I read two books during my enforced leave of absence in August when I couldn’t get my computer connection to work.  The first was Towards The Light by A. C. Grayling, his history of the progress of the liberal tradition from Torquemada to the twenty-first century.  Fascinating and meaty reading.  He went into detail into how religious leaders like Torquemada and Calvin created an environment in which seekers of freedom and justice had to resist to create their safe places.  Painful reading as a Presbyterian reader to acknowledge flaws in my spiritual ancestors (John Calvin).  The length of time describing this and the later century meant that the developments of the nineteenth century felt rushed to me.  I was sorry for that imbalance.  I was glad to read it.  His description of the liberal tradition continues to influence me.

The second book was On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers.  This title had been used as part of the recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  The book proved to be rollicking fun and I got into it quite quickly.  I could imagine Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom as the lead characters, or Ian McShane as this version of Blackbeard.  I enjoyed the book although I haven’t seen the movie to make a comparison.

Both books were borrowed from friends.

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