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Two New Book Acquisitions! And what I’m reading…

08/28/2011

Dropped off a few bags of clothes at Unique Thrift yesterday, and decided to wander through the book section to see if there were any books I have been looking for. And success! I found two.

Simply Christian by NT Wright

Simply Christian by NT Wright

Say what you will about NT Wright, his writing is fresh and very encouraging. I think he’s an important voice in Christianity, especially in regards to helping people break out of their denominations and misconceived stereotypes. I’m not friends with any Anglicans, as far as I know, but I appreciate this Anglican. I was brought up to believe that all other denominations were wrong and filled with evil and wickedness due to false doctrine…a fact which was happily disproved to me during my Campus Crusade days. No one denomination has a monopoly on truth (which, when some realize that, they go extra-biblical and mystical to prove that they have a monopoly on truth). In truth there are differences of belief and Biblical interpretation, all given by guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It’s up to us, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, to choose what we believe one way or another. Some views are perhaps more truthful than others, but most are gray issues with much wiggle room.

Now, I’ve read Simply Christian before, and enjoyed it, so I’m glad to own a copy of it.

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

The other book I found was the first book in The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, Wizard’s First Rule. I’ve been watching Legend of the Seeker on Netflix, a TV show that lasted two seasons that was loosely based on the first and second book of the series, and it’s excellent. I understand there are significant differences between the books and the TV show, but I now have faces for all the characters (hello Bridget Regan!)(in fact, all the major roles are excellently cast). I don’t think Legend of the Seeker was promoted all that well, partly due to being on the SyFy network, despite being an ABC Productions show like Lost was. So it was cancelled after only two seasons, and there was a large public outcry. All the good shows get cancelled early, don’t they? Anyways, I had known about the Sword of Truth series for years, many had recommended it, but I wasn’t that interested until I watched the TV show. I’ll write something about the book when I get around to reading it, but the TV show is excellent. If need be, just watch the first season, as it’s fairly self contained, and you’ll feel less of a sting at the end of season two knowing there won’t be any more.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

As for what I’m reading currently…on August 25, 2009 (I found the receipt!) I bought a copy of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke from Half Price Books, so after seeing it sitting on the shelf for two years, I’ve finally started reading it. And it’s excellent! Set during England during the time of Napolean, it focuses (so far) on Mr Norrell, the last true magician in England, and his rather eccentric, British quest to bring magic back to England (as magic used to be quite extensive but died out). Norrell is a rather eccentric, quaint, British gentleman, so it’s amusing to see him tut and frut about Britain, Parliament, and the streets of London. I think Wikipedia does a better job of explaining it than I:

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is…An alternative history set in 19th-century England around the time of the Napoleonic Wars, it is based on the premise that magic once existed in England and has returned with two men: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. Centering on the relationship between these two men, the novel investigates the nature of “Englishness” and the boundary between reason and madness. It has been described as a fantasy novel, an alternative history, and a historical novel.

The narrative draws on various Romantic literary traditions, such as the comedy of manners, the Gothic tale, and the Byronic hero. The novel’s language is a pastiche of 19th-century writing styles, such as those of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Clarke describes the supernatural with mundane details. She supplements the text with almost 200 footnotes, outlining the backstory and an entire fictional corpus of magical scholarship.

So far I’m really enjoying it, but you have to be awake to read it, as scenes and conversations can come and go quickly. Reminds me of books I read in high school in that regard.

Also still got Thank God for Evolution sitting by my bed, but that’s too heavy to read most nights…other than that, not much being read right now. Some Proverbs or Epistles, perhaps.

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