On my nightstand

On my nightstand lies a pile of books that I am slowly, yet methodically, working though. Here are four that I have finished or will finish soon and would recommend for your nightstand collection too.

Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years…Christianity: The First 3000 Years by Diamaid McColloch This may be the best single volume overview of church history I’ve read. I particularly liked that McColloch follows the Christian communities outside of Europe like the Coptics in Egypt and the ancient churches in India and China, of which I had almost no knowledge. Vast in size and scope and yet eminently readable.


Indiscretion: A Novel by Charles DubowIndiscretion by Charles Dublow Reminded me a bit of The Great Gatsby – rich people, the Hamptons, adultery, personal ruin. Well written, too. Picked it up on a whim after seeing it on the new book display at the library.


Against the Day by Thomas PynchonAgainst the Day by Thomas Pynchon Yes, I know I started this six months ago, read 200 pages and gave up in a fit of perplexia. With a little distance, not to mention the help of several wikis devoted to ATD and all things Pynchon, I’ve taken it up again. It’s going down much better this time.


Franny and Zooey by J. D. SalingerFranny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger Last month saw my first reading of Philip K Dick; this month I’m reading Salinger for the first time. And, in the spirit of Salinger let me just say, ‘God dammit, how did I get through high school and college without reading about the Glass family?’


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