I was excited this week because I’d actually finished two books that I wanted to post about (the Disney Little Mermaid book Lucia keeps sneaking home from the library doesn’t count), and then last night around 10, heading up to bed, I thought…oh wait….it’s Wednesday. Oh well.
The first was Orient Express, by Graham Greene. Yeah, still on a kick.
It’s good (and written I think two years before Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, so…there’s that), and there were a couple laugh-out-loud lines and great descriptions of characters (my favorite was Mabel Warren, the bitter, butch, insecure, man-hating, drunken lesbian journalist — yeah you read that all right), but at times I thought it got too philosophical/musing for its own good, and the ending — well, let’s just say it’s pessimistic even for Graham Greene.
I also finally finished Life is a Miracle, by Wendell Berry.
I think this is the type of book I just need to buy my own copy of and revisit often, pencil in hand, underlining sections at a time. In short, this book-length essay is a rebuttal of another book by scientist Edward O. Wilson, who by Berry’s description of him (and the numerous quotes he offers) is basically your good ol’ fashioned materialist. Science/rationalism trumps all; art and religion are merely evolutionary byproducts of man’s “progress” and are subservient to science; our strongest emotions and virtues — heroism, love, sacrifice — the things that shape cultures — can be completely explained biologically, etc.
What I loved about this book is that I see Berry offering an argument for the unity of faith and reason, but not from an explicitly religious perspective. (He has one chapter on religion, but in no way could you call his whole argument faith-based). In fact, at the heart of it I think Berry (a Baptist and a farmer, by the way) is writing as what he calls a “conservationist” — a person deeply concerned about the state of the land and Progressivism’s effect on it. So he doesn’t fit easily into the typical religious/non-religious/liberal/conservative boxes, and I find that uniqueness attractive and fascinating.
Thank you, Jessica, for accepting late-comers 🙂