Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Horror BookTube Tag


Video in which I got tagged: https://youtu.be/sDeib98Wr5o

The Questions (Which I Ignored):
1. How and when did you get into horror?
2. What was the first horror book that you read?
3. What horror-related goodness can we expect from your channel?
4. Do you have any favourite themes or subgenres within horror?
5. Name an underrated horror novel or author.
6. Name an overrated horror novel or author.
7. Recommend three of your favourite horror novels.
8. Recommend a book for someone who is new to the horror genre.
9. Are there any book to film adaptations that you particularly loved or hated?
10. How do you discover new, or new to you, horror books?
11. What was the last horror book that you bought?
12. What horror book is at the top of your wishlist?
13. (Optional) Tag some people.

Some of the books mentioned and links to my reviews:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2017/11/frankenstein-by-mary-shelley.html

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-strange-case-of-dr-jekyll-and-mr.html

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2014/10/war-of-worlds-by-hg-wells.html

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-time-machine-by-hg-wells.html

The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2008/08/werewolf-of-paris-by-guy-endore.html

Slime by Joseph Payne Brennan
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2014/11/advanced-reading-slime-by-joseph-payne.html

The Hound of the Baskervilles
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2016/04/sherlock-holmes-complete-novels-and.html

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2008/01/i-am-legend-by-richard-matheson.html

Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2007/07/hearts-in-atlantis-by-stephen-king.html

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2006/04/dark-tower-i-gunslinger-by-stephen.html

The Stand by Stephen King
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2006/04/stand-by-stephen-king-complete-and.html

Addendum: Books I should've mentioned, but totally forgot about:
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2006/07/invasion-of-body-snatchers-by-jack.html

Vampire Blood Trilogy by Darren Shan
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2006/04/vampire-blood-trilogy-by-darren-shan.html

Tagged:
Graham Quigley
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_HjgJ-x9oNaMe8IHJayApw

Stripped Cover Lit:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzUPWU_SqbUvZw1pyi-ZVeg

Tags Playlist HERE:

Today in Hey! I Know that Guy!
My former pastor is currently in the national news.  His story is being reported on in publications across the country, for example, the Los Angeles Times:
Minneapolis pastor defrocked and his church expelled for permitting gay marriage
(Also in the New York Times: Minneapolis Church Expelled Over Support of Gay Marriage)

A few notes:
* I currently consider myself an agnostic, and so arguably no longer have a stake in Christian internecine feuds.  But I do feel like whether you're a Christian or not, you can't help but admire someone who is standing up for their beliefs.  I certainly do.  I feel great admiration for him in sticking to his principles in spite of the cost.

* Related to the above point: This guy has always been a class-act.  Dignified and authoritative, but also friendly and approachable.  Always calm, always knowledgeable, always caring.  I admired him back then, and I still do.
...all this in spite of the fact that, as I've moved from Christian to agnostic over the years, I've gone on to reject most of what he taught me about the Bible.
But then, there you go.  That's the thing, isn't it?  It just goes to show how little ideological alignment matters in human relations.  I once had a high school religion teacher, who told us: "Years from now, you won't remember any of the things I've taught you, but you'll remember how I treated you."  So true.

* Interestingly enough, the only issue I ever openly challenged him on was on this same exact issue: homosexuality.  I detailed the whole story at some length (and with a fair bit of digressions and rambling) in this old blog post HERE.
Either his opinions must have evolved over the years. Or perhaps he had more private sympathy for my position than he let on.  (I do remember him laying some stress on the fact that the denomination's official position on the issue had been to re-affirm that homosexuality was a sin, with the implication being that it was outside of his control.)

Monday, June 10, 2019

Started: Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener  (This is a re-read.  I've already read it and reviewed it once before HERE).


Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: Book Review (Scripted)



Video version of an old post (as I explained about HERE)
For the original post, see:
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2006/04/sound-and-fury-by-william-faulkner.html

Sunday is the Lord's Day--Interesting Random Facts
So, given the fact that throughout the Bible, the Sabbath is supposed to be on Saturday, why do we celebrate it on Sunday?
My 8th grade Bible teacher told us that the Church moved it to Sunday because Jesus rose again on a Sunday.
But I recently got into a discussion with a 7th Day Adventist about it.  And I began to think that the explanation my 8th grade Bible teacher gave us was probably a bit simplistic.  I mean, what was the history of this decision?  When were the church councils?  What was the debate?
(And funny, I thought, that I had never been intellectually curious about this before.  But a lot of things are like that, aren't they?  You can go for years without thinking about something, and then suddenly get curious about it one day.)

My 7th Day Adventist friend told us that the whole reason the Catholic Church moved it to Sunday in the first place was because they were trying to co-opt the Roman day of Sun worship.  (Sunday was also the Sun Day in the classical Roman calendar as well.)  This actually sounds plausible enough.  The early church co-opted a number of ancient pagan holidays and rituals.  (Easter and Christmas were both former pagan holidays that the Church co-opted, for example).

According to Wikipedia, no one really knows when or why the early Church switched the Lord's Day to Sunday.  It was just one of those things that got established somewhere in early Christian tradition, and then people have been guessing about the reason ever since.  The theory about Jesus rising from the dead on Sunday is one plausible explanation.  But the theory of trying to co-opt the Sun worship day is also plausible, and apparently Constantine's edict officially moving the Lord's Day to Sunday was also influenced by Pagan Sun Worship.

Either way, it is an odd Church tradition that is explicitly in conflict with numerous Biblical texts both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
I mean, sure, Christianity broke with Judaism on any number of traditions.  But usually there is some scripture in the New Testament that explicitly justifies that break.  We don't get circumcised anymore because Paul wrote in the New Testament that gentiles no longer have to get circumcised.  We don't keep Kosher laws anymore because Peter had a vision in the book of Acts that he could eat unclean meat.

But the day of rest on Sunday?  There is nothing in the Old or New Testament to justify this.  (Jesus and Paul both kept the traditional Sabbath day.)  And there is tons of stuff in the Bible about remembering the Sabbath day and keeping it holy.  Like, it's a really, really big reoccurring theme throughout the Bible.  And also seems to be implicitly supported in the New Testament by the respect Jesus and Paul give to the Sabbath.  So.... kind of strange that the early Church just disregarded it for some unknown reason, right?


Bonus Interesting Random Fact
...Speaking of  7th Day Adventists, there is a lot of interesting stuff on Wikipedia about 7th Day Adventists.  Check out this whole long article on "The Great Disappointment" about what happened when Jesus did not return on October 22, 1844.

Monday, June 03, 2019

This Gun for Hire by Graham Greene: Book Review (Scripted)



Video version of an old post (as I explained about HERE)
For the original post, see:
http://joelswagman.blogspot.com/2006/04/this-gun-for-hire-by-graham-greene.html

Today in Hey! I know that Guy!...
My co-worker Niall Mackay has started up his own podcast about life in Ho Chi Minh City, entitled: Seven Million Bikes; A Saigon Podcast
Follow the link to listen.  If anyone is curious about what life is like out here in Vietnam, this will be interesting to listen to.
Steve Reads (a.k.a. Steve Donoghue)
A 2019 Iliad Read-Along: Part 1!



This is a brilliant little commentary on what makes the Iliad so fascinating. 

Interesting that Steve reads the Iliad every June.  I read it twice as a youngster, but I have picked it up since high school, so my own memories of the Iliad are over 20 years old now.  I feel like I remember it really vividly, but I'm probably due for a re-read at some point.

The translation I read, by the way, is below.  It's a prose translation, so if you want something that tries to re-capture the rhythm and meter, this one isn't for you.  But I enjoyed it.