Saturday, April 22, 2017

Vicious Circle by C.J. Box

The latest in the Joe Pickett series. This is essentially a coda to the prior book in the series, and resolves the storyline with the Cates family.

Methodical Realism by Etienne Gilson

A short but brilliant work on realist philosophy and its fundamental differences from idealism. I've been meaning to read it for years.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Modern Scholar: A History of the Church in the Middle Ages by Thomas Madden

A series of lectures reviewing church history spanning the Middle Ages. Good but not great. Listened to this while running.

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

The first in the Harry Bosch series of detective novels. Bosch, a Vietnam vet and a "tunnel rat", finds an old Vietnam comrade dead in a pipe, murdered. The investigation leads him to discover a conspiracy involving a gang of vets and, as might be expected but that is nonetheless satisfying, has him once again battling the bad guys in tunnels. A solid book in the old style.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Strangers in a Strange Land by Archbishop Charles Chaput

Excellent book discussing how to live as faithful Catholics in a post-Christian America.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

Excellent Vietnam novel by a decorated Marine Officer. Maybe the best Vietnam novel I've read (another good one is The 13th Valley). Although I was never in combat, or in the Marine Corps during time of war, I underwent the same infantry training as Marlantes (which he references periodically throughout the book), so I am familiar with the routine tasks of infantry platoon leadership like leading patrols, setting up defensive positions, setting out listening posts, periodic position checks during the night, etc. Marinates relates the responsibility that goes with all this, and the fatigue that results from never getting more than a few hours of sleep with something always to do - along with the stress and terror of combat on top of it. Highly recommended.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Socrates, A Man for Our Times by Paul Johnson

A good study of Socrates by the historian Paul Johnson. Since the subtitle was "A Man for Our Times", I was expecting more concerning the contemporary relevance of Socrates, but this is a simply a straightforward study of Socrates and Socratic philosophy. To the extent that Socrates is a man for all times - and he is - then naturally he is a man for our times.

I prefer the older book on Socrates by Romano Guardini, as Guardini is more philosophically sophisticated than Johnson. I think Johnson is also a little hard on Plato, but Johnson is still excellent.