May 18, 2012

Six Books On My Bedside Table, or Books I Am Planning to Read This Summer

First of all, I have to make this clear: I have not pre-arranged those six books on my bedside table in order to write a blog post. In fact, I had no clue what to write about this week. I turned around, I saw my bedside table, and I got the idea to write this article! 
Also, I took an amateur photograph of each of the books, because I think amateur shots are cool. Also, I'm not the best photographer in the world.

Charles Dickens - David Copperfield

I know... I haven't read it yet... It just seems so lengthy and intimidating! I love Dickens but he scares me with his dictionary-long novels. ''A Christmas Carol'' is short and much more accessible!!! But I can't wait to rediscover David Copperfield. I think I read an abridged, translated version of it (not the good stuff) when I was a kid, but I can't remember ever reading the original.

Blaise Pascal - Les Provinciales (Provincial Letters)

This (very old) book was given to me by my late grandfather, who had the largest and nicest personal library I've ever seen (besides that of Thomas Jefferson at the Library of Congress). To be honest, I have no idea what this book is about, but I do love Blaise Pascal's writings. Pascal was an outstanding scientific, philosopher, author, genius,  etc., etc.  My favourite of his quotes (and don't ask me why) : ''Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed.'' 

Countess of Ségur - Après la pluie, le beau temps (After the rain comes the sun)

It's a shame that the Countess of Ségur is relatively unknown in the English-Speaking world. I read almost all of her books when I was a child. Sophie de Ségur was a 19th century French author of Russian origin. She wrote dozens of books with strong moral values and life principles to her grandchildren. I've read Après la pluie, le beau temps a number of times, and I love it every time. It's about the lives of Georges and Geneviève, two cousins. George is the bad boy, and Geneviève is the good girl.  Believe me, you have to read the book!!!

Peter Leithart - Fyodor Dostoevsky 

This book is a biography of one of the greatest writers of all time, Dostoevsky (also translated Dostoyevsky). Ok, to be really honest, I started reading Crime and Punishment last summer, and 150 pages in, I still wasn't hooked. But I'll try again this summer, I hate to half-read books. 
Here's what the back of this book says: ''To absorb Dostoevsky's remarkable life in these pages is to encounter a man who not only examined the quest for God, the problem of evil, and the suffering of innocents in his writing but also drew inspiration from his own deep Christian faith in giving voice to the common people of his nation... and ultimately the world.''

Rick James - Jesus Without Religion
This book is an informal summary of Jesus' life, what he said and what the Bible says about him. The back of the book expresses well what the book is about:
Rick James begins by clearing his throat. Free of creeds, quarrels and specialized theologies, he speaks of Jesus. No dogma, no politics, no moral at the end.
Jesus. What he said. What he did. And what, exactly, was the point.

I've read the first chapter and it's refreshingly unconventional. I still can't give my opinion on the book as a whole, but I agree that we  need to be reminded of the basics when it comes to Jesus and Christianity. Although James' book might be helpful, if we want first-hand information on Jesus and God and what this is all about, we should go to the Bible directly.

Chrétien de Troyes - Lancelot ou le Chevalier de la Charette (Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart)

As I was wandering and dreaming in the bookstores of Paris last summer, I wanted to buy typical, even stereotypical French books. I thought nothing could be more French than medieval French, and so I bought Lancelot, a very long poem written in the 12th century. It's about Middle Ages stuff. And some love story between Lancelot and Guinevere. Lancelot was one of the Knights of the Round Table (King Arthur and friends)

So that's what I told myself I would read this summer. What will you read this summer?
I might have used the word ''book'' a lot, but you'll agree that this word doesn't have many synonyms.


  1. cute!!!

  2. The table of mine is also equip with the different types of books, novels and magazines, i can't sleep until i read some of the pages from any one of them. I must say you have an amazing collection of books i.e historical, spiritual, i love to read these types of informative bundles. Nice collection. Wish you better luck.


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