On My Reading List: August 2017

It’s getting towards the end of the month, so I thought I’d update you on what I’ve been reading lately. Here’s my current reading list, accompanied by my cat, Angel, who quite likes it when I read because it’s one of the few times I stay still long enough for her to have a really good snooze on my lap.


Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott (1819): One of the first modern adventure novels, Ivanhoe is picturesquely written and set in Merrie Olde England. It’s an ‘historical romance’ in the loosest sense of history and (mainly) chivalric sense of romance. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while and I finally decided I really should start clearing my extensive backlog.

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (1958): ‘International’ classics can be hard to come by around here, and although I know very little about this novel I’ve come across it on enough lists of classic literature to have snatched it up when I saw it on a market stall recently. It’s a story of the personal and societal cost of violence in the life of Okonkwo, an influential leader within the Igbo community.

A Celebration of Life: Collected Poems, by Meg Hartfield (2017): From the cost of violence to meditations on peace and the Prince of Peace. Meg Hartfield was a pacifist and longstanding member of the Whanganui Anglican community, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. This slim volume of meditative works reflects a life of prayerful dedication to the wonders of the Gospel story, the price of peace – and its alternative – and the natural beauty of ‘The Land of the Long White Cloud’.

French Women Don’t Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano (2005): This was the book that started The Culture Project when I read it, and specifically the chapter on enjoying wine, a few years ago, so when I saw it in a second-hand store I had to buy it. This time around it’s inspired me to seek out a bit more exercise by making time for the odd swim at the pool next to work.

The Bible: Saul is dead and David is king as I move from 1 Samuel to 2 Samuel (they’re short on dramatic padding, but the Histories have enough dynastic blood and action to make a kickass TV series), while Proverbs is reminding me of the importance of wisdom and the price of folly. In the New Testament I’m getting hungry for a Gospel (with only four gospels out of a total of 66 books I have to ration them), so will shortly be diving into Matthew.

That’s my list for the month: what’s on yours?

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