Monday, May 30, 2005

The Book Challenge

Jeff at Hallowed Ground has tagged me for this book challenge thing. Jeff's introduction to his answers (here) express my thoughts exactly - I wish I had written it. So here goes:

1. Total number of books I've owned: At the present we estimate about 2500 volumes. We (reluctantly) parted with several hundred (possibly 1,000 or so) when we moved to Bethune due to severe space limitations. I just acquired some 50 more books (college texts and readings) from my oldest daughter who won't need them anymore where she is going soon ...

2. Last book I bought: The last two books I bought were same, "The Privilege of Being a Woman", by Dr. Alice VonHildebrand - one for my daughter and one for Mrs. Curley, yet at different times. The last book I bought for myself was, "The English Martyrs - Papers from the Summer School of Catholic Studies held at Cambridge, 1928", edited by Dom Bede Camm. It was of course, 2nd hand.

3. The Last book I read: I tend to read several books at a time - although I try to limit it to 3. Right now I am reading: "Favorite Father Brown Stories", by Chesterton; "Confessions" by St. Augustine (again); and "The Idea of a University" by John Henry Newman. The last book I finished reading was "The Reform of the Renewal" by Fr. Benedict Groeshal.

4. 5 Books that mean a lot to me: The 2 books I read most often, the (D-R) Bible and the Liturgy of the Hours would fall here, but I will leave them aside. There are some books you read, have a great impact, - and you read them over and over again. Other books have a great impact, you never read them again, but refer to them from time to time. Other books have a great impact, but you never touch them again. So here we go:

a. "Great Expectations" - Dickens: I read this book first when I was about 12 and absolutely hated it. I only finished it because it is my policy to finish any book I start (if I get past the first chapter). Some weeks later, for no apparent reason I could figure, I was inspired to read it again. I absolutely loved it and have read it since some 5-6 more times. It seemed that every time I read it I learned something new. I probably haven't read it now in some 15 years. The most important lesson I learned from "Great Expectations" is to be grateful.

b. "Witness to Hope" by George Weigel. My understanding of John Paul II, his role in Vatican II, his style of leadership, his reasons for many things became much clearer by reading this book. This book (along with the soon to be released "Two Towers") has helped me understand the role of 2nd Vatican Council in the present and future of the Church.

c. History of Christendom Series by Warren Carroll (founder of Christendom Collge) - I find almost no reading more enjoyable than to read history as told by Warren Carroll. It inspires the spirit and helps one to greater understanding of the present times. While I have 'singled-out' this series, all of his books on history are fantastic.

d. "The King's Good Servant But God's First - The Life and Writings of St. Thomas More" by James Monti. I am not sure this is the best life of St. Thomas More, but it started me off, both to more More biography's (Roper's, EE Reynolds', Wegemer's, Belloc's sketch) and to his writings - most especially "The Sadness of Christ" and "A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulations". All mentioned are highly recommended.

e. "The Jeweler's Shop" by Karol Wojtyla and "Marriage - a Path to Sanctity" by Javier Abad and Eugenio Fenoy (Scepter) are the two best books on the vocation of marriage which I have read. The first, of course, is a play needing no introduction which was written as meditation on marriage. The second is a (probably) little known volume, but Mrs. Curley and I have gotten much spiritual gain from it. It is a practical and spiritual guide (except for one chapter dealling with how to treat your servants!!) which we usually give to engaged family members. Both are sources which help the married see that their call to married life is a vocation and is their God-given path to sanctity.

I am sorely tempted to continue with other 'book(s) that means alot to me. Note that I didn't number these, but used letters, with the thought that if I added an extra one, no one would really notice. But I will restrain myself.

5. Tag 5 people: As I have looked around St. Blogs, I am starting to see, as Tracy Fennell says over at Nosce Te Ipsum "Seems like everyone has done it ..." If I find a few over the course of the day I will update this and tag them.

No comments: