I haven’t posted a reading list in a while. So, here’s what we’ve been up to in that department.
1. Mouseheart 2 (
Mouseheart follows the tale of Hopper. A quiet mouse who struggles to make friends as he gets caught up in a conflict between good and evil (cats, rats and mice). Mouseheart 2 takes off from there. One of the great many features of this series are the illustrations.
2. Gallipoli (Moorehead)
Alan Moorehead presents an historical recount of the events which lead to Australia’s first real engagement in combat as a nation. Australians had fought in the Boer war and the Sudan, but Gallipoli is remembered more solemnly because of its post-1901 federation significance. It also marks the beginning of Australia’s involvement in WW1. Gallipoli is considered a key event in the formulation of Australian cultural identity. In fact, Moorehead’s book is so well written, it only took me a couple of days to devour it. Dense, complex information spread out in uncomplicated text.
3. Blaxland, Lawson & Wentworth. Charles Sturt and John Oxley
These are three separate books. Each cover the life and exploits of key Australian explorers. B, L & W attempted to pave a way across the Blue Mountains West of Sydney. Sturt theorised that an inland sea existed in central Australia. Only to find upon further investigation endless desert. When it comes to explorers, John Oxley is about as local as we get. He was surveyor general and in the early 1800’s was responsible for establishing some of the penal colonies on the East Coast. I’m pleased with the series. It’s been a great local library find. They fill our Australian history quota and then some.
4. The Holocaust (Susan Willoughby)
For all the good that this book is, I was extremely disappointed with the lack of discussion about the persecution of Christians. Willoughby made special mention of minority groups, yet failed to mention the Christians and anti-Nazi groups who supported the Jews. It’s ridiculously irresponsible to jettison from the history those who risked their own lives in standing up for their faith,voicing strong opposition to the Nazi reign of terror. This serious omission aside, Willoughby does an excellent job in chronologically laying out what The Holocaust is about and why it’s important to remember it.
Documentaries for discussion:
1. The Panic Broadcast (American Experience: War of The Worlds)
August 1938, Orson Wells set out to retell the classic novel War of the worlds via radio theatre. He and his team did such a good job of it, that it’s said to have led to mass panic. Utilising the urgency and seriousness of the “news-flash” platform, Wells merged science-fiction with realism. This ended in Wells having to defend the decision to run the theatre production as a news cast. It’s good to revisit this and discuss the effects of mass media, propaganda. It’s also a good opportunity to talk about how we can apply where the Bible says to ‘test all things’ (1.Cor. 2:15) before subscribing to them.
Without General John Monash and his skillful leadership, our country would have a had very different story to tell about Australia’s involvement in WW1. With Monash’s tenacity and management skills, he lead Australian, Canadian and some American troops to some of the most successful counter-attacks against Germany during the Great War. His clash with racism, connection to the Australian troops and revolutionary battefield tactics are a tale worth long telling.
3. Rio Olympics highlights
Thanks to YouTube, we spent about an hour Chrome casting highlights from different sports. We also looked at Simone Biles and gymnastics.
What I’m reading:
1. Hollywood & Hitler (Thomas Doherty)
I only just started this one, but I’ve manged to draw enough from the first few chapters to illustrate fine-print parallels between the 1930’s and now. My hope is that this will be a book review in the near future. So much of Doherty’s research too mine.
2. Crusade in Europe: A Personal Account of WW2 (Dwight Eisenhower)
This book made it to my list because of its value as a primary document. This doesn’t have the same flow as Moorehead’s Gallipoli, but Eisenhower is a careful communicator. Eisenhower’s thoughts on leadership, America before the war and how politics affects battlefield operations show why George C. Marshall selected him for the role he was given.
3. Science, Politics & Gnosticism: Two Essays (Eric Voegelin)
These three essays are interrelated. Simply put, Voegelin hits out some great points about some key modern intellectual and mass movements. Labelling them gnostic he unpacks their philosophical roots such as Marx, Neitzche and Hobbes, to show how ideology displaces religion and in the process replaces it with a new religion.
In addition to those, there’s also Karl Barth’s CD 2/2 and Eberhard Bethge’s Biography of Deitrich Bonhoeffer.