Mar. 17th, 2012

notthemarimba: Mark Gatiss in LoG looking fab (suspiciousladygatiss)
 Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology- Margaret and Paul Toscano
I think this technically should have gone on my last post but somehow it got left off. I have Lots of Feelings about this book. Out of most of the liberal-Mormon-theology (I reserve the right to hyphenate with a vengeance, okay) that I've read, I feel that this is the book that most acknowledges current mainstream Mormon ideology and practice and engages with it effectively, and has one of the most thoughtfully-argued cases for women holding the priesthood I've ever read. My one wish would have been for some discussion of homosexuality in the church, but it's a small complaint in a book I otherwise loved.
 
 
The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 - John L. Brooke
A history of the ideological roots of the early LDS church, specifically its roots in earlier religious sects and associations with folk magic, freemasonry, and counterfeiting. It also explores how well the regional culture was situated to receive the church at the time. This book is freaking fantastic. Like, I finished it and immediately was looking it up online to see if it was reasonable for me to purchase so I would never have to have it too far from me. It's just so incredibly thorough and well-researched and concisely compiles information I've seen scattered across so many different places into one well-organized location. 
 
The Honourable Schoolboy- John Le Carre
It was nice to read this at the same time as [personal profile] wrabbit , even though I think I hated it more than she did. I did warm up to it toward the middle, when Jerry Westerby briefly becomes the least awful character we're interacting with (before he snaps). Overall though I much preffered the parts of the book devoted to Guillam being annoyed with everyone and Fawn punching people.

The New Kings of Nonfiction- edited by Ira Glass
Read in the middle of The Honourable Schoolboy to take a break from being annoyed by Jerry. This book is such a mixed bag. Chuck Klosterman's piece on Val Kilmer remains one of the weirdest, most delightful things I've ever read, and Michael Lewis's piece on a 15-year-old in trouble with the stock market was really interesting, but most of the other pieces just kind of seemed pointless (oh, you were a hostess at a nice restaurant for a year? Please, regale us with anecdotes that go nowhere!). Also, I still think Malcolm Gladwell is an incredibly boring writer whose conclusions are often dubious. So there. 
 
Caramelo- Sandra Cisneros
Lent to me by my roommate after he figured out I hadn't read anything by her since The House on Mango Street in middle school English. It was good bus-reading, and there were no characters I wanted to punch in the neck, which was a nice change from The Honourable Schoolboy. 
 
The Sanctity of Dissent- Paul Toscano
Collection of addresses given at BYU events and Sunstone symposiums, including the specific address that got him excommunicated. Highly recommended, especially "Silver and Gold Have I None" (on the principle of tithing and his misgivings on the topic, which is a topic I feel is rarely addressed in Mormon discourse) and "Dealing With Spiritual Abuse". 

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January 2013

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