Posts in: Reading

Finished reading: *The New Leviathans* by John Gray

Finished reading: The New Leviathans by John Gray. A book with no single overarching thesis beyond an examination of how liberal democracy is in crisis in the West, and how the alternatives at the moment, primarily Russia and China, are… unsavory. Gray’s book, just 3 brisk chapters, helpfully resuscitates Hobbes as interested in the wide range of forms Leviathan can take to provide order, peace, and freedom to its citizens. Unfortunately, all of these are more or less totalitarian—which is why Gray finds in Hobbes a helpful thinker for our age, in which the world is converging on forms of surveillance capitalism:

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Finished reading: The Bible and Poetry by Michael Edwards.

A fascinating and very idiosyncratic look at Scripture, from an unexpected quarter: Edwards is a member of the Académie Française and one of the world’s leading Racine scholars. If you’ve ever wondered why so much of the Bible is poetry, and how that fact should influence your reading of Scripture, this is a very good starting point.

Plus, anything published by New York Review is worth reading at least once. 📚

Finished reading: Meet Me at the Lighthouse by Dana Gioia.

A delightful collection of poems, songs, & a few translations. I especially loved the closing sequence, “The Underworld.” I read “The Ballad of Jesús Ortiz” aloud to me daughter, & she loved that. 📚