Reading in the Time of the Coronavirus
March 31, 2020:
These last weeks have been a whirlwind. We may feel as though our hearts and minds are spinning with all of the changing information, filling us with stress, worry and fear. However, we may also find ourselves locked in at home, which might offer us rare opportunities to read and think for awhile, if we commit to that.
It’s crucial to occupy our time not just with more news and scrolling, but with words that can fill us and help us understand the current situation within our broader history and perhaps our metaphysical condition. To that end, our staff has begun to assemble a list of texts, from novels and poems, to articles and theological texts. We will be keeping an inventory of all the entries here for easy access. They are also available on our Instagram page, Facebook page, and also through our email newsletter.
–The Skin of Our Teeth: A Play, by Thornton Wilder
–The Plague by Albert Camus
–Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
–The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
–Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
–The Cure for What Ails Us, by Lydia Dugdale (our special guest for this week’s Food for Thought Webinar!)
-He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.
–A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
–Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
–The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
-“To Hope” by John Keats
Week 4: Easter Edition
We hope your Easter season is off to a joyful start even amidst this time of social distancing. Our reading recommendation series for thoughtful, fruitful texts to encounter during this time continues this week with an Easter edition.
-John Updike’s poem, “Seven Stanzas at Easter“
-Josef Pieper’s In Tune With the World: A Theory of Festivity
-Christina Rossetti’s poem, “Easter Monday“
-Andrea Bocelli’s Quarantine Easter Concert at the Duomo in Milan
-Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
-The Royal Choral Society performs Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus virtually
Week 5: Mercy Edition
–A Prayer Journal by Flannery O’Connor
-John Henry Newman’s “The Dream of Gerontius“
-Edward Elgar’s oratorio “The Dream of Gerontius,” setting Newman’s poem to music, Part 1 and Part 2
-“Reasons for Reading the Decameron Even After Coronavirus Is Over” by Stephen Metzger on Church Life Journal
–The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
-Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son
–The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
–Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset
–Life of Anthony, St. Athanasius (Incidentally, Michelangelo’s first painting was inspired by St. Athanasius’s account of the life of Saint Anthony.)
–The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (playful staff debate and disagreement on this choice…)
–Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
–The Tables Turned, a poem by William Wordsworth
–The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
–In the House of Brede by Rumer Godden
–“Siciliana Da Antiche Danze Ed Arie Suite III” by Ottorino Respighi