Monday, February 15, 2010

Mid-February Short List

--Neve a Roma! Snow in Rome! For the first time in essentially 24 years, Rome was hit with the fluffy stuff, causing traffic to back up. Am I sorry I missed it? Maybe the photo ops, but seeing as I didn't bring a winter jacket with me to Rome I'm glad we just got rain last winter.

--We like to think that choosing between ambition and love is a fairly recent struggle, but Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart show us otherwise in their 1936 film Next Time We Love. Deciding to pursue a career versus a relationship or dealing with the troubles of juggling both seems to be a timeless motif, and one that Ms. Sullavan and my man Jimmy portray flawlessly.

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House Reader's Circle)
--Our current topic in Poverty and Social Justice is health care and the idea of preferential option for the poor, an aspect of Catholic social teaching adopted by liberation theologists. This theology greatly influenced Paul Farmer, an American doctor and anthropologist who co-founded Partners in Health, a worldwide health organization striving to provide health care for those in poverty. We are reading Tracy Kidder's book Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, which narrates Farmer's background and life, especially in Haiti, Peru and Russia.

I encourage everyone to read this book, especially in light of the earthquake in Haiti, which really brought the country's needs and deficiencies to the surface.

All About Love: New Visions
--And moving on to books that are not required for any classes, I've also started reading All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks thanks to Drew, who suggested I read it. I'm only in the first chapter, but I like that she doesn't assume the reader knows anything--she starts with a fresh definition of love and looks at it through her contemporary culture critic lens.

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