My 10 Best Books of 2014

Every year, I like to make a list of my favorite books I read for the first time in that year.  Thus, my ten best books of the year aren't limited to those that came out in this year.  In chronological order of when I read them, these are my favorites.Oh, and if you'd like to get once-a-month, behind the scene updates about my book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayer that Even I Can Offer, you can sign up here -- my first email goes out on Monday, and includes the copyediting note that a … [Read more...]

7QT: Time, Taylor Swift, and other deeply philosophical matters

--- 1 --- Ok, move fast readers!  The NYT is doing a wacky contest to supply the opening paragraph that you feel should go with this pulpy book cover.Full details are here, and the deadline is midnight tonight.  Before any of you think of writing me into it -- I'll have you know that I happen to be a tough kid from Nassau.(If you do enter, feel free to cross-post in the comments here) --- 2 --- This is the second time I've read about this particular experiment to check whether, whe … [Read more...]

7QT: Artful Illusion and Clever Construction

--- 1 --- I totally understand if you read the first take here and then don't get around to reading takes 2-7 for an hour, or even until tomorrow, because I've got good news: Monument Valley has released new levels!  In case you're not familiar with the game, its tagline is "An illusory adventure of impossible architecture and forgiveness" and here's the little trailer for the original game:You play by exploring the MC Escher like landscapes and can often bridge an impossible gap by … [Read more...]

7QT: Tallying Rats, Robbing Houses, and Judging Barbers

--- 1 --- I know we're all done with Halloween, but I wanted to share these delightful, historical costumes with you all.  I love the "Radio Queen" one (which reminds me of the set direction in Rocky Horror), but my favorite has to be this plane.You could plan to do a less naked one next year, if it suits your fancy!  Halloween is less than twelve months away! --- 2 --- I love clever construction, whether physical or methodological.  And, speaking of the latter category, the NYT had a … [Read more...]

7QT: Costuming, Conspiracy, and Counterfeiting

--- 1 --- Guys, I have some exciting news.  Here's how I feel about what I'm going to tell you: Here's when I'm going to tell you: November 5th. And here's what....   ....well, that would be telling.  For now, let's just say you'll find out what Janet, the sunk cost fallacy, and Japanese pottery repair all have in common.  --- 2 --- But, if we're speaking of deadlines, let me remind you that today is the last day to comment and tell … [Read more...]

7QT: Disease Fighters, State Dividers, and Programming

--- 1 --- Heads up, New York City (or nearabouts) readers!  Eve Tushnet, author of Gay and Catholic, is coming your way!  She's doing a talk and book signing at First Things and I recommend her (if you're nearby) and her book (to everyone).  I'll do a full review later, but, in the meantime, here's what I said in my Amazon review: Saying someone has a vocation to singleness is about as helpful as an atheist, when asked about their philosophy, saying that they *don't* believe in God. What you wa … [Read more...]

7QT: Community, Codes, and Canadian Smugglers

--- 1 ---Exciting news, everyone!  Eve Tushnet's first book, Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith is out now!First of all, if you've been spending any time reading the Synod relatio and all the breatheless commentary thereof, may I recommend that you try reading this book instead?  Eve's book is about one-third memoir and two-thirds thoughtful reflections on what vocations of self-gift and love make sense to offer to queer people (and other Cath … [Read more...]