Friday, June 17, 2011

What Are You Reading?

I'm back, after a loooong time. Can't promise consistency, but at least content. Volume 21, baby!


This week, I bought more books than my New Years' Resolutions allowed*. I said 3? Well, I meant 8! It's summer, does that count for anything?

I also renewed two subscriptions (First Things and The New Criterion) and took out a third (Touchstone, because its price was blessedly and severely reduced). I sadly am letting one of my newspapers go, though, and am happy to still have my Wall Street Journal, National Catholic Register, Financial Times, and The Magnificat.

Have you bought any good reads lately? Are you supporting excellent writing and the advancement of intellect?


Elizabeth is always marveled by how much I read. I thought I'd share the five books I am currently reading (yes, at the same time; I like multitasking):

I got this one for Christmas and am loving it:

Edith Stein and Companions On The Way to Auschwitz by Father Paul Hamans

This thick one will be finished before the summer is out - fantastic and meticulously written and researched:

From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun

This one is really interesting and insightful:

Philosophy 101 By Socrates by Peter Kreeft

B. lent me this one, and it is hil-arious:

A Practical Guide to Racism by C. H. Dalton

I am listening to this one in the car, and it is, of course, just wonderful:

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

In July, I'm going to start Brighton Rock by Graham Greene for my long-distance book club with Tessa and Brenna! Excited to read more Graham Greene - I love The Heart of the Matter and The Power and the Glory. Highly recommend both as well, if people are looking for summer reading recommendations.

Up next: Christopher Dawson, Zora Neale Hurston, Pope Benedict XVI and some Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


Here is my blog referral of the week: Born After Reagan

My friend Logan started it a few months ago, and now I am excited for the 2012 election just so I can read what he has to say about it!

Why yes, we did meet Ron Paul together three years ago:

CPAC 2008

The topic for next week's Bright Maidens' post is picked! Next Tuesday, please join us in discussing "Catholic Modesty."

If you're a first time participator, all you have to do is write on the same subject and post your response to the topic on our FB wall. Wa-la! If you're not on FB but still want to participate, e-mail it and we will post it for you to share with the group. If you're on Twitter, our hashtag is #brightmaidens (with an 's' on the end!) to share posts and tweets.

Also, Bright Maidens refers to we three girls, but we have both males and females participating. The male hashtag on Twitter is #cathdudes if you want to read some some cool Catholic dudes.

A re-cap of last week's topic, a response to Max Lindenman's article on "Dating Nice Catholic Girls":
Elizabeth: On Reading Confused Catholic Writers
Trista: Please Don't Call Me A Prude
Julie: Help! Help! I'm Being Repressed!

Elizabeth makes a list of all the contributions too, so please check our FB page later for that!


I've been home for a week, and am still actively learning to adjust to a new sleep schedule, being back at work, and hearing people talk to me in English. As happy as I am to be home, South Korea was an amazing experience. I'll give you a sneak peek from my weekend in Busan:

This is a kimbab, and the best thing I ate in South Korea (stay tuned!)
Best bathroom sign EVER.
The Eastern Sea, a.k.a. The Sea of Japan. But they don't like the Japanese, so don't call it that, please.
The Busan fish market. I'm going to have a whole post on food.


I'm also going to have a whole post on drinking in South Korea. Here's me trying authentic Korean beer for the first time:

So innocent.
There are so many patron saints of beer; they obviously did not invoke any of them!


I bought Adele's latest album, 21. I seriously do not know why I waited so long. It is wonderful, soul-filled and beautiful.

Here's "Someone Like You" with Adele talking about why she wrote the song. Warning: I teared up a bit.

She's a two months younger than me, too. Gives a girl perspective!

Okay, one more, this one upbeat: "Set Fire To The Rain"

SHE IS SO AMAZING. Buy her music. Make her famous and wealthy, she deserves it. I want her singing forever and ever.

Happy Friday, friends! See Conversion Diary for more. Also, say a prayer for Jen! She's having her baby on Wednesday!!

*I've been miserably failing to follow most of my New Years' resolutions, actually, which is why I take the book buying limit one so seriously!


  1. You read such intelligent books! I just finished COUNTESS NOBODY, in which a girl starts a blog about a fake Count visiting America ala Gossip Girl; TRIAL BY FIRE, about a female human alpha of a werewolf pack; and UNDERCURRENT, the second book in a series about sirens. As you can see, I'm totally devoted to my YA. And all these books are published by my publishing house, so I'm a little biased :)

    Love all your pics!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for that first Adele video! She is so brave to share that!

    I am kind of amazed at how much you can read. I'm jealous, as well. What am I reading right now? Nothing other than stuff for work. Womp womp. I'm seriously considering reading a light book, like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, just to get me back on the reading train.

    I cannot wait to read your South Korea posts!!

  3. It's so beautiful the way you share about your heart in these quick takes- thank you for that. I'm reading Mary: the Church at the Source by Benedict XVI, Discerning the Will of God by Timothy Gallagher, and Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. And, yes, 8 totally counts when it is summer!

  4. Summer arrived, and it's been chaos with baseball, work and so many other things that I've fallen off with my reading too!

    I have a stack of 9 or 10 books to read, but one book I have to plug is Gift of Faith by Father Tadeusz Dajczer. I shared the first chapter with Trista, and it has quickly shot up my list of must reads! I want to highlight every line! I'm slowly making my way through it, and each chapter blows my mind... I'd be glad to send you my copy when I'm finished, so you don't have to break your resolution! HA!

  5. I am jealous of your ability to read several books at the same time. Like, legit totally jealous. And I'm glad you had such a fun time on your trip! Your pictures look awesome.

    Oh, and I LOVE ADELE. Ah. She is fantastic.

    And I'll be in your city (assuming you still live where you went to HS) in less than a month :)

  6. That IS the best bathroom sign ever!!! WOW!!
    Oops, I guess I should have lead off with something about books instead of commenting on the toilet sign. I'm currently working through a housekeeping book called Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson. It's making my head spin. If I followed all of her recommendations, I'd have no time to eat or sleep or take care of my little girl, let alone read! Before that I read Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre, which was amazing. I highly recommend it!

  7. I have to say, for a people that hates Japan so much, I can't figure out why their food is so much like Japanese food. That Kimbab is exactly like a Japanese Onigiri. And, every Japanese sushi restaurant in my city is owned by Koreans! I think that's very strange.

    That is an extremely cool bathroom sign. Leaves no doubt in my mind! ;-)

  8. Again, Julie, you force me to add more things to my Amazon wish list, in the hope that one day I'll have the funds to buy all those @*#^%! books. (Still waiting on Devin Rose, who's sending me a review copy of his new book, If Protestantism Were True.) Graham Greene is another one of those Catholic Authors I Really Should Read, like T. S. Eliot and J. F. Powers.

    BTW, Busan used to be spelled "Pusan". And it makes me think of the M*A*S*H episode where Fr. Mulcahey was trying to write a Korean War song, and Hawkeye chimed in, singing "How you gonna keep them down on the farm after they have seen Pusan?" Yeah, my mind works like that ... frightening, isn't it.

  9. Adele is amazing, that song reminded me of heartbreaking times when I was in my 20s too..

    As for your book reading list, I am impressed, I am re-reading the gospel of John for spiritual growth, and the second book in the Outlander series for pure escapism. The only books I buy are school books for the girls, other than that my budget calls for my local library.

  10. I looove Adele so much too. Make You Feel My Love is also really beautiful! This post was so fun to read!! I work with a bunch of girls my age and we always complain how we can't seem to stick to one book. Right now I'm reading: Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict, Pride and Prejudice, With Jesus: the Story of Mary Co-Redemptrix by Miravalle (college professor of mine). I'm a caseworker and I'm also rereading Captivating with a client. God bless!