24 February 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 38

Apparently, I never know what I've got until it's gone. Last year, it was Westlife; this year, it's Pope Benedict XVI.

With the exception of the encyclical Deus Caritas Est, I didn't bother to read anything the current Holy Father had written during the seven years of his papacy, for a lot of reasons that I now see were as silly as they were punkish. So with exactly four days left before his resignation becomes final and his ring is destroyed, I announce that the next book club pick will be . . .

Jesus of Nazareth
Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection

Surprised? Well, I did say I wanted the next "Two or Three" Book Club pick to be one not originally written in English. =P But I had no idea, either, one month ago, how that random wish would be granted.

Just when I thought this blog couldn't be more unpopular . . . ;-)

PS -- The original plan, hatched last St. Valentine's Day, was a tournament bracket. A Pontiffs Named Benedict Smackdown!!! =D I mean, there are sixteen of them, right?! But although I'm usually happy to start a smackdown knowing nothing and ending it finally competent enough to begin, I had to admit that 2100 years of papal history are a lot more than even my sizeable werepunk jaws are able to chew. So you'll all have to put up with a readalong instead.

PPS -- Not that I gave up without a fight or anything. I tried other themes: Pontiffs of Modern Times . . . Pontiffs Named Gregory . . . Most Common Papal Names . . . even one weird one I had no name for that would have let me do Pius IX vs. Pius XII and Alexander VI vs. John XXII (Lycancath howl of doom!!!), among others. But as you can see, that I wrote such a sentence is an argument against even trying! 

Image Source: Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week by Pope Benedict XVI


Belfry Bat said...

Hey, so I was, like 1/6th right or so? =)

But this wasn't the volume I got for Mum and Dad!

Enbrethiliel said...


You'd be even more right (whatever the exact mathematical term for that is!) if you had thrown the word "club" into your guess! =)

As much as I would have loved to start with the first volume, that's just not expedient at the moment. (I'm having a bit of a challenge finding the second volume as it is!) But given how late I came to labour in this particular vineyard, it makes sense that I'd have to start at this later point. (It occurs to me that while we easily understand why the early workers are upset at the equal pay, we rarely think that the late workers regret not having been there in the morning. For the morning was epic.)

mrsdarwin said...

Actually, this is exactly the right pick, as its my Lenten reading. So I'll be here along with you. I need encouragement -- I love Benedict's writing, but it's like a rich dessert; I can't read too much at a time. So I move through his books remarkably slowly, and sometimes I stall out for a long time. Looking forward to what you have to say.

r said...

It's a real shame that I haven't read any of his work. Maybe I'll read along.

Jenny said...

Oh my. Looks daunting.

Enbrethiliel said...


Mrs. Darwin -- Isn't it funny how these things work out? =)

R -- It's nice to see you again! Where have you been?

Jenny -- Believe me, I'm regretting it already. ;-)

r said...

I've been very busy not reading things by Pope Benedict even though I love academic theology!

And I'd say Volume 2 is quite seasonally appropriate.

amy said...

What a good lenten choice! I've wanted to read something by our Papa for a long time. I think that I'll read along. My blog reading is done with a wiggly little one in arms... so I probably won't comment!

Enbrethiliel said...


R -- I usually ask readers to vote for one of two possible books for the readalong, but this one was so fitting that I didn't bother. =)

Amy -- I'm glad you like it. Now I just hope my posts will be even halfway worthy!

Spacetraveller said...

Which language was it originally written in?

Maybe I could get it easier over here in that language...

Never read a book by a Pope before, I don't think. Perhaps it is time to start???

Enbrethiliel said...


I suspect it was originally written in German, not just because German is the Holy Father's first language but because he references so many German theologians in the foreword alone.

But I'm sure it's also available in French and Italian.

(Oh, how I envy your fluency!!!)

Dauvit Balfour said...

Well then, this is part of my Lenten reading as well (meant to read both volumes last year, but failed). I shall attempt to take part, though... I'm not sure what that entails, really. I suppose it means keeping an eye on the blog and commenting more frequently (hooray?).

Enbrethiliel said...


You'd better comment! ;-) I'm planning to include a "Question of the Day" at the end of every readalong post, just for you. (Ooooh! Pressure . . .)

The first post is already up. See you in that other combox!