Monday

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New Book

Many years ago, I was drawn to Martin Buber and Max Picard. Buber, I met in an Alpena, Michigan, bookstore, picking up his I and Thou for fifty cents and reading it on the cottage’s couch the rest of vacation. Knowing nothing about Buber at the time, I didn’t understand all (much) of it, but I knew I was reading something beautiful. Picard, I met through Russell Kirk. I knew what to expect, but again, like my experience with Buber, I had difficulty understanding him, though I knew I was reading beauty.

“Poetic philosophy” is what I think some people call books like Buber’s and Picard’s: books that are more concerned with beautiful turns than with technical precision. Truth can never be captured precisely, so poetic philosophy isn’t less truthful than ordinary prose. It just “attacks” truth from a different angle.

Anyway, it was about probably 15-20 years ago that I was drawn to Buber and Picard. In my youthful ambition, I decided to imitate their books. The result was Two Men. It was never a completed work. Heck, it was never even a consistent work, since my approach frequently lapsed into straight prose and anecdotes and analysis, with no poetry and even less philosophy.

But it’s not bad for an early work, especially if you like quotes and anecdotes by and about the saints and philosophers. I never tried to have it published, but I have formatted it into an ebook and posted it to Amazon (Link) and Smashwords (Link), where you can download it in whatever form you want (pdf, Nook, Kindle, etc.).

Unlike Beer Man, this is a book you can browse. Pick it up, read some from the middle, jump to the end. Whatever. It’s a light read, yet a religious read. I was heavily influenced by Eastern Orthodoxy at the time, so my Orthodox readers should especially enjoy it.

And unlike Beer Man, I do not think it’s a good book and it’s certainly not a fun book. I think it’s a decent and edifying book, but that’s the extent of my honest assessment. If you don’t want another religious book on your electronic bookshelf, I wouldn’t expect you to buy it. But if you do, the support is appreciated.

One additional note: I’ve often thought it would make a good high school theology primer. You might want to consider it for your teenager, but it would need to be a teenager with a scholarly bent.

Miscellany

Six famous fictional characters and their mental illnesses. Humorous, but kinda interesting at the same time: “We’re not the only ones who think he shows up on the autism spectrum. Holmes’ hyper-keen observational skills, social mannerisms and overall personality have fueled Asperger’s rumors everywhere from Holmes fan forums to Asperger’s support forums.”

I tried a great beer Friday night: Cass River Blonde Ale, from the Frankenmuth Brewery. Easily the smoothest beer I’ve ever tasted. The Brooklyn Brown Ale that I also drank was pretty darn good, but the Blonde Ale blew me away.

Ready for the next emergency? FEMA has guidelines for preparing your own water supply. They’re easy to follow. Mary Kochan at Catholic Lane says the bottles could be good for up to five years. Let’s face it, if an emergency hits, you’re gonna want a lot of beer, which will dehydrate you, so you’ll need lots of water, too. Play the Boy Scout: Be prepared.