What I’m Reading (and More): January edition

Ah, January.  I always find this month to be dreary.  (Anything coming after a glorious Christmas break is bound to be dreary).

My reading, as you might expect, has been somewhat sporadic and diverse, as I’m trying to escape the doldrums.  I don’t have full reviews yet, just a scattering of thoughts…


Fear No Evil, by Natan Sharansky
Finally reading this after hearing about it two years ago from Stephen.  I’m almost halfway and getting strong Kafkaesque vibes from the tedious, illogical interrogations by the KGB.  Also, the author is a fellow computer science major and Sherlock Holmes fan, which is personally inspiring.

Philosophy 101: From Plato and Socrates to Ethics and Metaphysics, an Essential Primer on the History of Thought, by Paul Kleinman
I am trying to rectify my ignorance in philosophy with this crash-course style book.  The author’s approach is sometimes questionable – he bizarrely mentioned Kierkegaard and Nietzsche in the same breath, and I’m not sure what order he’s following, but it’s definitely not chronological.  In spite of its faults, this book is still better than me attempting to, say, follow the rabbit trails of Wikipedia on my own.  I’m halfway through and have learned quite a bit.

The Gospel of Luke
Been steadily reading through Luke with my morning coffee and lectio divina.  It’s sad to admit, but I never had much of a thirst for Bible reading before and always felt bad about it.  Now, with lectio divina, I read it daily, because it’s very calming and sets me up for the entire day, even if I don’t feel great (I’m not a morning person).  This method of Bible reading & prayer has honestly changed my life, and I’m so happy to have reached this turning point. 

The Professor, by Charlotte Brontë
The Professor was Charlotte’s first novel and one I’ve struggled in the past to get into.  (This time, I shall finish it.)  I haven’t read a Victorian novel in a long time, so it’s refreshing to get back into my old comfort zone.


Speaking of Victorian novels, last night I watched Victoria, Season 3 Episode 1.

I have a real love/loathe opinion of this series… mostly loathe.

I watched about half of Season 1, coming into it with the highest hopes and getting truly disappointed.  I don’t even remember if I saw Season 2.

The good: stunning cinematography and costumes, stellar cast
The bad: historical liberties, lackluster characterization, overly simplistic dialogue, and some aspects/characters which are way too similar to Downton Abbey

Sadly, S3E1 was no improvement over the previous episodes I saw.  I might watch more of S3 for the sheer eye candy (I LOOOVEEE Victorian costumes), but the script makes me cringe with second-hand embarrassment.


It’s early days, but I haven’t yet found any new favorite songs this year.

Till then, I’m still obsessed with “Rich Boy” (2018) by Sara Kays.  If you haven’t heard of her before…well, neither had I, till late last year.  I tend to stumble across obscure artists, because I enjoy indie folk music, especially songs that tell a story.  This one’s a classic tale, with sad Americana vibes.


  1. Brian Joseph Avatar
    Brian Joseph

    I think I should read something like Philosophy 101. My philosophy reading over the years has been very haphazard. I could use something to pull it all together. I might try this or something similar in the coming year.


  2. mudpuddle Avatar

    i read philosophy years ago on my own until i got tired of savants hashing over the same points repeatedly… i think that's when i got into fixing cars…


  3. Stephen Avatar

    I'm looking forward to your Sharansky reflections. I hadn't even heard of that Bronte novel.


  4. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    The best thing about this book is each section is short and sweet. It really diffused my initial feeling of being overwhelmed as a philosophy beginner!


  5. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    I hear ya… I find myself relishing the paradoxes, simply because they're unambiguously ambiguous. 😉


  6. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    The Professor is viewed as a prototype of sorts to Villette, also being about a teacher… What I'm finding interesting is the male narrator, her only book to feature one.


  7. R. T. Avatar
    R. T.

    Sharing time … my reading includes 19th c. American poets ….. that will keep me busy for many moons ….https://rtmarginalis.blogspot.com/


  8. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    That sounds very enjoyable!


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