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Sr. Edith Bogue (February 2012)
Sr. Edith Bogue is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Sociology.
Favorite or most influential books:
1. Little Women by
Call Number: YOUTH PZ7.A335 Li 1982
This was not written as a children's book, although most people now read it while they are children or young adults. I continue to find much to ponder in the various characters and plot lines. DO NOT watch a movie version: each emphasizes one part of the book to the detriment of the others.
2. Economics (19th ed.) by
Publication Date: 2009
I studied the 1967 edition of this textbook in college and found it utterly amazing. All of our little daily choices – should I buy a coffee or not? – create patterns that can be predicted. Those patterns go on to have their own effects. While I chose to major in history and later became a sociologist, I constantly find that I need the principles of economics and its razor-sharp clarity of thought to understand the world. If you aren't up to tackling this 774 page textbook, you might try
Charles Wheelan's Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science – it's half the length, written to be entertaining – and still gets the ideas across.
3. For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery by
Call Number: BL221 .S747 2004x
Publication Date: 2004
Actually, I had to roll dice to choose among Rodney Stark's many books. He is a sociologist, unafraid to pop correlations and tables into the middle of books intended for a general intelligent audience – but he is also an excellent author. Since writing The Rise of Christianity (1997) he has been investigating whether the things that "everyone knows" about religion in various times and places are true. Usually not. This book is especially interesting for what it reveals about witch-hunts in the Middle Ages and the Atlantic slave trade. Not what you learned in high school!
4. The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century by
Call Number: BX3004.Z5 C35 2010
Publication Date: 2010
If a person encounters St. Benedict's Rule with no guidance, it seems like an odd collection of scripture verses, punitive practices and admonitions with a daily schedule and a few inspirational chapters tossed in. Chittister's commentary on the Rule has been around for decades – now retooled. It forces us to read small portions and then offers a parable, a reflection, a story, something to help us think about what Benedict was saying and how it might apply to our lives. Not to be missed if you want to understand what it means to think like a Benedictine.
5. The Public Library by Andrew Carnegie (not the book, but the institution).
No single book has been more influential in my life or brought me more enjoyment than libraries. Carnegie funded more than 2500 in his lifetime;
they're one of America's greatest inventions.
What are you reading now?
God's Battalions by Rodney Stark, Our Underachieving Colleges by Derek Bok, two books for the Honors Program Book Club courses: Amy Goodman's Breaking the Sound Barrier (she's speaking on campus this semester) and Dan Ariely's The Upside of Irrationality, and 4 books-on-CD from the library. And the Bible.
Desert Island Pick
I would take the Bible. Not because I'm a Benedictine Sister, but because it is the only book I know that continues to reveal new treasures, new ideas, and much to ponder even after I've been reading it for 30 years. Who knows how long it will be before we're rescued from the island?