What I'm Reading...
The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary, by Robert Alter. A magnificent new translation of the Torah, with lots and lots of commentary by one of my favorite Biblical scholars. I'm about a third of the way into Exodus, and it will probably take me a while to read it all. But that's OK -- I'm enjoying his comments about the original Hebrew in which the Torah was written; his comparisons between the Biblical stories and the myths of other cultures; the different ways a passage can be translated; and the many historical notes. I've written about this book here already, on my November 21 post.
Pop Trickster Fool: Warhol Performs Naivete, by my GSV (Gay Spirit Visions) brother Kelly Cresap. An in-depth look at how pop icon Andy Warhol adopted a persona of self-conscious naivete, making his whole life a performance art piece (and obscuring his real personality, if indeed one actually existed). I love how Kelly conducts scholarly discourse with a humorous -- and personal -- edge that engages the reader and keeps things interesting. (Ken Wilber could take a lesson or two on this from Kelly.) Joe Perez did an excellent article on this book, focusing on its discussion of "camp," for his Soulfully Gay column.
The Hornet's Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War, by Jimmy Carter. The first novel ever written by a US President. A bit wordy at times (Carter evidently did a lot of research for this book, and none of it got edited out), but it has grabbed my attention and kept it. The novel has made me realize some of the gaps in my own knowledge of the history of my home state, Georgia.
Christian & Islamic Spirituality: Sharing a Journey, by Maria Jaoudi. A gem: small (only 103 pages) but beautiful, tracing common spiritual themes of Christian and Sufi mystics such as Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, St. Francis, Rumi, Rabi'a, al-Hallaj, and many others. Themes include The Way of Love; Purification; Transformation; Union with God; a God-Centered Ecology.