Yesterday evening, I finished reading Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie, a murder mystery set in Roman Britain, somewhat before the construction of Hadrian's Wall. Not as good as some mysteries set in the Roman Empire, but almost.
I followed that this morning with Osprey New Vanguard #45: Union Monitor1861 – 65, moderately interesting. There are actual photographs from the period and later, which was interesting. One of the last of these vessels was taken out of mothballs and joined a parade of ships before being finally scrapped. I continue with my prejudice against the American Civil War as a topic, though, and so I didn't much enjoy reading this book.
51. Delio - Clare Of Assisi: A Heart Full Of Love
A great book about a saint who said a lot with very few writings left behind; definitely got a clearer picture and a lot of inspiration.
52. Kincaid - Among Flowers: A Walk In The Himalaya
Gathering flowers to bring home, well told. Loved this. :)
53. Thompson & Maloney - The Game Of Mah Jong Illustrated
Clear and simple instructions on this game, and although I don't think I will get to play it ever, I really wanted to have a guide on the game, and this does the job very well, with good pictures.
54. Hirschstein - The Pocket Idiot's Guide To 108 Yoga Poses
Ignoring the 'om' stuff, the illustration and guides to each pose was clear and I'd recommend this book :)
55. Wigginton & students (eds.) - A Foxfire Christmas: Appalachian Memories & Traditions
Probably the best for those seeking to make their Christmases follow their lifestyle of increased simplicity, and for those wanting to know past history, it's a heartwarming, short good read for every reader.
56. Ward - The Sayings Of The Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection
Although we can't (and shouldn't) follow all the various tips included in the sayings, this might inspire us to lead a better life anyway. I definitely got something out of this. My book was not the Penguin version; I liked the alphabetical order-style a lot.
57. The Song Of Roland (Merwin transl.)
Each scene reads like it should be accompanied by some picture; and the story itself is pretty much one piece of a mirror showing the conflict between Christianity and Islam, and some misunderstandings Europe had on the latter (like thinking it was a god-goddess, two-god religion, and getting some names wrong), much like they must've had on Jewish people. Anyway, it was a slim, not-heavy read, and certainly part of our history, however exaggerated or invented - part of the truth(s) always shine through :)
58. St Nicodemos Of The Holy Mountain - A Handbook Of Spiritual Counsel (English translation)
I did get some views on how to appreciated wild nature and a few other things, but one really should buy it only after reading it, for the following reasons:
not really showing the down side of asceticism, not quite understanding how hunger works, the somewhat funny belief that too-good food could make one change to another belief or make one gay (really?), not really believing in the benefits of baths - and thinking that good monks always smell good without it, being against keeping pets or favorite plants, believing that secular songs were all bad and immoral, frowning on laughter of *any* kind (just because Jesus was never mentioned laughing doesn't mean he didn't), the use of the word "effeminate", believing that one thinks with one's heart (brain doesn't do it), that Bible writers' humanity never influenced their writings, that the Fathers could never do wrong
That said, I still could read all of it, got those good hints out of it, and got some view on Greek history, so it was worth reading. Will still go in my 'donate to the library' pile anyway.
59. Darton - Sock's Feline Miscellany: A Purrody (Finnish translation)
Various cat facts, with some facts that involve Finnish cat owner world included. And not just about domestic cats, but for example the evolution family tree and some animals and other things that just have cat-sounding names without being feline at all. Interesting and light read.
60. Venerable Fr. Germanus - The Life Of St. Gemma Galgani (English translation)
A bit long-feeling sometimes, but definitely through, picture of the saint's life, much more so than with many other saints. And inspiring. :)