Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Books and Music

I've been doing quite a bit of reading lately, as well as indulging in some of my favorite music (both listening to and singing it in choir!), and the following are some of the books and songs I have particularly liked.

Books

  • The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins - Great mystery story with a dash of healthy romance thrown in as well! This book wasn't short, but it was so suspenseful that I would spend hours at a time reading it, and finished it in less than 3 days.
  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen - I reread this for school recently (and wrote a long paper on it), and it was just as delightful as it always has been. It's basically about early 19th century society, manners, and romance.
  • Basically anything by C.S. Lewis - The Narnia stories are wonderful; even if their author did intend them primarily for children, I know plenty of adults who thoughly enjoy them. The Space Trilogy is sci-fi with Christian morals attached. Very intriguing. His non-fiction works are excellent as well; I particularly like Mere Christianity and The Four Loves.
  • Sherlock Holmes Adventures, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Another favorite, reawakened courtesy of my school's required reading list. Anything from the canon (defined as the 56 short stories and four longer chapter stories written by Doyle) is highly recommended. Ya gotta love the Great Detective...and his trusty biographer and sidekick Watson.

Is it just me, or is that whole list comprised of English literature? Hmm...guess that's what happens when your literature course for an entire year is dedicated to "the prose and poetry of England," as the textbook's cover proclaimed.

Music

  • Polyphony by Tallis, especially "If Ye Love Me", "Hear the Voice and Prayer", "Purge Me, O Lord", and "Verily, Verily" - the choir I sing in at church has done all of these, which is probably why they are my favorites. They are uplifting, and very beautiful.
  • Palestrina - More polyphony here; my favorite is "Sicut Cervus." The descriptions of Tallis polyphony apply here also.
  • Various traditional hmyns - I am especially fond of "This Joyful Eastertide" and "Come Down, O Love Divine." There are many others as well, but this post would have no end were I to list them all.
  • Gregorian chants, including but not limited to "Vidi Aquam" and "Victimae Paschali Laudes." It's sometimes surprising how profoundly stirring those simple melodies can actually be.

Well, I think that's about it for now, anyway. Has anyone else read or heard with equal pleasure any of the above-mentioned books or songs? Anyone have any suggestions for another good book to read? I'd enjoy hearing about anything you might bring forward.

5 Comments:

Blogger Gregaria said...

Those all sound like good books. I can't say I've heard the music, though. That's not to say I wouldn't love to! I love Tallis... and basically any English composer excepting those falling under the heading of "modern" music. This genre does not include John Williams, even though he is a modern compose, or any other modern composers who write "real" music as he does.

Also, I would recommend Story of a Soul, since I just finished reading that. I also read "The Cay" by Theodore Taylor.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous The President of the Anti-CS Lewis club said...

I hate C.S. Lewis. I mean, not "hate" but "dislike, and don't see why everyone loves him so much."

I remember writing a paper on P&P for school last year, although I don't remember anything else. I can't even remember what my topic was. Maybe something about Darcy and Liz being transformed over the course of the book. Yeah, I think that was it...

10:12 PM  
Blogger Sanchez said...

Well, to each his own, but why do you dislike him?

11:14 PM  
Anonymous VP said...

Mm, Mr. Prez, I'm with you there.

I read The Cay a couple of years ago. I don't remember it all that well. I just finished Anna Karenina (all 922 pages) yesterday and am now midway through The Sun Also Rises.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Gregaria said...

Wow, whoever you are. Why DON'T you like C.S.L.? He's not all that bad. Look at the good stuff in his works, for gosh sakes.

How did you like Anna Karenina, vp?

6:56 PM  

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