I guess I must have been a good boy this past year because I’ve been having very good luck in my book-hunting the last few weeks. Between my favorite thrift stores and the local library, I’ve acquired some very nice volumes to add to my library.
Perhaps my favorite is an annotated copy of Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick or The Whale,” (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1976, 1967.) It was illustrated by Warren Chappell and includes a commentary by Howard Mumford Jones, who taught at Harvard University from 1936 until 1962. It’s a hard cover with the dust jacket still in decent condition. It also has a nice inscription reading, “A classic worthy of you, your attention, and retention. Merry Christmas, 1975. Jack and Margaret.”
I guess you could say it was re-gifted. Thank you very much.
But wait, there’s more! Anyone familiar with Winston Churchill knows that not only was he a brilliant leader, but he was also an accomplished writer and historian. Perhaps his most famous work is his four-volume “History of the English-Speaking Peoples.” Fortunately for me, Barnes & Noble put out a well-done single-volume of that massive undertaking back in 1994. It was arranged by noted historian Henry Steele Commager and follows the main stream of Churchill’s work. Commager included the chapters on Alfred the Great, Richard the Lion-Hearted, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and George Washington, among many others. Purists may sniff at me – I have a friend who has read all four volumes more than once – but for someone with limited time it’s the perfect format.
Finally, for now at least, I picked up what looks to be a fascinating read, “The Brother of Jesus: The Dramatic Story & Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus & His Family,” (HarperSanFrancisco, 2003). It was co-written by two pretty big names in the fields of biblical archaeology and theology: Hershel Shanks and Ben Witherington III. It’s the story of an ancient limestone ossuary, or burial box, that bears the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” As the promo on the back cover of the book says, “Could this be the first tangible proof of Jesus’ existence?” I love this kind of book!
Well, that’s all for now. I’ll fill you in another time on more of the books I’ve managed to get my hands on. Plus with Christmas around the corner, you can guess what I might find under the tree!
Merry Christmas all!