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December 2017

Firstly I wanted to clarify, my book ‘reviews’ aren’t really reviews; they’re much more a documentation of what I’ve read. My personal benefit is getting to see how I utilize my time too. We certainly all have our taste and particular authors we fall back on. I’ve never shot for exceptionalism nor to sound like a braggart with anything I’ve read.

Of course, I absolutely hope a book or an author or a turn of phrase resonates with you.

An enjoyable podcast I wanted to mention is The Great Books. You can see via the link many classics already covered: The Brothers Karamozov, Paradise Lost, Beowulf, City of God, Gulliver’s Travels, etc… Whether you are already familiar with the stories or not, the short conversations (under 30 minutes) with scholars and historians discuss themes outside of the book, such as what were the circumstances economically or politically when written.

The Bookmonger is another podcast. These under 15 minute episodes are discussions with the author on current books covering mainly politics and history, everything from wars, spies, and the Ancient Maya, etc… Even or especially if you have no intention of reading the book, I find it engaging hearing what sparks set off going down the researching rabbit hole in the first place. I’ve learned some interesting things.

I think I came across Smartest Person in the Room podcast via a twitter retweet. It turned out to be a great addition to my listening roster. There were a couple book-reviewing episodes I picked out; last week’s being the more well-rounded one. Despite the girlish ‘like’, ‘ya know’, and ‘uhs’, the ladies had some deeper insights on how books come into our lives; how we may avoid reading something that keeps circling our orbit; yet when we finally do, it seems the perfect accompaniment to where we are in life or what we need by way of non-fictional information or emotionally connecting story. I took notes on a few to add to my Amazon wishlist, as to not forget. All my reading ambitions seem stacked in that queue and physically stacked next to my bookshelf.

Despite how anticipatory I am, the truth is, I don’t want to add more to any list. I want to get a grip, whittle down the pile, use what I have, revisit old words and collections I’ve missed. I really want to re-read The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel in 2018. Also, the library app has spoiled me for saving money, as long as I can wait-out the upwards of fifteen to thirty others anxious for any currently popular book.

I don’t want to waste your reading time telling you what I wasted my reading time on in December. I will also wait to share in next month’s reflection what I’m only now starting but fully invested in.

I really have been fully immersed in the thirteen books of The Confessions of Saint Augustine (Image Classics) the last few weeks.

Here’s the Wiki link

This is an autobiographical work he wrote in his 40’s between AD 397 and 400. It is very frank and ‘outlines his sinful youth and later conversion to Christianity.’ The numerous one-liners further confirm my theory that not one of us is original. None of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, angers, and angst are anything new. We are only in a different setting. This is my saying, also, how easily understood and simply digestible this is. There is so much wisdom here. I’m of the mind to just start from the beginning again as soon as I’ve reached the nearing end.

I hope you are engaged by something riveting. Happy New Year!

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BrockaDecember 2017