Summer Reading: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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22 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    having some posting issues this morning that I hoped have cleared up…
    I’m still waiting for my vision to clear up from the anesthesia so I can progress on about a dozen books I’ve started…in the meantime, Audible is my friend.

  2. Michael says:

    I’ve never read the Tolkein trilogy…I have a hard time engaging with fiction.
    My guess is that I am poorer for that trait…

  3. Duane Arnold says:


    As you know, I read very little fiction, but I acquired a taste for Tolkien…

  4. Michael says:

    I’ve decided that my aversion to fiction is a character flaw on my part, but one I will live with…I won’t live long enough to explore all the non fiction I want to read…

  5. Xenia says:

    It’s my opinion that Tolkien’s works are the best things ever written in the English language.

    All I’ve been reading lately is material related to Old Norse literature. If anyone remembers (and why should you?), five years ago I was talking about the thesis paper I was planning to write for the Orthodox school. Well, that school folded and that paper, which I was planning to call “The Flowers are Fragrant by the Power of the Holy Spirit,”* never got written.

    I enrolled in another program, and have completed all the course work, and am once again at the thesis stage. I am translating a saga from the Old Norse language, which I have been studying, into English. This saga has never, to our knowledge, been published in English anywhere we can find, so the storyline unfolds to me as I work on it. So that’s what I’ve been doing since spring and will continue working on until next spring because Old Norse is not an easy language and sometimes I spend an entire afternoon puzzling over one sentence.

    So I’ve been reading material that should (but doesn’t really) help me in this endeavor, because my saga is an outlier in the world of Icelandic lit, which explains why it’s never been published in an English translation. The books I have in my hand most of the time these days are Old Icelandic dictionaries and grammars. Weird, huh.

    I have been reading The Lord of the Rings this year, because those are the books that inspired my fascination with dead northern European languages and mythology.

    I read Christian material, too, but in fits and starts. My husband and I read books out loud after breakfast. We are reading the bio of Fr. Seraphim Rose, may his memory be eternal.

    All to say, this has not been a great year for reading a diversity of interesting books.


    *”The Flowers are Fragrant by the Power of the Holy Spirit” is a line in “The Akathist of Thanksgiving.” I was going to write about the Orthodox view of created things.

  6. Michael says:

    ” I was going to write about the Orthodox view of created things.”

    I’d love to read that when you complete it…

  7. Xenia says:

    What? You don’t want to read my translation of Bæring’s Saga Fagra????

  8. Michael says:


    Maybe…if it has a happy ending… 🙂

  9. Xenia says:

    Maybe…if it has a happy ending… <<<

    I don't know yet!

    But these old northern European stories don't usually have happy endings.

    Their motto is "Laughing shall I die!"

  10. CM says:


    There is Viking mythology, but then there is Laplander and Finnish mythology. Finland and Finns are Scandanavian, but they are not in the Norse Language group. Ever read anything from the Kalevala (the Finnish epic poem compiled from oral folklore and mythology)?

    Much of Tolkien’s work was inspired by this Finnish epic.

    Ever read anything from the

  11. Duane Arnold says:


    I’m afraid that my only exposure to the Sagas has been through William Morris and the Kelmscott Press…

  12. Duane Arnold says:


    “It’s my opinion that Tolkien’s works are the best things ever written in the English language.”

    I think that it is the “world” he created, even more so than the “words” he used in creating it…

  13. Xenia says:

    CM, Yes! I recently bought a copy of the Kalevala but I haven’t had time to read it yet. You are right; Finnish is not a Germanic language – it’s Uralic, I think? Tolkien has a book, well, his son Christopher put it out, on his retelling of the Kalevala, called The Story of Kullervo, which I also haven’t found the time to read yet. This tale is the basis of the tragic Turin Turambar character in the Silmarillion. It’s all connected!

  14. Xenia says:

    Actually, all I did was repeat what CM said.

  15. pstrmike says:

    I just finished Critical Race Theory (Third Edition), An Introduction, by Richard Delgado. Definitely wheat and chaff IMO.

    Also reading:

    Walking in Wonder, by John O’Donohue. Reading and rereading this slowly before I sleep.

    The Unsettling of America, by Wendall Berry.

    Thinking Without a Banister, by Hannah Arendt

    The Jesuit Guide To Almost Everything, by James Martin, SJ

    and usually finishing off the night with:

    The Rule of Benedict : A Spirituality for the 21st Century, by Joan Chittister

  16. Duane Arnold says:


    Glad to see you are reading James Martin… I gave a mutual friend that very same book!

    I agree on Delgado. It’s worth reading but with a critical mind…

  17. BrideofChrist says:

    I’ve read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy three times, and I thought that was unusual! I’d read books twice before, but Lord of the Rings is the only book I’ve read three times. I am very, very impressed, Duane! I’m also inspired to read it a fourth time now!

  18. Duane Arnold says:


    Read it again… you’ll love it!

  19. CM says:


    You are correct. More specifically it is called the Finno-Ugric language group. Hungarian and Estonian are also in the same language group

  20. Muff Potter says:

    I’ve long been a fan of Brian Herbert (Frank Herbert’s son) and his writing partner Kevin J. Anderson.
    They’ve written numerous works that expand upon the original Dune novels written by Herbert the elder. Right now I’m finishing up their latest called The Duke of Caladan.

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    Muff Potter

    I wasn’t aware of Herbert’s son… I’ll check him out!

  22. CM says:

    Good old Frank Herbert.

    “The spice must flow.”

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