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Monday, June 06, 2005

book meme

The Angry Twins tagged us with this a while ago, and I can't think of anything more original to post, so here it is...

1. Total number of books owned - um, couple of hundred in my room, about a hundred in the office, and I suppose a couple of hundred with my parents. Which isn't as many as I expected... licence to shop!

2. Last book bought The most recent order was Simon Gaine's Will there be free will in Heaven?, but it's not here yet, so it's bought but not yet enjoyed... And the most recent to come into both dominium and usum were Evelyn Waugh's Helena and John Paul II's Memory and Identity,in the same happy Amazon package.

3. Last book read The last one actually finished was Augustine Fortescue's The Mass: A History of the Roman Liturgy, which I read at Aelianus's recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed. Fine history (I hope some new MS discovery hasn't completely trashed much of what he says. Oh well, have Jungmann's Missarum Solemnia (in English) out of the library too - does anyone have opinions about this book?), splendidly opinionated. Still not sure about this business of the Canon being clearly out of order, though. One can see what he means when he talks about it, but one's first thought on hearing the Canon is not, 'Gosh, that doesn't make sense, isn't it silly to have two lists of saints?'. It wasn't mine, at any rate. Maybe it's no bad thing that it's changed order. It seems to work perfectly well.

4. Five books that mean a lot to me Everyone seems to be taking the Bible as read - I wish it were more read, in my case... - so I will likewise assume that. Otherwise:
i) Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night - for several reasons, possibly the most important of which is its preaching of intellectual integrity in all spheres of life.
ii) The works of R.W. Southern and Alexander Murray - or, why I am (trying to be) a medievalist.
iii) Guibert of Nogent's De vita sua, or Monodiae, or whatever title you give it. The first medieval person I got to know well, I think, and the first person to show me that Marian piety was not incompatible with Christianity. Must reread this, actually.
iv) John Donne's poetry - to be precise, the Oxford World Classics selected poetry, a battered volume on my shelf. I don't love him as much as I used to - probably, I fear, because the rather improper side of his verses is more evident to me than it used to be. His tenacious - if sometimes rather wilful - chasing of ideas is very beautiful, though; his divine poetry is often magnificent (Batter my heart...); and he was possibly the first person to draw to my attention the painful need to seek God's true Spouse nowadays.
v)Therese of Lisieux's autobiography. Again, must reread this - only read it once, two years ago or a bit less. She was completely astonishing in many ways - her complete humility combined with complete confidence in God to do so much through her is perhaps the most striking; and again, the natural place of Our Lady in her Christianity. I suspect her prayers played a hefty part in dragging me into the Church.

Er... I don't know who to tag, everyone's done this already. Anselmus? Mr Preece?