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Summer Reading Plans

One thing I didn’t do much of at college was free reading. And while I would gladly attribute this to my all-consuming studies, the truth is that one will find time for what one loves to do, and I am sure that I could have read more if I had really wanted to.

But now is the summer, and a chance for me to catch up on my reading. Following you will find the various books that I am reading at the moment.

The Geography of Thought – How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why, by Richard Nisbett.聽 This book is very interesting so far.聽 Last fall I wrote a research paper and did a presentation on the history of the linguistic relativity theory, and this reminded a friend of mine of this book, which he then allowed me to borrow.聽 Both this book and my research involved the idea of different world-views—not as religious mindsets, but simply different ways of perceiving and categorizing the world—and this is quite fascinating.

The Legend of Britomartis (Third Book of The Faerie Queene), by Edmund Spenser.聽 I have been slowly working through this great magnum opus of Spenser’s, and despite the archaic language and spelling, the poetry is quite good and I have enjoyed acquainting myself with fantasy from the time of the Renaissance.聽 Each book of The Faerie Queene demonstrates a certain virtue, and this particular book is on chastity.聽 It is interesting to note that the hero of the story is actually a heroine–something that is somewhat unexpected in a work this old.

The Children of H煤rin, by J.R.R. Tolkien.聽 This is yet another posthumously published work of Tolkien’s, which his son has put together from his writings.聽 I read somewhere that about 30% of the text of this book has never before been published, while the rest may be found in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.聽 I have only read a little so far, but this is evident since I have read both of these works.聽 The Children of H煤rin contains the tragic tale of T煤rin Turambar, which I highly recommend despite its less-than-happy ending.聽 It somewhat reminds me of 艗dipus.聽 But even if you have already read the Narn i Ch卯n H煤rin, you may still enjoy this volume for the fine illustrations by Alan Lee.

2 thoughts to “Summer Reading Plans”

  1. I hear you, brother. To paraphrase a line from the movie Gladiator: “Sometimes I read what I want to read; the rest of the time, the things I have to.”

    I’ve heard good things about Nisbet and have also read a little Spenser (though it’s definitely been a few years). Both of these works sound rather interesting.

    Out of curiosity, have you already read Tolkien’s The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun? It is also a posthumously published work edited by Christopher Tolkien that has never before been published. The story itself is an old Scandinavian myth. Given your penchant for language and literature (and Tolkien), I thought you may enjoy it.

    Happy reading!

  2. I haven’t read Sigurd & Gudr煤n yet (I just found out about the book a few days ago), but it does sound really interesting. If I understand right, Tolkien used the same poetic form in his translation/retelling as was used in the ancient tongue the tale was originally written in. I’ll probably end up waiting till it gets cheaper before I buy a copy. But maybe the library will have it before then, and I can get it there!

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