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Books I’ve Read & Movies I’ve Seen in 2018

I’ve begun the habit of listing each book I read in posts by year. I like the sense of accomplishment from uploading and watching each thumbnail appear, and I like skimming over and remembering what I’ve read.

Last year I read exactly 52 books (not counting the dryer requiring reading for classes). I’m proud of having read an average of a book a week while in graduate school, and as I look over the covers, I’d say a good quarter or third of them were really good and meaningful. Not bad odds, but I’d like to read even better books in 2018.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities Wine. All the Time. How to Kill a City

Call Me By Your Name

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Possessed.

Think how much any individual mind, any brain, is enlarged by what we can know through books and through literature — places, people, ideas that we would never otherwise experience, things much larger than anyone could contain in his or her own person. People crave this. You go way back into antiquity and everybody is memorizing Homer, everybody is memorizing “The Epic of Gilgamesh” — works of literature that build the cultural mind and make it capacious. Most of us are not the creators of those things, but we possess ourselves of them — or they possess us of them. And each successive work of literature expands the possibilities of our language, deepening our expressive capacity. In almost every major literature there are works that make you love being human, and make you love and revere the humanity of other people. That is the great potential of any art.
Marilynne Robinson in The New York Times

I’ve been reading so much lately, a book every four or five days and often a book in a day. I’ve loved it; loved feeling my brain expand rapidly day by day by day. Marilynne always knows.

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Proclaiming.

What [Adorno and Horkheimer] championed was neither high art or low culture, but art that exposed the contradictions of capitalist society rather than smoothing them over — in short, modernist art.
— Stuart Jeffries in Grand Hotel Abyss

This semester I’ve been thinking a lot about preaching and what it is. It is not primarily art and it’s not all about capitalism and society, but still — exposing the contradictions, crossing high and low; I would be very, very proud to be called a modernist preacher.

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Sight.

Mechtilde of Hackeborn (died 1299) heard these words from the Lord:
“I tell you the truth that I am very pleased when men trustingly expect great things from me. For everyone who believes that I will reward him after this life with more than he deserves, and who correspondingly gives praise and thanks to me in this life, will be so welcome to me thatI will reward him with far more than he could ever believe or boldly hope for, in fact, with endlessly more than he deserves. For it is impossible that someone should not attain what he has believed and hoped. . . . With confident hope you should believe that I will receive you, after your death, as a farther receives his dearest son. . . . I whom am faithfulness itself am incapable of misleading my friends through any sort of deceit.”
As quoted by Hans Urs von Balthasar in Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?

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Books I’ve Read in 2017

Should I Go to Grad School? Practical Typography Jerusalem: A Biography Our Family Outing The Interior Circuit Spiritual Friendship Chosen?: Reading the Bible Amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran Emily of Deep Valley Just the Essentials Telling the Truth The Foolishness of Preaching To Jerusalem and Back Word by Word I Am a Palestinian Christian Atheist Delusions Family Lexicon The Grammar of God Jesus and the Holocaust With Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus Once Upon a Country Originals Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved? Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory Night, Dawn, and Day The Baghdad Eucharist They Burn the Thistles Stations of the Heart Bird by Bird Children of Paradise God and the Gay Christian If Our Bodies Could Talk Blood Brothers The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing Notes on a Foreign Country The Reluctant Fundamentalist Grand Hotel Abyss Where Memory Leads The Temporary Bride The End of Words Burnt Books The Blood of the Lamb The Flaneur How Paris Became Paris Between Meals The Dud Avocado Dem Dry Bones God, Medicine, and Suffering To Relieve the Human Condition: Bioethics, Technology, and the Body

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