Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Recommended Reads

I thought I'd try something else for a change. Here are some I books I've been reading lately, and I encourage you all to check them out. Heh, maybe this can be a weekly thing or something. Oprah's Book Club, move over. Haha.

1) The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco

Erudite, ebullient, witty, incredibly sarcastic-- Eco has created a hodge podge consisting of parts of medieval philosophy, history, aesthetics, metaphysics, you name it, this book has it. It is a classic detective story set in the exciting time of the Middle Ages. This is truly a master work. Eco peppers the narrative with the odd Latin phrases every now and then (some of which are really funny, btw) but the reader never gets sidetracked. More than a simple fiction story, 'The Name of the Rose' is also a philosophical treatise, delivered with devastating wit and introspectiveness as only this quirky Italian fellow can deliver.

2) 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West, by Roger Crowley

This account of the Fourth Crusade, as well as the final demise of that most glorious Christian city, proves to be a hauntingly fun read. Crowley, though an amateur historian, delivers the goods with a peerless panache for detail. One note of caution, though: he seems to be too sympathetic to the Infidels at times. But aside from that, it's one of the most entertaining books on the subject I've ever read.

3) A Very Short Introduction to History, by John Arnold

Another history book. Arnold's style is readable and flows smoothly, though somewhat clumsy at times. At some 130-150 odd pages, it is a surprisingly quick read, though this is done without compromising clarity and attention to detail. Chapter 6 was particularly entertaining; you'll know what I mean when you read it.

I'll promise to return to my regular brain-wracking in a few days' time. I'm sorry if this post was extremely short, and probably useless in the long run, but hey, it's alrady crunch time. Right now, the stress is REALLY piling up on me. Oh well.

BTW: Most of the pictures I use in my posts come from this wonderful website: Fotos Cofrades Blog. Interesting place, especially if you're interested in Spanish processional statues, of which this blog has an enchidrion of pictures.

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