“An eighth and eternal day, consecrated by the Resurrection of Christ. . . there we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise.” That’s St. Augustine’s City of God. I found it in a forgotten treasure: The Eighth Day Books catalog.
It’s a forgotten treasure because I got dumped from their mailing list years ago and kind of forgot about them. Quite unfortunate. Their annual catalog isn’t just a catalog: it’s a piece of literature, seriously. I’d pay money for it. $2.95? $4.95? $9.95? I don’t know. I just know it’s the best piece of free mail you’ll ever receive: 170 pages of book reviews, choice quotes from choice authors, literature, history, philosophy, religion . . . wisdom. Think I’m exaggerating? Go to their site and download the pdf version of the catalog. It’s great stuff.
Did you know there’s a History of Walking? It’s written by anthropologist Marvin Harris. You can read about it on page 5. How about a collection of essays by Czeslaw Milosz? Go to page 148, read the synopsis, and see this great line: “[T]he science of life depends on the gradual discovery of fundamental truths.” Did you know von Balthasar called Vladimir Solovyov the greatest philosopher since Aquinas? I didn’t. I learned it on page 125. The same goes for this tidbit: The Pseudo-Dionysius is the most often-cited author in the writings of Aquinas after Aristotle (page 121). I was very surprised to read that the man who wrote the devout Three Stages of the Interior Life had a “pugilistic style in theological debate” and earned the epithet “sacred monster of Thomism” (see page 120). You may have heard of the Optina monastery in Russia, but did you know there’s an Optina Elder Series? Read about it, and glean great quotes, on page 110.
My apologies for gushing. A friend passed along the catalog to me last Friday on a lark, giving it to my high school son to give to me. When he handed it to me with a somewhat puzzled look on his face, I was ecstatic. “It’s a book catalog, Dad.” “Alex, it’s not just a book catalog. It’s a serious piece of writing.”
In the past three days, I’ve spent well over an hour, just strolling through its pages. If you get a chance, check out the site and place an order. It’s on my “to do” list, and I’m kicking myself for not supporting this excellent bookseller more. Anyone who loves books and wisdom as much as these folks, anyone who passes along excellent reading advice by the shelf-load like these folks, merits patronage.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList
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