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So, what are you reading, Leonard DeLorenzo?


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Elizabeth Scalia - published on 03/21/17

He's reading a ton of books and they all sound fascinating, as does the new one he's writing!

[Aleteia loves books but recognizes that a world busy with social media doesn’t afford many prompts to that old conversation-starter, “Read any good books lately?” So, we’re asking it in this space. Here, occasional Aleteia contributor Leonard DeLorenzo — whose new book is Work of Love: A Theological Reconstruction of the Communion of Saints — tells us what book currently has his attention. – Ed.]

“I’m reading a few different things for different purposes right now, which means that I am enjoying unexpected and unplanned resonances even while tucking things away in different parts of my mind…and of course forgetting a lot.”

Currently, DeLorenzo says he has been researching what effect the digital age is having on how we think, relate to each other, and learn to desire. “This is all related to a book I am writing on forming young people in faith and, for this particular section, the loss of the capacity for listening that comes with the loss of Sabbath rest.”

That sounds like a fascinating and necessary book that we cannot wait to read, and DeLorenzo — who dearly loves talking about books — shared a few of his research titles with us while also playfully suggesting new titles for each.

“I just finished The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains [Alternate Title: Techno Labyrinth] by Nicholas Carr, and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business [Alternate Title: Not Quite Marion’s Saturated Phenomena]. I have also been reading Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other [Alternate title: Cries of Sadness] by Sherry Turkle and Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age [Alternate title: Squirrel!] by Maggie Jackson. I am just about to start Carr’s The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us [Anticipated Alternate Title: It’s Not You, It’s Me].”

For courses I am teaching, I am currently reading these texts (mostly during the day):

  • Something Beautiful for God [perfect title] by Malcom Muggeridge, based on his 1967 interview and then lifelong correspondence with Mother Teresa. In my opinion, this is the single best window into the holiness and witness of the saint, and it is a fascinating study on the influence of holiness and the question of holiness’s validity.
  • Selected essays from Flannery O’Connor’s Mysteries and Manners [Alternate title: The Mystery Behind Your Manners], which offer remarkable lessons on the duty of a novelist and short story writer that appeal to the requirements of developing a sacramental imagination—namely, that you have to start with seeing what is actually there while continually getting over yourself and your own preferred way of interpreting things. These are going alongside “Revelation” [Alternate Title: “The Mirror”] and “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” [Alternate Title: “A Good Woman Is Hard To Find”].
  • The Dialogue [Alternate title: Much Ado about Absolutely Everything that Matters] by Catherine of Siena, along with sections from Raymond of Capua’s The Life of St. Catherine of Siena and Paul Murray’s Dominican Spirituality: A Drink Called Happiness. Catherine reveals to us what it means to desire God with an intensity approximating to God’s own desire for us.

“For Scripture, I am reading Exodus with a large community that has taken up the practice of reading one chapter a day for each day of Lent (see here for more), and since I was asked to give some talks on St. Joseph for his feast day, I have been reading contemplatively the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke, along with some additional sections in especially Matthew.”

We have never met anyone who loves discussing books more than DeLorenzo, who adds, “While reading any and all of these, I would love to have a chilled bottle of beer in hand, but it’s Lent.”

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