A Glass of Chianti

Thursday, May 26, 2005

First meme of the blog. A test crossposted

1. Total number of books I've owned: We were more of a library-going family when I was in school, so I don't have a ton of books. I started accumulating hard-core about 3 years ago. I will guess 150, but I'm probably under-estimating the number of music books I kept from college.

2. Last book I bought: I saw a copy of Witness by Whittaker Chambers just calling my name at Half Price Books. I have already given away my three spares of this book to friends, so I needed a replacement for when I meet someone that absolutely has to read this book.

3. Last book I read: Wow. I know the last book I finished for fun was The Brothers Karamazov during my wallowing phase. I've read some Flannery O'Connor in the mean time, but no other books to speak of. I have some lined up for this summer, though. :)

4. Five books that mean a lot to me: Now this is a question I can love. These aren't "The five most amazing books" in my opinon, or "the five books you'd want on a desert island".... Here five of books that really mean a ton to me:

1)The Divine Comedy, Dante - This contains everything. I read this for the first time my freshman year of high school. Frankly, I came away with very little. It was one of the first pieces of "serious literature" I had tried to tackle in earnest and I didn't have the skills to get much from it. I knew at the time I had to come back to it, because there was so much more there that I couldn't "get." So, I read a lot more, and started it again my sophomore year of college. What a difference! Now I can't imagine going through life not having read this. Theology, Thomism, history, politics, love.... it's all there. I only regret that I don't know enough Italian to even attempt to read it the real way.

2)Don Quixote, Cervantes - The first book I read in a foreign language. My Spanish teachers would be shocked, as I was a poor student of the subject. (It wasn't my fault! Crowley didn't offer Latin.... I had to make do with the only Romance language that we did that wasn't French. I wasn't going to be all Frenchified and defiled so early in life). We read excerpts in Spanish V with Mrs. Stevenson and I was better at the language than I thought I was going to be. So, that summer, I checked out a Spanish copy from the UNT library and started to work. And it took me ALL summer. But I did it, and I'm happy I did.

3)The Summa Theologiae, My First Boyfriend - OK. There is some doubt whether "my first boyfriend" was the Summa or if it was St. Thomas Aquinas. The high school friends are divided. I've always been of the opinion that the moniker was for the author, but it's a little more romantic (in a sick way) to think of my first boyfriend as the Summa itself. In any case..... I keep going back to it over and over and something that can hold my attention (and my heart) like that is certainly important.

4)The Bible

5)Witness, Whittaker Chambers - The book that changed everything. Chambers was a Communist who broke away from the Party in the late thirties. While he was in the Party, he engaged in espionage and was a member of an underground Communist cell that included people in high positions in our government and associated organizations. He defected, convinced that he was switching to "the losing side" of history. The book begins with a forward - an open letter to his children in which he talks about the Hiss case, but touches on so much more than that. The book argues that the United States was involved in a basic and fundamental crisis and that the price was man's Soul. It's heartbreaking and transcendent and made me understand just how high the stakes were (are...). It's not a political book, though it concerns politics. It's a book that is about Faith and God's Grace.

So, there you go. Those are mine. Any opinions? Others interested in doing the same?