favorite kindle frenzy blogs
Violence on the Decline? - where I subject Stephen's Pinkers The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined to a bit of scrutiny.
Kreuzweg - a lament over the new film that appears to do nothing but regurgitate Germany's inbred theophia.
Nietzsche on the Pre-Socratics and Nietzsche and the Pre-Socratics ii - which, I hope, bridges an important gap between the philological and the musical in the early work of Nietzsche.
Musings on Lyotard's Differend - an overview and critique of Lyotard's The Differend written in the style of Lyotard.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - the mother lode, by domain experts.
Perseus Collection - Greek and Latin classics in the original with integrated parsing lexicons.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews - weighty reviews of weightier books.
Petrucci Music Library - free scans of out of copyright works, which is, like, everything. Scores and individual parts.
The New Atlantis - science & tech get a circumspect review
Audible - put your commute to work.
Project Gutenberg - should you ever run out of ebooks. Free.
Internet Archive - more free books, old radio shows, etc.
Los Angeles Review of Books, New York Times Review of Books, New York Review of Books, London Review of Books - had I but world enough and time.
Real Clear Politics - does the legwork for you. Opinion pieces of every stripe.
Anamnesis - articles of varying quality.
Aeon - pithy articles on politics, history, etc., pretty much entirely from card-carrying leftists.
smarter catholic sites
Edward Feser - at home both in contemporary and Thomist philosophy. An inspiration for Kindle Frenzy.
First Things - higher order religious punditry.
Just Thomism - frequent and pithy.
The Smithy - inveterate Scotists.
Dominicana Blog - OP's online.
Scholastiker - germanophone Thomism.
Aquinas' Works in English - and Latin/English, and Greek/English-Latin/English, such as in the Aristotle Commentaries.
vatican.va - Catechism, Code of Canon Law, Encyclicals, the works.
BigPulpit.com - headlines and blogs from the Catholic orthodoxy. Which means you have to sift through a fair amount of mere venting to hit the pay dirt.
Crisis Magazine - satisfying the Catholic need for screed. But occasionally Patrick Alliit and Anthony Esolen contribute, making it all worth while.
Word on Fire - Fr. Robert Barron's site. His weekly homily, usually available by Saturday, makes for nice cognitive priming.
Live Action - see what abortionists actually say when you schedule an appointment by phone or go in for one, and start to ask lots of probing questions.
catholic.com - apologetics portal, sometimes useful for getting the skinny on specific questions or general topics. Where "skinny" just as often means "lacking in nuance".
Books & Audiobooks
The Unity of Philosophical Experience, Etienne Gilson - cure any delusion you have that the moderns were doing something new. Unparalleled introduction to Descartes along the way.
En Route, J.K. Huysmans - a Parisian voluptuary with troubles distinguishing between religion and aesthetic taste catches the scent of the Trappist life.
Unterwerfung/Submission, Michel Houellebecq - a Parisian voluptuary and Huysmans scholar is enticed to conversion by the Islamist takeover of the Sorbonne, in a dystopian parallel to Huysmans’ own conversion story, only this time under the pressure—and promise—of a return to patriarchy. But, as Ross Dothan asked, is this really a true patriarchy, "where you have to shoulder real burdens as the price of your authority” or is it rather "just play-act patriarchy with a giggling child bride or three while still drawing a government salary and living in a rent-stabilized apartment in a safe modern city?"
Antic Hay, Aldous Huxley - it’s like all the characters that didn’t make the cut for The Waste Land joined up to pursue their pointless and dissolute London existences together. Otherwise all the pedantry and style I’ve come to love in Huxley’s works. I was prompted to read it by its mention in Brideshead Revisited.
Marx: A Very Short Introduction, Peter Singer: meh.
Das Parfum, Patrick Süskind. A sort of Humbert Humbert meets Hannibal Lecter meets Quasimodo story, in which the deformed but prodigiously talented Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is driven by his talent to a life of violent crime, all told with great flourish.
The Perennial Philosophy, Aldous Huxley - liberal portions of erudition and dazzle heaped atop a rickety platform: the total failure to distinguish the preternatural from the supernatural, real distinctions from logical distinctions; and I imagine a host of other things.
Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez - one of the rare ones.
Hostage to the Devil, Malachi Martin - damn stunning writing even if these five accounts of recent exorcisms turned out to be entirely made up.
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill (Vols I & II), William Manchester - where to begin? And while I'm on Manchester don't forget The Arms of Krupp and The Glory and the Dream.
A History of Philosophy, Frederick Copleston - the man's ability to hit the nail on the head, again and again, across the whole sweep of Western philosophy - including some pretty obscure figures - is downright staggering.
De Trinitate, Boethius - usually taken to be a creature of the High Middle Ages, scholasticism was already quite mature in the 6th century. And Aristotle not at all forgotten.
The Double, Fyodor Dostoyevsky - experience a mental breakdown from the inside. Every bit as disorienting as Kafka at his best. Check out Stefan Rudnicki's stunning performance at Audible.
Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell - never go to a restaurant staffed by the wretched and barely employed.
The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?, Jared Diamond - puts civilization nicely in perspective by examining its most primitive expressions. A bit heavy on personal anecdote for my taste. Perhaps unintentionally a paean to the state's monopoly on legitimate physical violence.
The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America, Roger Kimball - Everyone needs to know what happened at Cornell in 1969.
The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism, Edward Feser - High snark-levels risk alienating those who stand most to benefit from this otherwise magisterial response to popular atheism. Doubles as nice intro to Thomism.
You Are Not a Gadget, Jaron Lanier - a techie’s plea for greater humanist sensibilities in the world of tech. Coins “lock-in”, the paradoxical disempowerment that comes through technological empowerment.
Great Masters: Beethoven - His Life and Music, Robert Greenberg, for The Great Courses. Works his mastery of the technical and historical facts into a darned entertaining shtick. Actually dissects the works themselves -- a rarity -- doing what-if speculations at the keyboard. His lectures on Mozart and Haydn are just as good.
God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss, David Bentley Hart - classical theism without the craven confessionalism of some apologists. Heavy on the contingency argument (the way it should be).
Something Other than God, Jennifer Fulweiler - An atheist from childhood converts to orthodox Catholicism. Popular misinformation posing one of the greater obstacles.
Die Taube, Patrick Süskind - a reclusive security guard has his life torn from the hinges by a pigeon.
Der blonde Eckbert, Ludwig Tieck - strange things are afoot in the Harz Mountains. Ditto for Der Runenberg.
Schachnovelle, Stefan Zweig - a mysterious figure succumbs to chess poisoning.
Sources of the Self, Charles Taylor - the great Canadian firehose chronicles the demise of the porous self.
Platon, Paul Friedländer - Multi-volume overview of Plato by Gadamer's other teacher. Packed with great insights.
Le Morte d'Arthur, Thomas Malory - a guilty pleasure. But ask yourself: is Merlin good or evil?
Confessions of a Philosopher, Bryan Magee - doesn't confess anything at all, but instead gives a nice, informal overview of modern philosophy, especially academic philosophy in the 20th century. Magee recounts with enthusiasm his personal discovery of Schopenhauer.
Sternstunde der Menschheit, Stefan Zweig - anecdotes of remarkable, sometimes obscure, events in history. Read it in German, if possible, or read my own English translation of Chapter 12: Battle for the South Pole.
The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe - so absorbed was I in this history of test pilots and astronauts that I didn’t notice that I had missed the final stop and was sitting alone in the train farther down the tracks, idling.
Moby Dick, Herman Melville - sprawling, poetic, enigmatic. Make of it what you will.
Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America, Ann Coulter - pseudo-academic straw man attack on the left packed with rimshot humor. I actually got a lot out of it.
Curious George at the Beach, Margret and H.A. Rey - George is hookwinked by sea-gulls. Betsy learns to swim in the ocean. “Illustrated in the style of H. A. Rey by Vipah Interactive”, that is, illustrated to reflect the rise of PC sensibilities. The Man in the Yellow Hat has quit smoking and hunting and standers-by are no longer just white.
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, Jeff Guinn - Manson’s devotion to Dale Carnegie, which he employed so effectively in forming his family, makes you wonder whether Carnegie was not peddling friendship but rather manipulation.
The Conservative Tradition, Patrick Allitt, for The Great Courses audiobook series. Hits all the big names from Burke to Thatcher, veritably pelting you with remarkable facts. I kept on pulling over to take notes. I'd recommend it over Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot, though the two together make for an interesting comparison.
Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching, Anthony Esolen - a meditation on a large body of documents of Leo XIII that seeks to wrest Catholic social teaching from the hands of Vatican II trajectorists.
Some Music I Love
C minor Octet - Mozart; Winterreise & Schwanengesang - Schubert. Miroirs - Ravel; Preludes - Rachmaninov; St. John Passion - Bach; Pierrot Lunaire - Schoenberg;