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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Book Meme

Jay Anderson (and Thomas, I think) has tagged me, thus I must respond:

1. One book that changed your life:

This is a tough one, but probably The Aeneid by Virgil. Studying the classics opens up a whole new world! By no means am I an expert, but probably the most significant thing that I have done for my intellectual life is study Latin. I really fell in love with Western Civilization--Rome in particular--as a result of the Aeneid. One summer--during my undergraduate years--I took it as a directed reading course in Latin from a fine Jesuit classicist--Fr. Matthew Creighton, S.J. It was intense, difficult, and wonderful!!! (I would elaborate but this is material for another post.)

2. One book you've read more than once:

St. Thomas Aquinas by G.K. Chesterton. I read this book once a year so that I may keep my credentials as a Thomist. Gilson's assessment of the book as the "best on St. Thomas" is spot on.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island:

The Path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc. Possibly my favorite book of all time. It is probably the best expression of the culture of the West that I have ever seen and it contains all those things necessary to happy human existence: The Church, wine/beer/spirits, women, poetry/song, travel, the natural wonders of the earth, good conversation, sound philosophy, humor and Latin.

4. One book that made you laugh:

The American Spectator's Enemies List by P.J. O'Rourke. While this book is a bit dated, it contains some priceless lists of people we generally dislike. (Not unlike Boethius' list below.)

5. One book that made you cry:

An Armenian Family Reunion, by Mitchell Kalpakgian. I have elsewhere on this blog recommended Doc Kalpakgian's work and this one did not disappoint. It was a beautiful expression of the joy, comedy, pain and beauty of family life. Mrs. AM and I were both in tears at the end.

6. One book that you wish had been written:

What Women REALLY Want: A Man Who Slaps Her in the Ass, A Stable Marriage, Lots of Kids, A Good Book and A Pretty Garden.

7. One book that you wish had never been written:

Woman and the New Race by Margaret Sanger. This whore was crazy!

8. One book you are currently reading:

The Four Men by Hilaire Belloc. I recently puchased a dog-eared copy from ebay since this book is out of print. Chock full of drinking songs and ruminations on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

9. One book you've been meaning to read:

The Natural Law by Heinrich Rommen. I have referenced this and picked it up several times to read particular chapters, but have not read the book all the way through. It gives a great historical analysis of natural law thinking from the ancients to the present. The fact that it was written by a Catholic lawyer in Germany in the 1930's makes all the more interesting. I just have to get off my butt and read it!

I tag all of my colleagues at Fumare, Casimir, and E.M..

(There were many more books that I could have brought up, but I stuck to the strictures of the questions! Oh well.)