A few other memorable reading experiences:
- Francis Spufford’s beautifully written and unclassifiable Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense — not yet available in the U.S., alas. That, perhaps, should go at the top of my list; it’s likely to give me more sustenance over the years than anything else I read in 2012.
- Roger Scruton’s How to Think Seriously about the Planet, about which I wrote one brief post and need to write more.
- Salman Rushdie’s Joseph Anton, which was memorable for being the most self-indulgent piece of unintentional comedy that I’ve read in a long time. People are calling Zoe Heller’s review of it a “hatchet job,” but as I noted on Twitter, if anything Heller is too kind.
- Adam Roberts’s New Model Army and Yellow Blue Tibia are marvelously inventive and weird SF novels. I wrote about the former here and hope to write about the latter at some future date.
- David Noble’s The Religion of Technology is a book I should have read years ago, but only got to this past summer. A remarkable book, about which I’ll have more to say.
And for my Christianity ad Fantasy class, as I’ve noted, I got to read John Crowley’s Little, Big for the third time, and was more moved by it this time than in previous readings. What an utterly distinctive masterpiece it is.
But I have to say, overall this wasn’t a great year in reading for me. 2011 was much better, with Patrick Leigh Fermor’s extraordinary memoirs The Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, James Gleick’s The Information, and Jacques Maritain’s 1943 manifesto Education at the Crossroads — which gave me the core idea of my next book.