Friday, October 23, 2020


October 23, 2020 Peace and Good, I am still in London. I did my two weeks of quarantine, and now I am allowed to leave the house. I take my daily walk along the shore of the Thames (on the south side of the river, not all that far from the ferris wheel called the Eye. It is strange, however, with many people wearing masks and everyone trying to avoid close contact. Coved has gotten worse in the UK in these days, especially in the western cities of Liverpool and Manchester. They are classified at the 3rd level of isolation, while London is only at the 2nd level. The weather has been horrible with it raining almost every day. I like to walk in this city, but between covid and the weather, I have not done too much outside. I have had a great opportunity to do some writing work. I have finished editing my meditation book on Franciscan Spirituality, and today I will finish the first draft on my new children's Bible. I leave tomorrow for Chicago where I will be for a couple of weeks. I have finished some reading: Pompei by Robert Harris This is one of many books by Robert Harris that I have read. It deals with the explosion of Mount Vesuvius toward the end of the first century AD. The hero of the story is an acquarius, a man responsible for the care and maintenance of the aqueduct that brings water into this part of Italy. The action is very well written, and the characters are memorable, as in all of Harris’ books. Death at Beggar’s Opera by Deryn Lake This is one of a series of books written about an apothecary working in London named John Rawlings during the 18th century. He works part time as a detective for a magistrate famous for his crime solving ability nicknamed the Blind Beak. The action takes place in a privileged society and is filled with attitudes which are better read within their historic context. The morality of that particular era, at least among the privileged class, seems loose at best. Yet, the book comes together well and was a pleasant read. The Battle of Berlin by Hourly History This is a short outline of the warfare that led up to the fall of Berlin during World War II and some of the episodes during the fall itself. It does not give anything new, but it is a good review of the topic. Winter Moon by Dean Koontz This is a science fiction story of how a family who flees the violence and insanity in Los Angeles (especially since the father is an injured police officer who lost two of his partners in the past couple of years). They end up in Montana where they come into contact with a horrible extra-terrestrial monster which threatens humanity. The story is well told. The Young Turks by Charles River Editors This is a short history of the movement that moved the Ottoman empire from being an inward looking, dying entity to the modern state of Turkey. It did not occur easily, and there were many twists and turns along the way. It was finally Ataturk who was able to suppress the Caliphate and to create a single culture (by suppressing many of the minorities) in today’s Turkey. Augustus by John Williams This is one of the books which I purchased from Chirp Books. It is a discount outfit which allows one to listen to books (but not download them). This biography is written in the form of a series of letters and memorials on the various topics. A lot of attention is given to Augustus’ relationship with his daughter Julia whom he had exiled because of her adulterous conduct. The book proposes that this was an attempt to save her life from Augustus’ successor (and her husband) who would have had her killed. The book is well done. Must History Repeat Itself: the Great Conflicts of this Century by Joseph Nye This series from the Teaching Company studies the great conflicts of the 20th century and gives insights into how to respond to the situation in which we find ourselves today. It is one of the older series for it deals with the fall of Communism but does not deal with the rise of militant Islam and terrorism throughout the world. Keep safe. fr. Jude


Post a Comment