Six books I'm excited to read
1. Malcolm Guite, Sounding the Seasons.
2. Marjorie Garber, Patronizing the Arts.
3. John Trapani, Jr., Poetry, Beauty, & Contemplation: The Complete Aesthetics of Jacques Maritain
If you want to understand the current relationship between Christianity and the arts, you need to understand the early twentieth-century French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain. The French ambassador to the Vatican from 1945-1948, he taught at the Institut Catholique de Paris, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame and Princeton University, yet finished out his years as a member of the Little Brothers of Jesus in Toulouse, France. Perhaps more important than his impressive resume, he's arguably the single most influential thinker on Catholic artists of the late twentieth century (and perhaps Protestant ones too). Trapani offers a significant introduction to his life and work.
4. Robert Charles Wilson, Spin.
I recently finished Robert Charles Wilson's Bios. I immediately placed him at the top of my "interesting ideas and good writing" list, which unfortunately rarely characterizes works of speculative fiction. Spin won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2005, and after a hundred pages, I'm fully hooked.
5. Alan Fadling, An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest.
6. John Calvin's New Testament Commentaries. I just bought the whole lot (for a steal of a price) and I'm looking forward to reading through the interstices of Calvin's thinking on the work of the Spirit to constitute the humanity of Christ and our own humanity too.
Here's, then, to a good summer of fun reading projects. If you've discovered any exceptional art-related books, I'd love to hear about them.