“Greed” and “Gluttony”

April 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Posted in Nonfiction | 8 Comments

I finished Greed, a theological discussion of that particular vice.  I couldn’t help but find it a little abstract, given today’s economic climate and the extremes we see there, which would make such fascinating examples.

I also finished Gluttony, and it got my goat.  Francine Prose argues that gluttony isn’t much of a deadly sin, and that since it doesn’t hurt anyone else the way other sins do, its consideration as a sinful behavior is based more on social opprobrium than anything actually spiritually harmful.  I’m focusing more on reading today, so I’ll summarize my argument:  gluttony on the personal level which becomes acceptable on the social level leads to overconsumption of resources on a national level which leads to deprivation for people who live in other nations.  Maybe it doesn’t have to be this way.  But anyone who can eat a whole cake and then look unflinchingly at a photograph of a starving child with flies on its eyes may have bigger spiritual problems than just gluttony.

Ugh.  Sorry.  That was a downer.  Can you tell I was raised Catholic?  I never thought I would find myself agreeing with the Church on anything, but here I am, a doctrinaire believer in the essential wrongness of all seven sins.

So far I’ve finished five books, at a total of 720 pages.  That’s like 120 pages an hour.  I am almost guilty that I chose these small-format books, but in my defense, they did cover fairly weighty topics.  I’ll definitely be slowing down from here on out.  Now I’m reading a novel, The Song is You.

“Anger” and “Sloth”

April 18, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Wow, these skinny little books are panning out nicely!

Anger takes the Buddhist perspective on how to deal with this destructive emotion.  I enjoyed it, but there were sections I was only able to follow because I have some familiarity with the concepts.

Sloth was snort-inducingly funny!  Wendy Wasserstein took the perspective that sloth is actually something to be indulged and isn’t particularly a sin at all.  I laughed at nearly every sentence.  I could only wish the book was longer, but that’s hardly in keeping with the nature of sloth.  She would probably approve the fact that I read it in my PJs.

Now I’m reading Greed and finding that the notes make up nearly half the length of the book.  It’s… erudite.

“Envy”

April 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Nonfiction | 4 Comments

I finished my first book and started my second, all within the first two hours.  This may incite envy in you, but I assure you I feel it more for anyone who has read more than me, has a nicer blog, more readers, etc.

Envy is one part of a seven-book series on the seven deadly sins.  It is really funny and sly and it has a few cartoons.  It was a really good pick for a first book – it got my brain working and made me laugh.

My Stack

April 18, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Posted in Book Blather | 7 Comments

Man!  I get up at 4:45 am and my computer wants nothing to do with me!  First it freezes up just as I’ve logged in; then I reboot and think I’ve totally crashed, forgetting the memory card for my camera is still inserted; I figure that out, and then the rechargeable batteries in my optical mouse die!  Grrrrumble mumble mumble hate mornings mumble move to East Coast shtumble…

Anyway, here’s my stack.  You might notice it’s a bit dark.  That’s because, the sun, is smart enough, not to be up yet.

Oops, was that my out loud voice?

Read-a-Thon Stack, April 2009

Read-a-Thon Stack, April 2009

The other problem is that I’m at my house.  Last time I stayed at Rocket Scientist’s house.  He’d be the one with the nice computer, new camera, and fast internet connection.  And the pancakes, which I could use right now.

Here’s what you should be seeing:

my PDA, to track my time

Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan

Envy – Joseph Epstein

Anger – Robert A.F. Thurman

Greed – Phyllis A. Tickle

Gluttony – Francine Prose

Anti-Bride Etiquette Guide – Carolyn Gerin and Kathleen Hughes

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned – Wells Tower

The Song is You – Arthur Phillips

A Great Idea at the Time – Alex Beam

The Darkest Place – Daniel Judson

Five books at the top of the list are part of a series on the seven deadly sins.  The Sonoma County Library has no Pride.  There, I’ve said it.  I guess after someone loses a book, it only stays in the library system for a few years before the very record of it vanishes.  I also couldn’t seem to get ahold of Lust.  Out of four copies, they tried to send me the one from the furthest branch, about 80 miles away.  So there are only seven deadly sins.  Give me time and maybe I can whittle it down to three.

Anyway, I’m going to start reading now.  Either that or fall asleep on my couch with my mouth open.

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