Happy Birthday to Me!

I am 24 and They Might Be Giants have a heartwarming message for me:

Just like last year, I’m spending my birthday at a CFAR workshop, so we’ll see if anyone tops last year’s rendition of the Happy Birthday song: “May you live to be omega, may you live to be omega…”


I’ll add, in a terribly self-serving way, that I have a list of books I mean to read and review here at Amazon.  And if you particularly want me to get to one… there are ways of making that happen.  (But if a bunch of you do it at once, there will be a bit of a lag).  You can nominate books you think I should have on the list in the comments.  Book recommendations are the best gifts!  (Including non-blog-relevant ones).

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  • Happy Birthday! Ad multos annos!

  • LOL! I wish I was 24 again. I’m more than double that. There’s a way better song than that. Happy birthday! Time waits for no one.

    But it may be a generational thing.

  • Melody

    I vote for “Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved.” And a recommendation; one I am reading right now: “God and Time: Four Views” edited by Gregory Ganssle.

    Happy birthday, Leah!

  • Liberty

    Happy Birthday & God bless you!! x

  • Joe

    Happy Birthday Leah!! You’re birthday spankins might help with your anti-gnostism goals!!
    A good book you might enjoy is “Pillar of Fire” by Karl Stern you can probably find it in your parish or diocesan library.


    I think “Fragmentation and Redemption” looks the most interesting on your list, however “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” is a close second.

  • Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday, dear Leah,
    Happy birthday to you.

    From your list, my vote is for /Mind and Cosmos/. But my recommendation is always, and forever (until you read it or I read something better), Borges’s “Collected Fictions.” If you do want to read this but don’t want to read the whole thing, I could give you a top twenty list, focusing on theology, mathematics, aesthetics, translation, and paradoxes.
    Though actually, given your interests, maybe Hiromi Goto’s /Half World/ might be a better recommendation. It’s YA fantasy which might not be about the Christian vision of Hell, redemption, and personal transformation, but certainly gives one a lot to think about along those lines. It is not an emotionally easy read, though. I should warn you of that.

    • RED

      I know I’m not Leah, but I’ve been interested in reading Borge for a while, and it would be great to know a good place to start. You don’t have to give me a top twenty list, but a few good ones would be great.

      • No, you’re getting a top twenty list. I couldn’t possibly pare it down any further. But I can’t compose it tonight, or even until next week, likely, so for now I’ll give you “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” “The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim” (esp. if you have a fondness for wandering sages/Jesus- and Buddha-like figures), “The Library of Babel” (esp. if you like /Story of Your Life and Others/), “Death and the Compass,” “Story of the Warrior and the Captive Maiden” (which almost certainly isn’t what you expect it to be), “The Maker,” and “The Book of Sand.” These are in chronological order, and Borges, as an author, becomes much calmer, more patient, and more sympathetic as an author as time goes on. “The Book of Sand” might be an exception to this trend (or any of these might be), but it’s worth pointing out. My favourites of these are “Menard,” “Al-Mu’tasim,” “Warrior,” and “Maker.”

  • Martha O’Keeffe

    Many happy returns! Only 24, eh? You’re still only young! 🙂

    My personal recommendation would be The Stripping of the Altars by Eamonn Duffy, but that’s as much for historical and political (Irish versus English versions of our shared history) as religious (Catholic versus Protestant) reasons.

    What it does do, I think, even if you’re not a partisan one way or the other, is demonstrate (a) the involvement of the laity in parish life to a much greater degree than one would expect from the slogans of ‘priestcraft’ or ‘priest-ridden peasantry’ and (b) how much tradition, practice and understanding of its own history was pruned away and lost, even for surviving/revived Catholicism within the British Isles (and by extension the Church in English-speaking lands settled by, or with mass immigration from, the British Isles) in the long aftermath of the Reformation.

  • Paul Crowley

    I’m having a hard time singing “May you live to be omega” to the tune of Happy Birthday; John Brown’s Body seems a more natural fit!

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Funny, that was a They Might Be Giants Song I used to play on KTEC in Klamath Falls, back when I was a DJ in college. It was on the Apollo album- a great gift to college DJs in the early days of CD tech, because you could put it on random shuffle and nobody would notice due to the extra 78 short tracks that would crop up, giving time for a restroom break.

  • Martha O’Keeffe

    Some hard science news for ye all – the hardest of science, since it comes from the Physics Department – the pitch tar drop experiment in Trinity College Dublin has video evidence that pitch does indeed flow like a liquid.

  • You’ll be receiving the book on homosexuality and Catholicism in a couple days; I look forward to your review 🙂

    • LeahLibresco

      Thank you!

  • grok87

    Happy Birthday Leah!
    May you live to see another factorial!

  • Juraj Farkasovsky

    I wish You Happy Birthday. I would recommend “Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology Of The Body” by John Paul II.

  • Joe

    Hey Leah

    I think this would be a great book to review. I haven’t read it but looks like something you would be interested in. God Bless