august 8

hello after a brief hiatus! it wasn’t intentional—I’ve been struggling to sit down and write reviews, in no small part because I’ve read MANY books recently (six in the past two weeks!) and am behind on them and. Sometimes you can’t remember what you enjoyed about a book when you have five other books you finished before it! So I hope to have an extra big newsletter next week but I’m also just considering… not writing reviews for all of these books? Or at least, only writing short ones. When you read five books at once it’s hard in the first place to keep them straight, much less remember them afterwards!

In addition I’ve also been crocheting instead of doing much of anything. It’s fun—I’m going to have some projects to show maybe soon, who knows—and it lets me listen to podcasts and even watch TV show episodes! I started trying to rewatch Star Wars: The Clone Wars again, because I have yet to successfully finish the series despite trying twice now, and I’ve lost track of where I was with my friend when we were trying to get through it. Crocheting lets me do something with my hands while I watch, and helps me still feel ~productive~ and pay better attention while I watch. I also crochet while on the phone, and when on video calls with friends, so it’s an all-purpose exercise!

But I did write ONE review this week, so let’s move to

Books I Wrote About This Week

Radical Sacrifice, by Terry Eagleton

So there’s this thing about being trained as an academic that has compelled me to be widely read—not just in my field, but in all fields, as much as I can as often as I can. And I think this is an example of why—Eagleton takes on this topic, writes about it in this fairly accessible way (no I do not understand Hegel, no I will probably not understand Hegel any time soon, and that one’s on me, not Terry,) and includes SO MUCH and so many other writers and thinkers in there. And I know that can come off as like “oh look at how much I’ve read,” but it doesn’t—it’s just a serious engagement with ideas in a way that makes those discourses more open, even if you’re not in on them at the same level. It made me want to read like every book that Eagleton has ever written (I did go put four more of his books on hold after finishing this, oops,) because there’s something about it I find so compelling. Obviously content-wise yes it’s very compelling but there’s also like something to the way he explains other writers’ works without it coming across as like “now let me explain the arguments to you.” And while there’s nothing WRONG with the latter, and sometimes it’s necessary, this feels more like. We’re on a journey thinking through these issues together?

Anyway hello I’m now a Terry Eagleton stan and no one tell me if he’s a transphobe. I want to share the part about forgiveness in particular with a lot of people because it’s just something I’m interested in and trying to integrate in my own life in different ways. A quick quotation, if you’ll indulge me: “To show mercy is to have insight into the moral weakness of the offender, thus acknowledging one’s solidarity with him.” And that’s just ONE thing that I’ll be chewing on for a while as I like evaluate my life and how I want to be living it in the best way possible (and yes in a lot of ways that’s a very specifically Catholic way of living and we can talk about that, but like sometimes we return to our cultural roots to discover they are in fact more useful than we were ever taught because theology and sociology of religion are two very different things.) It’s just GOOD and I’ll be thinking about a lot of it for a while and I want this book so I can write in it because I’m a little monster who needs to write in things.

The Reading Situation

  • 100 books: at the time of this writing, I have finished 73 books out of 100, and that feels pretty good! Like I said, this has put me in a weird position of having so many books to write about and just not getting there, oops, but I’m reading!

  • Author identity challenge: still at 11/18 or 68%! Chugging along! I’m working through a lot of books here but we’re trying! We’re really trying!

  • Currently reading: Still chugging through Gardens of the Moon, still not fully understanding what’s happening; over halfway through What God is Honored Here?; and moving through Why You Should Be a Socialist. Plus about to start two more books this week, so that’s exciting!

HMU

And that’s it for this week! Hopefully this coming week I’ll be able to blow through a number of reviews and next week’s newsletter will be CHOCK FULL of reviews and book thoughts! If you want to see all my thoughts about Disney’s The Sword in the Stone, which I have watched three times in three days because it’s great background noise for crocheting, you can follow me on twitter @fadesintointent. If you… want to see some finished crochet projects maybe in the next week? You can follow me? on Instagram? Maybe? @sonofahurricane. Thank you, as always, for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful week. Take care of yourselves, and each other! <3