Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Fr Justin of Nova et Vetera has tagged me. Just as he is not often tagged neither am I. So here are my selections:

Three fiction books everyone should read:

1. Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Mark Haddon

Can`t think of a third at the minute. I`m not a great reader of fiction.

Three non-fiction books everyone should read:

1 The Restoration of Christian Culture John Senior
2. Daily Life in Papal Rome in the Eighteenth Century Maurice Andrieux
3 The Two Catholic Churches: A Study in Oppression Antony Archer

(Also Moreschi: The Last Castrato Nicholas Clapton and Samuel Johnson by John Wain)

I read the John Senior book in an afternoon in 1984 at the monastery of Le Barroux. It is still a source of inspiration to me. It is now hard to get hold of. The Andrieux book is fascinating and very entertaining. The Archer book, written in 1986, is largely an account of the post Vatican 2 life of St Dominic`s parish in Newcastle and how the working class was alienated by the reforms. The book on Moreschi gives a fascinating insight into the life of the papal court at the end of the nineteenth century especially the conflict between the establishment and the new Cecilian movement led by Perosi.

Three authors everyone should read:
1 Joseph Ratzinger
2 H.V. Morton
3 Tom Stoppard
(Also perhaps Raymond Chandler, the Carmina Burana and Wendy Cope)

Three authors that I can’t get on with (but would like to be able to):
1. Jane Austen
2. Ovid
3. St Teresa of Avila

I always take the life of St Teresa with me away on retreat and always think " This is rather good. Why did I have problems before? " and then always get derailed about the same place. It`s only really the Metamorphoses of Ovid that I struggle with: I really want to enjoy it but never manage to as much as I would like.

Three films everyone should see:
1. Amadeus
2. Culloden
3. Branagh`s film of Love`s Labour`s Lost
( Also Kubrick`s Barry Lyndon)

I know Kenneth Branagh ruins the film by looking far too old to play Berowne but there is much I enjoyed here although generally the critics did not.


Anonymous said...

Brideshead! Wow...our first read for our Catholic Women's Book Club...wonderful...

Jeffrey Smith said...

H.V.Morton! I'll certainly agree there.

Fr Justin said...

On your recommendation I tried to find a copy of Senior's book; at Abebooks.com, the cheapest copy is about $175. It MUST be good! But I couldn't really afford that much, I'm afraid.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Fr justin, I`m amazed at that. I hope it gets reprinted one day. I lent my copy a few years ago to a family whose dog chewed it to pieces. They bought me a replacement: I hope they didn`t pay as much!

Anonymous said...

Surely "Forest Murmurs", who is clearly something of a Wagnerian, should favour us with his musical delectations as well?

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to find another Morton fan!

I am trying to read In Search of England as slowly as possible because I know it is one of those books which I will find terribly disappointing to end.

I've got nine of his.

Anonymous said...

and I had no idea that Senior was so sought after. I am about half way through "Death of..." but have been treating it abominably for such a valuable book. It's been banging around in my purse for weeks.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Hilarity, you can relax. The Death of Christian Culture is available on abebooks at £4.65.

Anonymous said...

Which Stoppard plays do you recommend, Father? (I take it you don't mean his only published novel, Lord Malquist and Mr Moon which is pretty disappointing...)

Fr Michael Brown said...

Anonymous,I wasn`t aware of the novel by Stoppard. Sorry to hear it is disappointing: the synopsis looks quite interesting. I first came across Stoppard in my teens when I was very excited by `Rosencrantz and Guildenstern`. I saw it a few years ago on stage and, maybe it was a bad production, but it didn`t excite me in the way it had. I used to have some friends who were keen on Stoppard too and I got to know `Arcadia` through them. After that I saw `The real thing` which I also enjoyed. Of those I`ve read `The Invention of Love` I also enjoyed. I`ve struggled with `Hapgood`. I`ve quite enjoyed `Night and Day`. I`ve yet to catch up on his latest two plays. I`ve also been meaning to read some of the older ones especially `Jumpers` and `Travesties`. I think I`ll order them from Amazon now!