I don’t know about folk grown in other religious persuasions, but I’ve always felt that we Catholics just naturally offer up fertile ground for laughter and cynics of all stripes. Surviving the apocalypse might require a strong tolerance for ruthless dissection of the sources of our beliefs and impulse for survival and fortunately Catholicism indulges our occasional (?) reliance on a glass (or two) of wine to soften the existential blows. Join me as you pour out a nice measure of your favorite vintage, lean back and launch into our September selection:
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, 1959
“Walter M. Miller's acclaimed SF classic A Canticle for Leibowitz opens with the accidental excavation of a holy artifact: a creased, brittle memo scrawled by the hand of the blessed Saint Leibowitz, that reads: "Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels--bring home for Emma." To the brothers of Saint Leibowitz, this sacred shopping list penned by an obscure, 20th-century engineer is a symbol of hope from the distant past, from before the Simplification, the fiery atomic holocaust that plunged the earth into darkness and ignorance. As 1984 cautioned against Stalinism, so 1959's A Canticle for Leibowitz warns of the threat and implications of nuclear annihilation. Following a cloister of monks in their Utah abbey over some six or seven hundred years, the funny but bleak Canticle tackles the sociological and religious implications of the cyclical rise and fall of civilization, questioning whether humanity can hope for more than repeating its own history. …Canticle is steeped in Catholicism and Latin, exploring the fascinating, seemingly capricious process of how and why a person is canonized.” Amazon.com
A Canticle for Leibowitz can be found in the New Orleans and Jefferson public libraries. It is available in several ebook editions and downloadable audio and can be bought online for $3 plus $3.99 shipping.
For those of you who find in difficult to live solely in the present moment I offer you a glimpse of future distractions: Our October read will be The Satanic Verses. Hmm…the devil lurks behind the October moon, right?
As always, you wonderful people, I ask you to be respectful of everyone in the group. RSVP Yes only if you truly plan to read the book and attend. If, for some reason, your plans change, please change the RSVP so that another happy reader may take your place. I am starting to delete members after 3 times no-show.