I'm back from Italy and ready to get into the swing of this year's summer reading list. As a very fitting start, I have chosen Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum as the first novel of the year. After roaming up and down the boot, the Italian setting of the novel flashes and glimmers in a way that I otherwise would have missed. I've already read Eco's The Name of the Rose and while Foucault's Pendulum seems to play with the same basic themes I'm interested to see where he'll go with them in this particular setting (this is the book the Da Vinci Code wished it could be). I've never seen a writer who has such relish for talking highly intellectual piffle for five-hundred pages.
In other news, Stratford Caldecott's Tbe Power of the Ring (formerly published as The Secret Fire) is finished. As I hoped, The Power of the Ring proved to be an excellent exposition on the specifically Catholic character of Tolkien's work. As a non-Catholic, I found it particularly helpful and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to understand Middle Earth as the creation of a devout Roman Catholic.
Summer is just getting started and I have all sorts of plans. With the travel out of the way (for now) it's time for some serious reading!