Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Books

Last night we received two, count 'em two large packages from Sally had two books and I had five.

I have looked at all five of mine and have read cover to cover one so far.

First was The River Cottage Meat Book. This is a large, heavy book that is part rant about where meat comes from, treatise on the types and varieties of meat and a cookbook. The author's style is readable and the photos that accompany it are excellent. But boy is this book heavy. Looks like I'll be learning some new tricks to try out on my wife!

Second was The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. This is a straight off cookbook with little essays interspersed between the recipes. While the authors' style is easy, it isn't as informative a book as the meat book. I do trust their opionons however, because of one tidbit I read. The two authors' favourite restaurant in or near Charleston is The Wreck, which Sally and I have been to, on my sister's recommendation. So while I'm not convinced I got my money's worth with this book, I think the material contained therein is sound.

Third is The Isle of Stone: A Novel of Ancient Sparta.I just started this novel and am on page three, I think. Lately I have been on a classical kick and have been consuming historical fiction like popcorn. I think my mistake was rereading Colleen McCullough's excellent series. At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing what Mr Nicastro has to say about the siege of Sphacteria and the consequent destruction of Spartan morale at home and prestige abroad. Also, it's pretty neat to see how someone is going to portray Spartan domestic life. The Spartan culture was about as alien as it possible to be to modern Western culture. He started the book with an earthquake, so it very much begins with a bang!

Fourth, is the book I finished: Genghis: Birth of an Empire. This is by one of the co-authors of the Dangerous Book For Boys. Which of course is an excellent book for boys of all ages. Genghis is about the Mongol of the same name. While I doubt it will win the Pulitzer or the Nobel, it is a well written page-turning, oh my gosh look at the time kind of book. It ends right when Genghis about to unite all of the Mongols. The next book is already out in hardcover, but will not be out in paper for another year. I may have to break down and buy the hardcover. In my opinion, Conn Igguldsen rivals C S Forester in writing action-adventure books.

Last is a book I am reading slowly: Surprised by Christ: My Journey from Judaism to Orthodox Christianity. Alice Linsley had mentioned it on her blog. I've read two chapters, but this is the intertwining of the authors autobiography, with facts, dates, names and pictures with his spiritual autobiography. It is scholarly, spiritual and personal, so I think it will deserve some paced reading and reflection on my part. The first two chapters were excellent.

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