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Prayer

“Tell God all that is in your heart, as
one unloads one’s heart, its plea-
sures and its pains, to a dear friend.
Tell Him your troubles, that He may
comfort you; tell Him your joys, that
He may sober them; tell Him your longings…

Spring Break

Schedule and availability: Unknown.

Yes it’s Spring Break. That means family time and irregular errands and fun and things. Might affect my writing opportunities.

We’ll see.

I have some reading to get to anyway, before Raising Steam arrives and takes over. I am nearly finished Fight! and The Irresistible Revolution. I also have a review e-copy of The Normans: From Raiders to Kings which is proving quite interesting, and may or may not merit a full review here.

Have a good week everyone 🙂
And stay out of at least as much trouble as I would 😉

Uncomfortably disturbed

So today marks three years since I landed in this country as a legal residentalien. I had remembered yesterday, but completely forgot today, until now.

What is on my mind? That I’ll be returning home in a few months? Sure. But right now it’s more on what I’m reading – The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne.

If you can get your hands on a copy, I encourage you to do so. But be warned, you will be challenged, if you read it with your mind open. Aside from the Bible, few books have

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Plenty of reading! :D Now for a plan.

Y’know, it’s interesting. True enough I love fiction – a good portion of the possession that I brought with me when I migrated to the ‘states were novels – but in the few years since I haven’t read many novels at all (comparatively speaking, I suppose).

When I started this log, I only had one novel on my reading horizon – Terry Pratchett’s Raising Steam. Now, merely a month later, I have three waiting for me to get stuck into, another to get around to, and Raising Steam due to be released a month from now. They are:

The Road to Jerusalem, by Jan Guillou, first of the trilogy that the Arn film/miniseries were based on

The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell, purportedly the basis or inspiration for the children’s television series The Mysterious Cities of Gold

American Gods by Neil Gaiman – which I’ve had for awhile but never got around to reading, but apparently there’s a TV series coming, so I should get around to it at some point.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, first novel in The Wheel of Time series, which I decided to pick up after Adam‘s recommendation on a post over at 101 Books, but it might be a little while until I tackle that, as it is eight hundred pages alone, and The Wheel of Time is a long series.

That, and, as much as I tend to read several books concurrently, I don’t particularly enjoy doing that with novels – I tend to put everything else down when I get into a novel, and pick back up when I’ve finished it, at least the other novels and narrative style books that I have on the go.

I think I might try taking that approach with my other reading, actually, at least for a time. Lately I’ve been tending to acquire one book after another, starting them and winding up leaving them for the next book that piques interest. Birthday and Christmas season didn’t help that – too many gift cards and not enough reading time. I have to say Netflix hasn’t helped either. As far as non-fiction goes, I’m probably going to focus on finishing Fight by Preston Sprinkle, and then maybe Genius for Deception by Nicholas Rankin before starting The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate by John Walton.

For awhile now I’ve been uncomfortable with the traditional method of interpreting Genesis for scientific and literal-historical meaning. Walton prefers to view Genesis through the perspective of its original readers and context (hint – ancient narrativism and history were not written with modern conventions and expectations of literal accuracy as we would understand it). Should be interesting, from what I’ve read so far in Nate Claiborne’s exploration of the subject, this method seems much more logical and consistent, without requiring or excluding the conclusions of the scientific community (with some exceptions) while sitting much more comfortably with extant archaeological evidence.

But that’s another discussion for another blog. Right now I am to work on the washing up and putting laundry away, while watching Mulan II with my son. Ironically enough, I would probably be reading more if I wasn’t blogging about reading.

Arn: The Knight Templar and multiply-perspective history

Last week I got around to watching something that had looked interesting and had been hanging around my Netflix to watch list for awhile. What I’m talking about is Arn: The Knight Templar. This is a miniseries based on a trilogy of novels by Jan Guillou, the first of which, I purchased after watching the series on Netflix, and will report on when I’ve finished it/them, but look good so far.

Initially it appears these novels were made into a pair of movies, then edited into one movie for English release. What I think is that single movie is on Netflix under the same title as the miniseries, and from what I saw when I started to watch it, it was the same footage as the miniseries, condensed. The movie received terrible reviews, but I would definitely recommend the miniseries, which is just over four hours.
What I find interesting about the series, and hope to find interesting in the novels, is that the series is about a Swedish man, and the filmed version is mostly in Swedish, with parts in Latin, French and English. I look at it as a text if medieval historical fiction, yet from a non-Anglo-Saxon context, something I’ve not encountered before. It embodies, for me, a continental addition to the majority of historical medieval fiction which I’ve encountered from Anglo-American authors, and another perspective in such fiction. And I’ve got to say, I enjoyed the miniseries, and am enjoying the first novel so far. For me it has parallels to some of Stephen Lawhead and Robin Hobb’s medieval fiction. Hobb more in the characters and plot, and Lawhead that also in addition to his Crusades’ series’ setting.

 What’s also interesting about Guillou is that he has written in several genres to popular acclaim. He;s been a journalist, and written a successful detective series, as well as the Arn novels.
I plan to let you know how I’m go with The Road to Jerusalem, the first book in Guillou’s Crusades Triology, featuring Arn, but what I’m sure I’ll also be talking about in future posts is multiple perspectivism, in both history and elsewhere. I find it fascinating to look at perspectives other than the ‘Western hegemony’ that we read in classrooms and the more popular history books. Sometimes this means actually paying attention to the context of texts and the perspective of the original writers and readers, such as in my favoured reading of the book of Genesis (as compared to the recent Ham vs Nye debate – there will probably be a post on that topic at some point), but also in general history and story. That’s part of what I love about Stephen Ambrose’s books – they tell a story through quotes from the participants in the history they are telling, which is somewhat of a refreshingly different perspective.

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