lenten Companion 2015 - Magnificat

Top Ten General Non-Fiction Books 2015 

1. 99 Perseverance Success Stories: Encouragement for Success in Every Walk of Life - Michal Stawicki
2. The Art of Persistence: Stop Quitting, Ignore Shiny Objects and Climb Your Way to Success - Michal Stawicki
3. Reboot with Joe Fully Charged:7 Keys to Losing Weight, Staying Healthy and Thriving - Joe Cross
4. Beyond Engagement - Brady G. Wilson
5. Simplify Your Pursuit of Success: Six Simple Steps to Success Book 1 - Michal Stawicki
6. Redatcted
7. Hidden Strengths: Unleasing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have - Thuy Sindell and Milo Sindell
8. Know Yourself Like Your Success Depends on It:  - Michal Stawicki - Six Simple Steps to Success Book 2
9. The Motivation Code - Anthony Smits
10. The Miracles of Rebound Exercise - Albert E. Carter     

Well with that list of 20 best picks from 2015 there should be something for almost every reader, and when you combine it with my Top Ten Fiction Books 2015 there are some wonderful books. So go read!


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books First Quarter 2015

Well this has been a good quarter. 47 books read not counting what I reread with the children. I have been reading with the kids almost every night before bed and helping them develop reading habits. There have been some great reads this quarter both in fiction and non- fictions books. So here they are The top ten books of the first quarter 2015!

Fiction:
1. The Blood Gospel - James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell - Sanguines Book 1.0
2. Stone in the Sky - Cecil Castellucci - Tin Star Book 2
3. Welcome, Baby - Barbara Reid
4. Blood Brothers - James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell - Sanguines Book 1.5
5. Skeleton Cat - Krystyn Crow and Dan Krall
6. A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon
7. Jack Plank Tells Tales - Natalie Babbit
8. Polar Bear Night - Lauren Thompson and Stephen Savage
9. Lizard Radio - Pat Schmatz
10. Thief of War - Beth Bernobich

Non-Fiction:
1. The Manual For Spiritual Warfare - Paul Thigpen
2. Reboot with Joe Fully Charged:7 Keys to Losing Weight, Staying Healthy and Thriving - Joe Cross
3. Fat Business Man: A Cautionary Tale - Mark Campanale
4. God Rides a Yamaha - Kathie Shaidle
5. Grit in Your Craw: The 8 Strengths You Need to Succeed in Business and in Life - Robert Luckadoo  
6. 7 Ways to Practice Lent - Joe Paprocki, DMin
7. Bad Yogi Cleanse Kit: Be Good, Fell Good. - Erin Motz
8. Redacted
9. Redacted
10. Confessions of a Failed Slut - Kathy Shaidle - Thought Catalog

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

47 - 2015 - January-March
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996






Thursday, 5 March 2015

Confessions of A Failed Slut - Kathy Shaidle - Thought Catalog

Confessions of A Failed Slut
Kathy Shaidle
Thought Catalog
ASIN B00JBRD12M


I have been a fan of Shaidle's writings for a number of years. He God Rides a Yamaha is one of my favorite books from this past decade. When I saw that she had a new short eBook out I had to give it a read. And to be honest I had a literary crush on her. But that aside this was a piercing book.

Kathy has deep penetrating insight, into culture, trends and an uncanny ability to call bull when she sees or smells it. But unlike many critiques , she can turn that intense scrutiny upon herself and through honest look at herself, then criticize the follies in society at large.

She states "I sometimes wish I didn't see the world like this, through a Gen-X filter of self-defensive snark. I didn't always." But she does and she does it very well. This book is equal parts criticism and humour at how we got here as a society. She also declares "As my fiftieth birthday looms, I feel myself finally growing into my lifelong fogey-dom, and it's a comfortable fit, for me if not for anyone else." And she may be a self-described fogey be she is also a firecracker and political analyst.

If you want a great read that will make you think and make you laugh give this book a try!


Books by Kathy Shaidle:
gas station of the cross (1990)
Round Up The Usual Suspects: More poems about famous dead people (1992)
Lobotomy Magnificat (1997)
God Rides a Yamaha (1998)
A Seeker's Dozen: The 12 Steps for Everyone Else (2004)
A Catholic Alphabet: The Faith from A to Z (2005)
Acoustic Ladyland: Kathy Shaidle Unplugged (2007)
The Tyranny of Nice (2009 with Pete Vere)

Confessions of A Failed Slut (2014)

Author Profile Kathy Shidle Interview (2011)
Author Profile (2006)


Other Posts and Links:

Kathy Shaidle's Blog
More Books That Will Change Your Life

Some Old Stuff Some New
Trends: Female Authors
Meme Booked by 3 - December 
Meme - A fun Book Meme


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Kathy Sahidle - Author Profile

Kathy Shaidle is an amazing author, writer, and blogger extraordinaire. She blogs current at Five Feet of Fury. She has been blogging for over a decade and prior to her current blog incarnation blogged at Relapsed Catholic. She has written for a number of religious newspapers and magazines, and also for the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, CBC.ca, the Dallas Morning News and more. She recently took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for the readers of Book Reviews and More. So without further ado here's Kathy!

1. Kathy if you had not become a professional writer what do you think you would be doing with your life?

I might have gone into library studies 25 years ago, but not today. Libraries are dying. I never planned to do anything when I grew up, because in my teens we were all assured that Ronald Reagan was going to blow up the world anyhow. I didn't start making long term plans (if you can call them that) until after the Berlin Wall fell.

2. What advice do you wish an artist had passed on to you early in your career, which you only learned through experience?

If you want to see your name in print, open up the phonebook. There is nothing magical about it. Anyone can get something published. It won't change the world and 99% of the time, nobody cares except you. Learning from your mistakes is good. Learning from other people's mistakes is much better. I always knew this, but: there is no such thing as "inspiration." Just get your butt in the chair and write or you'll never write anything. Read everything, especially when you are young. I can still remember TIME magazine articles I read at age 12, but not what I read 24 hours ago. I could also read for hours at a time back then, and fall asleep after 10 minutes now. If you hate reading, you can't be a writer.

3. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you nurture that dream?

In Grade 13, a short story I wrote was a runner up in a national contest. It only occurred to me decades later that probably thousands of schoolkids had been declared runners up too. But it was the shove I needed to make a decision. Nobody in my family had finished high school, let alone college. Also see "nuclear war," above. So I flipped through a college courses catalogue and took Media Arts (Writing) at Sheridan College. Two years, only a few thousand dollars. Best decision I ever made. Unlike everyone I know who went to a real university, I have been writing professionally in one capacity or another ever since I graduated.

4. Who were some of your biggest supporters and contributors to your early success?

The staff at Sheridan College were wonderful to me. After college, I took an evening poetry workshop with Christopher Dewdney, at George Brown. I brought in a poem I'd written in 30 minutes the day before, and he said it was amazing. That went to my head and never fell out. Other people who've encouraged me above and beyond: Don Coles, Lynn Crosbie, Mark Steyn, the late Libby (Liba) Scheier, June Callwood - very different people who would not get along well in the same room! I try very hard to encourage people (who deserve it) because other people encouraged me (because I deserved it.) I have known that I was a good writer from the time I started writing (which, compared to most writers, was very late in life - that is, Grade 13. I have no juvenilia.)

5. What does your writing process look like? Takes us through the steps from idea to publishing?

That's a tough one. I tend to write a lot of short form stuff and then just stick it together in a collection.

6. What was your favorite book to write and why?

The only book I think of as a real "book" is The Tyranny of Nice, co-authored with Pete Vere, about Canada's censorious human rights commissions. We wrote it in 6 weeks because our publisher wanted to beat Ezra Levant's book on the same topic to market! Pete and I repurposed a lot of our previous articles on the subject, through in new stuff and we were done. Painless and fruitful!
7. What of your books was the hardest to write and why?

None of my books were hard to write. Ghostwriting other people's books, on the other hand...

8. Have you ever considered writing fiction? If so is it a project we might see in the near future? Do you think we will ever see a novel from your pen?

I wrote a short story in high school, a few in college, and have been carrying around an idea for a short story for 25 years but only have the first paragraph and a very general outline. Fiction is a different language. At the Banff Writers Workshop (back when it was 6 weeks long) I accidentally walking into an informal meeting of the fiction writers. They were all speaking English, but I literally didn't understand what they were talking about. It scared the hell out of me.9. Do you use a playlist when writing? Are certain books written while predominantly listing to the same music?

I write all day long (for pay) and listen to U.S. talk radio and podcasts. Yes, I can get work done like that. The beat of real music is too distracting. Being old (47) I do tend to listen to the same 100 or so songs over and over, working or not. Anything put out between 1920 and 1990.

10. What books are currently in progress for you? Writing, researching, planning or even just ideas that you would like to work on?

I want to write a book called The Consolations of Ugliness, which would be a (cough!) meditation on the pros and cons of being a non-beautiful woman; the concept of the jolie laide; how ideals of female beauty have evolved. I'd also love to write a book about the "lady scientist" characters that began populated science fiction movies after World War 2. Not sure if there is really a book in that, per se. If someone gave me a big enough advance, I'd write a book about almost anything. As it is, I am so busying ghostwriting, copywriting and blogging that I don't have time to think about a big project like a book of my own. I will likely just put out another self-published book of my greatest blog posts, like I do every few years.

11. If you could only recommend 10 books to a reader looking to be a well rounded and whole person what books would you suggest?

The Bible. Start with The Message Bible, written in the vernacular of today, then move up to the New King James. If you haven't read the Bible, you are illiterate. If you really can't cope, at least read the Four Gospels.

Solitude, by Anthony Storr Anything written by Theodore Dalrymple Anything written by Florence King The Road to Serfdom, by Hayek (There is a free version in cartoon form, online) Intellectuals, by Paul Johnson To learn what true style looks like, read anything by Mark Steyn. The Complete Stories, by Flannery O'Connor, plus her letters (The Habit of Being) and essays & speeches (Mystery and Manners). The best book I've read in years is In 50 Years, We'll All Be Chicks by Adam Carolla. No contest. The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy by Thomas Sowell Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin (proves you can be artistically talented and successful AND responsible and disciplined. In fact, it helps. Great lessons in dealing with failure - and success.) Women writers should try to avoid reading too many biographies of women writers, as these women tend to commit suicide.

12. Are there plans to release your older books in eBook Format?

Not right away, but maybe at some point I will release God Rides A Yamaha in that format.

13. You spend so much time online, writing your own blog, as a writer for hire, tweeting and more. What does your typical day look like?

I get up around 6AM, make coffee and check email and my affiliate sales for the previous day (Amazon, etc.) I write some blog posts so my readers will have something to read before 9AM. Then I get on the treadmill around 8AM so I can be done before I start getting calls and emails from clients at 9AM. I read and blog throughout the day while doing client work, which is mostly ghostwriting/blogging/tweeting; consulting; copywriting. Since I write a weekly column about talk radio, I'm usually tuned in to one of the big U.S. conservative talkers at the same time. Our mail shows up really late, around 3PM. If I get a check, I go down the street and deposit it, then come home and take care of bills and accounting online. I stop for dinner around 6PM but commonly go back to work/blogging until around 8PM.

14. You are into cult and classic films. What would be your top ten recommendations for offbeat films for someone to watch?

My favorite movies aren't necessarily very good. I just have a lot of affection for them, and often this has a lot to do with the screenplay. Moonstruck is a good example. Psycho (1960) may be the perfect film. The original Universal Studios Frankenstein (1931) and the sequel Bride of Frankenstein. Gun Crazy (1950) Seconds (1966) Ace in the Hole (1951) Sweet Smell of Success (1957) The King of Comedy (1982) Rope (1948).15. What were some of your favorite authors in your teen years who helped shape you?

One of the most important books I read was The Book of Lists. This novelty book was engagingly written, and actually gave me a fine basis of general knowledge that I fall back on almost daily. I read Woody Allen's collected essays obsessively, along with those of other humorists like James Thurber and even Lenny Bruce. I didn't understand all the jokes at the time, but years later, many of the jokes caught up with me. The Boy Looked at Johnny: The Obituary of Rock and Roll, by Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons was a huge deal for me. It is one of the few books I keep on my desk at all times. It is falling apart. I also read a lot of books about the history of film, from the serious to the unserious (like The Golden Turkey Awards.) I read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, which was probably a mistake from a mental health standpoint; however, the edition I found at the used bookstore had an introductory biographical essay about Plath that made me realize: a woman can be a writer; this is how one woman did it (just don't kill yourself.) My first article was published in Seventeen magazine when I was 20, which made me particularly proud because according to that essay, it took Plath 50 tries to break it. (Remember what I said about the importance of what you read when you are younger. I can still see paragraphs of this essay in my minds eye, laid out on the page.)

16. What are some of your favorite books and authors now?

I always read Ann Coulter's latest (in hardcover). I've mentioned Thomas Sowell, Dalrymple and Mark Steyn before. Other writers: David Horowitz, Jonah Goldberg, Victor Davis Hanson. P.J. O'Rourke in small doses. I re-read Donald Critchlow's Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade once a year. I am fascinated by the topic of fame and celebrity, and will read almost anything on that subject, most recently the many books documenting the development of tabloids, movie magazines and gossip "rags." The next book on my to-read list is I'm Dying Up Here, about the 1978 stand up comedians' strike at the Comedy Store.

17. What are some of your favorite contemporary religious authors to read?

I honestly don't read many religious authors any longer. I've recommended the letters of Flannery O'Connor and they offer a still relevant religious education of sorts.

18. I once had a university professor state that the true goal of a university education should be to teach one to learn how to think. What would you state should be the goal of higher education and why?

College is a waste of time and money. Drop out. Whatever the goal "should" be, it no longer is. University is a groupthink factory. Take the money and start your own business. Follow as few laws, regulations and rules as you can safely get away with, and read books on your own time.

19. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 10 books to read again and again, what books would you want with you?

A complete Shakespeare. A complete Dickens. Oxford collections of British, American and Canadian poetry. I'd love to have the complete boxed set of the BFI Film Classics.

20. What advice would you give to young aspiring authors and artists particularly those looking to have their art reflect their faith?

Write "artistically" first and "spiritually" last if at all. If your art is true, the spirituality will be too (maybe even in spite of yourself.) Don't be parochial. Avoid "Christian" publishing. The movie Knocked Up has probably prevented more abortions than all the stuck up, well intentioned, goody-goody, corny "pro-life" writing nobody actually reads. Read "The Closing of the Evangelical Mind" and don't be like the people he talks about, basically. And yes, read more Flannery O'Connor.

Thank you Kathy for taking the time to answer some questions for the readers at Book Reviews And More.


Books by Kathy Shaidle:
gas station of the cross (1990)
Round Up The Usual Suspects: More poems about famous dead people (1992)
Lobotomy Magnificat (1997)
God Rides a Yamaha (1998)
A Seeker's Dozen: The 12 Steps for Everyone Else (2004)
A Catholic Alphabet: The Faith from A to Z (2005)
Acoustic Ladyland: Kathy Shaidle Unplugged (2007)
The Tyranny of Nice (2009 with Pete Vere)

Confessions of A Failed Slut (2014)

Author Profile Kathy Shidle Interview (2011)
Author Profile (2006)


Other Posts and Links:

Kathy Shaidle's Blog
More Books That Will Change Your Life

Some Old Stuff Some New
Trends: Female Authors
Meme Booked by 3 - December
Meme - A fun Book Meme



Friday, 12 June 2009

Confessions of a Bibliophile #4 - Author Addiction Or Reading Stalker?

I often wonder about addictive personalities - in part because of my own. It manifests itself in many ways, shapes and forms. In regards to my readings, I keep lists of each book read each year, favorite authors, and favorite books. These lists can be seen on my blog as well as a nearly complete collection of my published and unpublished reviews. But when does a love of an author's writing become an addiction, or a form of literary stalking? I think in the last number of years I have had a few book or author fetishes; in short, in short periods of time read entire author canons or most of their works, or compulsively tracked down out-of-print and hard-to- find obscure books from various authors. In this week's column I will examine a few of those obsessions, and maybe my reflections will provide a mirror to parts of your own life.

I did not keep track of the books I had read until the fall of 1995. Since then I have read over 1300 books. So in the last 151 months I have read 1334 books - that is an average of almost nine books a month and 104 books a year. In that same time frame I have read the following sets. Between 1995 and 1997, 31 books by Madelein L'Engle. I read 18 by Kathy Shaidle, 35 by C.S. Lewis, and since 2006, 37 by Jose Maria Escriva. I have read only six of his books but combined I have read Calvin Miller's books 56 times, and I have read only 4 of Noah benShea's books but read them for a total of 28 times. I would definitely say that is fanatical if not obsessive behavior!

Yet that is only part of the story. Chuck Palahniuk wrote the novel Fight Club, and after seeing the movie in the summer of 2004, I devoured all of his books except Fight Club - both his fiction and non-fiction. I read 7 of his books, 2 collections of his works in under a year, then finally read Fight Club. A while back, a short story The Warm Sand that I had read haunted me for decades. After being reminded of it while browsing used book stores in Toronto I managed to track it down. (Here is a story about the story and how I found it the story is also posted with permission.) After finding the story again, I interlibrary loaded every edition of all of author J.F. Power's books and read them and compared different editions of his short stories.

In my column two weeks ago I talked about Canadian Phenom Kathy Shaidle. I first encountered her blog, tracked down her books in print, then spent the better part of a day tracking down a small independent publisher in Toronto that released early editions of her works of poetry and managed to get copies that were still in stock so that I would have all of her books. (An author profile.)

I often get asked how I read so much, or why I sometimes reread books again and again. The answer is simple I read because I must. There is some small part of my that needs to read daily, it is central and core to my being. I read over 100 books a year, and any given year 15-20 of those are rereads. I reread books for a few different reasons; first because the book has had a lasting impact on me, and I need to reread it to experience that effect again. The list of these annual rereads change, as some become less important and some are added to the list. Some book's I reread because I know I did not 'get it all', an example of this is The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom, the first time I read this I loved it but knew that about a third of the theory was over my head. So in successive readings I have gleamed more and more form the book. Some books I reread because new books have come out in a series, I have gone back and reread some series chronologically, and also in the order they were published. Finally some books I reread just because I love them and want to revisit the characters, the story or revisit the impact it had upon my life.

I have met only a few of my favorite authors in real life: Madelein L'Engle, Chuck Palahniuk, Michael W. Higgins and a few more. I have corresponded with a few on the web and before the 90's through snail mail. I also used to collect signed books, both those I had signed and those for which I sometimes paid a stupid amount of money. Recently on e-bay I saw a 1st Edition Fight Club go for over $1500USD. Before marriage and children I was never that bad but I was overly zealous in my acquisitions. I still have only a few signed books - sold some when I needed the money and some when I needed the space. But the question remains: Do I stalk authors? I find I do. I tend to find an author I like and try to read everything they have published. I sometimes compare various editions of books like Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land considered a classic in its day. After his death, the original book almost three times the size was released by his estate. It was even better than the version his publisher made him hack down, and that had been a classic for ages. However I seldom have gone out of my way to engage authors on the web or in real life. A few have contacted me because of my reviews - most thanking, a few complaining and one outraged. Yet, as always, you never know what you will find between the covers.

(First published in Imprint 2009-06-12.)

Friday, 15 May 2009

Confessions of a Bibliophile #2 - I Love You

Have you ever fallen in love with a character from a book - were they fictional, were they real, were they dead? When reading, sometimes the characters or people become so real to me they are like friends. So I revisit them year after year, rereading the books. With others I wonder what they are doing after the time of the book, two years later, five, or ten years later. I wonder what they are up to. I have fallen in love with five women while reading about them, one fictional, two dead before I was born, and two living. In this week's column I will briefly describe each of them and hope it will inspire you to check out their writings or the writings about them.

Meg Murry is a fictional character created by Madeleine L'Engle. She appears in six of the books in L'Engle's Karios series of books. She is a child in the first books and a mother in the later books. She is a strong woman, an intelligent woman. She appeared so real in the pages. I tried her favorite sandwich and it became one of mine, toasted bagel with liverwurst, cream cheese, tomato slices. L'Engle is one of my all-time favorite authors and when I met her at a conference, she stated that recently she realized that one of her characters had just finished her PhD. Her characters were real to her, and time kept passing for them. Meg was the first woman I ever fell in love with in a book.

My first term here at UW, I took a course called RS100C Faith Quests with Dr. Michael W. Higgins. We read 13 books over the term. I fell in love with two of the women we read about and studied. The first was Etty Hillesum, when I read her book The Letters and Diary of Etty Hillesum. She was passionate about life, and she was determined to understand herself. Even after the Nazi advance and occupation she did not stop living. The last words we have from her are on a post card thrown from a train on its way to Auschwitz. She was an incredible woman, and her life is an amazing testament of the human spirit.

I am not sure what to call the next woman. I met her as Joy Gresham, the woman C.S. Lewis married, then fell in love with. Lewis wrote about her in his book A Grief Observed. It recounts his experience of her illness and her death. It was the basis for the film Shadowlands. Lewis originally published this book under a pseudonym N. W. Clerk. It appears the book was so well written, he received a number of copies from friends to help him with his grief.

Five Feet of Fury - www.fivefeetoffury.com. That is the current blog of Kathy Shaidle. As a fulltime blogger since 2000, Kathy has offended nearly every one. I encountered her previous blog, relapsedcatholic.com, through other Catholic blogrolls. After reading her blog for a while I tracked down her books and read them. I have read most of her books more than once and her autobiographical piece God Rides a Yamaha six times (The God on the Yamaha was wearing a UW jacket with Math on the armband). It is a series of columns published after she was diagnosed with Lupus. I fell in love with her because of her vulnerability in this book. Yet most of her writings are sassy, humorous, poignant and very political. Kathy states: "Social justice is the stubborn application of unworkable solutions to imaginary problems." or "Racist' is the new 'commie."She is considered one of the top Conservative bloggers in Canada. Mark Steyn declares about Kathy "Kathy Shaidle is one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our day: If the "human rights" racketeers get their way, she'll be unpublishable in her own country. But, in the end, that's a reflection not on her but on them." In his intro to her latest book The Tyranny of Nice.

Finally, a Mormon woman from Utah, Terry Tempest Williams - and she does live up to her middle name. Terry's book Refuge is the story of life and the story of death - death of women from cancer, and death of birds in a flooded sanctuary. Williams is a poet, author, environmentalist, and is very passionate about life and life in the desert. Her books are moving and powerful; she writes about the clan of the one-breasted women. She states "I belong to a Clan of One-Breasted Women. My mother, my grandmothers, and six aunts have all had mastectomies. Seven are dead. The two who survive have just completed rounds of chemotherapy and radiation." All of her books are powerful and moving.

I fell in love with each of the women because of the power of words. Words can shape us, change us, challenge us and transform us. Each of the women profiled above can have lasting impact on your life. So check out the books and remember you never know what you will find between the covers, or who.

(First published in Imprint as 'I Love You' in the column Confessions of a Bibliophile 2009-05-15.)

Monday, 11 May 2009

Book Meme - 15 in 15 Minutes


Book Meme - 15 in 15 Minutes

"This can be a quick one. Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes." First saw it on Shelly's Book Shelf.

So in no particular order:

1. Watership Down - Richard Adams
2. Duncton Rising - William Horwood
3. Refuge - Terry Tempest Williams
4. God Rides a Yamaha - Kathy Shaidle
5. Benchpress (trilogy) - Sven Lindqvist

6. Jacob the Baker (trilogy) - Noah benShea
7. An Interrupted Life - Etty Hillesum
8. Wild At Heart - John Eldredge
9. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
10. Wheat That Springeth Green - J.F. Powers
11. Wrinkle in Tim
e (quartet) - Madelein L'Engle
12. The Singer (trilogy)- Calvin Miller
13. Life After God - Douglas Coupland
14. In Conversation With God - Francis Fernandez
15. God is Not Reasonable - Irma Zaleski


This was a harder meme to do than I thought. I could Make multiple list's of 15, children's books, fiction, non-fiction, religious ... If you want to play, post your answers and link back or a comment here.

Top Ten Lists

All Books Read Each Year
Favorite Books Year Each Year
Favorite Authors Year Each Year

Friday, 17 April 2009

Meme - A fun book meme

This book meme has shown up a lot lately, the first three I read were Catholic Fire, Anchoress and Happy Catholic. A fun book meme, include up to 3 answers each if you like. We won’t tell.

1. Most treasured childhood book(s)?
I really did not read as a child, I could not because of my dyslexia. The earliest I remember reading and enjoying are: A Separate Peace - John Knowles, Cue for Treason - Geoffrey Trease, Piers Anthony - Bio Of A Space Tyrant, Steven Brust Jhereg. But once I got to university and took a children's lit I now read a few children's and teen books a year. Current favorite children's books: Narnia - C.S. Lewis, anything by Madelein L'Engle, Patrick Carman, Kenneth Oppel and Arthur Slade .

2. Classic(s) you are embarrassed to admit you’ve never read?
Don't know.

3. Classics you read, but hated?


4. Favorite genre(s)?
A read pretty much everything.

5. Favorite light reading?
Adrian Plass, Christopher Moore, Fred Seacombe, Noah ben Shea.

6. Favorite heavy reading?
Francis Fernandez, Federico Suarez, Jacques Philippe, Sven Lindqvist, Terry Tempest Williams, Scott Hahn.

7. Last book(s) you finished?
Exam 70-294 Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure - Wendy Corbin.
100 Cupboards - N.D. Wilson
The Sword Thief - 39 Clues Book 3 - Peter Lerangis

8. Last book(s) you bailed on?
I don't remember.

9. Three (only three!) books on your nightstand?
The Princess Plot - Kirsten Boie
70-298 Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network - Tony Northrup
Terra Nullis - Sven Lindqvist

10. Book(s) you’ve read more than once, twice or three times?
Singer Trilogy - Calvin Miller
God Rides a Yamaha - Kathy Shaidle
The Way, Furrow, Forge - Josemaria Escriva
Jacob The Baker - Noah benShea
and so many more you can see my whole reading list since 1995 here.

11. The book(s) that meant the most to you when you were younger (ie, college/young adult)?
Favorite Books by year, Favorite authors by year.

12. Book(s) that changed the way you looked at life?
The Way, Furrow, The Forge - St. Josemaria Escriva
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
Ishmael - Daniel Quinn
Bench Press - Sven Linqvist
Jacon the Baker - Noah benShea
As you Think - James Allen
Infected Christianity - Alan Davies
The Skull Measurer's Mistake - Sven Lindqvist
Dead Man Walking - Sr. Helen Prejean
Waking the Dead - John Eldredge
Life After God - Douglas Coupland
Anam Cara - John O'Donohue

13. Book(s) some would be surprised to know you’ve read?
Marquis de Sade

14. Book(s) You Mean to Read this Year?
I have 3 shelfs of review copy books to work through.

15. Desert Island Book?
Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Watership Down - Richard Adams
The Reckoning - James Bryon Huggins
Jhereg - Steven Brust
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
The Final Planet - Andrew M. Geeley
God Game - Andrew M. Greeley
The Singer Trilogy - Calvin Miller
An Alien at Saint Wilfrids - Adrian Plass
Chronicles of a Curate - Fred Secombe
Falling Sideway - Tom Holt

BONUS! Desert Island Book for Your Worst Enemy?
Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei - Robert Hutchison
Man's Seacrh for Meaning - Viktor Emil Frankl
The Sea Within - Peter Kreeft

If you want to play along post your answers and link back or post a comment.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Asking for help redux.

Asking for help. Redux.

I was told my original request was not clear. We need help to make ends meet, specifically rent that is due this week.
I was not asking for help to keep the blog going. I was asking for help to meet our needs, diapers, formula, gas, groceries ...

I have always had a hard time asking for and accepting help. I know it is a personal character defect and have been working on it. I once had a friend accuse me of robbing others of the blessing of giving, because I would not ask for he
lp to go on a retreat even though over the few years prior to that I had sponsored others going.

Well It is time to ask for help again. As many of you know I was off work for 30 months with an injury, that took place at work. I am thankful that I have retrained and am now employed fulltime. You can read my three part series called From Injury Back to Work Again. However we are still feeling the financial stress that time off work caused, and the emotional stress the financial causes. Therefore much as Kathy Shaidle started a drive for help 18 months ago for me (see here, here and here). But I am here again asking for some help.

The time off work was both a blessing and a trial. It was hard because of the stresses of the injury and dealing with the pain. It was a blessing because I was able to attend mass almost every day, I was able to pray the whole rosary each day. But as the time went from months to years spiritually it became very tiring. Spiritually and emotionally it became a desert. We also had our first two children during my time off work, which added both blessings and greater financial stress.

We have 2 children 2 and under and my wife is now back to work evenings and weekends. But it will take a while for us to fully recover from my time off work. So if you can see your way to help support us make ends meet at this time, it would really help till we get caught up. We would really appreciate it. So thank you in advance. You can use the PayPal Donate Button on the sidebar. I have done just about everything I can, I have sold my entire DVD library, and almost three quarters of my books. Asking for help is our last option.