- All collections (2,711), Books : Office : Amy (18), Books : Home : Adult (1,703), Books : Home : Children (690), Books : Home : Teen (203), Books : Office : Joseph (97), Currently reading (6)
- Medieval Britain (289), Fiction and Literature (215), British Fiction and Literature (201), Medieval History (191), Penguin Books (177), Medieval Britain - History (175), Penguin Classics (162), Ireland (146), Biography (119), Poetry (107), Penguin Classics Series 4 (91), Literary Studies (89), Anglo-Saxons (88), British Poetry (80), Catholicism (76), Medieval Britain - Fiction (68), Mormonism (68), Drama (67), Fairy Tales and Folk Tales (66), Thomas Hardy (66), Medieval Writings (66), Historical Fiction (65), British Folk (62), English Fiction and Literature (60), Robin Hood (55), King Arthur (54), Juvenile Nonfiction (54), Great Illustrated Classics (53), American Fiction (52), William Shakespeare (52), Penguin Classics Series 3 (50), Graphic Novels (50), Art (49), English Folk (49), Languages (48), Medieval England (48), Latin (46), English Christianity (46), Medieval Britain - Biography (46), British Royalty (45), Utah Authors (45), Irish History (43), Scandinavia (43), Monasticism (42), Leftism (41), English Catholicism (41), Music (40), Met the Author (40), British Outlaw-Heroes (39), Signed by the Author (39), British Biography (38), Built Environment (37), British Buildings (37), Newbery Medal and Honor (37), Philosophy (37), Middle English (36), Autobiography and Memoir (34), Juvenile Fiction (34), British History (33), Medieval England - History (32), 1900-1924 Editions (32), William Butler Yeats (31), Irish War of Independence 1916-1921 (31), English Biography (31), Completed 1980-2004 (30), Rock n Roll (30), Socialism (30), Puffin Books (30), Jane Austen (29), England 2016 Trip Souvenirs (29), 1925-1949 Editions (29), Cathedrals & Churches (29), Mormon Fiction (28), Reference (28), Comics (28), Utah History (28), Film (28), English Poetry (27), Essays (26), Christmas (26), Thomas Hardy's Tess (26), Cadfael (25), Puffin Classics (25), Mormon History (25), Movie Tie-Ins (25), London (25), Michael Collins (25), English History (25), Thomas Hardy's Tess - Editions (25), Mysteries (24), Guidebooks (23), 1066 (23), Charles Dickens (23), History (23), Celts (22), Irish Poetry (21), J.R.R. Tolkien (21), Completed 2022 (21), Completed 2016 (21), Completed 2014 (20), Beowulf (20), English Cathedrals and Churches (20), Mythology (20), Geoffrey Chaucer (20), The Bible (19), Travel (19), Completed 2017 (19), Sociology (19), Wings of Fire (19), Humanism (19), Old English Language (19), Irish Drama (18), Dr. Seuss (18), David Macaulay (18), Charles Darwin (18), Irish Fiction (18), Cats (18), Books and Libraries and Reading and Bookstores (18), Peter Ackroyd (18), Psychology (17), Norway (17), British Socialism (17), Gifts from Shawn (17), Nephi Anderson (17), Castles (17), Letters (17), U2 (17), Scotland (17), Talking Animals (17), British Geography (16), Medieval Life (16), Scriptures (16), Bertrand Russell (16), British Drama (16), English Geography (16), 1066 Nonfiction (16), George Orwell (16), Joseph Smith (16), Bede (16), French History (15), Evolution (15), Association Football (15), Oxford World's Classics (15), Simon Schama (15), Saints (15), British Travel (15), Completed 2018 (15), Completed 2020 (15), Roman Britain (15), Completed 2011 (14), Medieval Women (14), Anglicanism (14), English Buildings (14), English Drama (13), Penguin Orange Spines (13), Ingmar Bergman (13), Wars of the Roses (13), Knights (12), Irish Autobiography and Memoir (12), Dover Books (12), Vikings (12), Irish Christianity (12), Gerald Lund (12), Jesus of Nazareth (12), Pelican Books (12), Photography (12), Film Directors (12), Actors (12), Anthologies and Readers (11), Rural Britain (11), Completed 2021 (11), I Survived (11), Completed 2010 (11), Completed 2019 (11), Completed 2013 (11), The Book of Mormon (11), Completed 2005 (11), Religion (11), Cookbooks (11), Thomas Becket (11), Favourites (11), British Art (10), Medieval Mystics (10), Screenplays (10), Robert Macfarlane (10), Howard Pyle (10), Bede's History - Editions (10), English Travel (10), American History (10), Completed 2012 (10), Pitkin Guides (10), Prehistoric Britain (10), Completed 2015 (10), English Castles (10), Socialists (10), Seamus Heaney (10), Environmentalism (10), George Eliot (10), Richard III (9), Death (9), Religious Art (9), 1875-1899 Editions (9), Archbishops of Canterbury (9), English Autobiography and Memoir (9), Witches & Witchcraft (9), Eating (9), British Politics (9), British Actors (9), Romanticism (9), Humour (9), Sheet Music (9), Caldecott Medal and Honor (9), James Joyce (9), Eyewitness Books (9), Architecture (9), Plants (9), Wales (9), Supernatural (9), Picture Books (9), Completed 2007 (8), Hamlet (8), Who Would Win (8), Stonehenge (8), Paul Kingsnorth (8), Cadfael Mass Markets (8), English Actors (8), Brontës (8), Irish Folk (8), Scandinavian Drama (8), Alexandre Dumas (8), Utah - Cache County (8), Greek Mythology (8), Scandinavian Folk (8), Star Wars (8), Medieval Scandinavia (8), French Literature and Fiction (8), Alfred of Wessex (8), British Nature (7), William Blake (7), 1066 Fiction (7), Illuminated Manuscripts (7), Christianity (7), Penguin Modern Classics (7), Scepticism (7), Oscar Wilde (7), Completed 2008 (7), Medieval Women Mystics (7), TV Tie-Ins (7), Man Booker Longlist (7), Scandinavian Fiction (7), Mark Twain (7), Stone (7), Young Adult Nonfiction (7), Irish Mythology (7), The Death of Arthur (7), Britain and Mormonism (6), Mormonism and Britain (6), William Morris (6), Completed 2023 (6), Mormon Biography (6), Ray Bradbury (6), Anglo-Scottish Relations (6), Science (6), Winston Churchill (6), Salt Lake City (6), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (6), Recommended by Amy (6), Birds (6), Eleanor of Aquitaine (6), Labour Party (6), Fantasy (6), Nordic (6), English Language (6), Jeremy Corbyn (6), Beatrix Potter (5), Scandinavian History (5), Acting (5), Piers Ploughman (5), Alison Weir (5), Graphic Nonfiction (5), Norwegian Drama (5), Penguin Classics Series 1 (L Series) (5), Iceland (5), George Bernard Shaw (5), Anglo-Irish Relations (5), Bernard Cornwell (5), Scottish Folk (5), Alain de Botton (5), Macbeth (5), Henrik Ibsen (5), Charlotte Brontë (5), Women's Studies (5), C.S. Lewis (5), Karl Marx (5), American Autobiography and Memoir (5), Scottish Biography (5), Once and Future (5), Medieval English Women Mystics (5), Pelican Shakespeare (5), English Culture (5)
- Tag Cloud, Author Cloud, Tag Mirror
- Atheism and humanism, Beautiful Game, Books and Mormons, Catholic Tradition, George Orwell, Happy Heathens, Librarians who LibraryThing, Lingua Latina, Non-Fiction Readers, Penguin Classics, Progressive & Liberal!, Social history, The Scepter'd Isle, medieval history of England, 500 to 1500 AD, TinyCat, Utah Thing
- Nov 14, 2007
- Real Name
- Joseph N. Anderson (he/him)
- About My Library
This is a catalogue of our personal library. We're happy to lend to neighbours, colleagues, friends, and family.
Our adult collections include many books of, or about...
☙ British history (mostly medieval England c. 500-1500), biography, fiction (mostly classics & historical), poetry, folklore (mostly Robin Hood & King Arthur), literary studies, nature, geography, travel, built environment, visual art, music, film, theatre, religion (Christianity & paganism), philosophy (including Humanism), science, languages (Latin, Old English, Middle English, modern English), & left-wing politics
☙ Mormon history, culture, & fiction, including the pioneering novels of Nephi Anderson (1865-1923), my paternal great-grandfather
☙ Irish history (mostly the revolutionary period 1915-1923), biography, fiction (mostly classics), poetry, folklore, literary studies, music, theatre, & religion (Christianity & paganism).
☙ Catholic history, doctrine, & culture
☙ Psychology & sociology
☙ Scandinavian history, fiction, drama, folklore, & film
☙ Utah history
- About Me
☙ 'I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.' ― E. B. White
I'm 𝖎𝖔𝖘𝖊𝖕𝖍𝖛𝖘 𝖇𝖎𝖇𝖑𝖎𝖔𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖈𝖆𝖗𝖎𝖛𝖘. According to my basic genealogical research, at ten generations back (circa 1650-1750 CE), 46% of my ancestors were English (born in England and the English American colonies), 44% were Scandinavian (born within the borders of modern Norway, Sweden, and Denmark), 8% were Celtic (born within the borders of modern Scotland and Ireland), and 2% were Germanic (born within the borders of modern Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands).
I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA in 1980. I had a type of craniosynostosis (probably Scaphocephaly). At the time of my birth, I had two living great-grandparents and three living grandparents. My parents were and are middle-class faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often called the 'Mormon' or 'LDS' Church).
In time, two sisters and two brothers - Nathan, Laurisa, MaryLayne, and Jordan - came after me and we were raised in a somewhat strict version of the LDS faith. We attended three-hour services every Sunday and other meetings on weekdays. We were taught that before our lives, our spirits (souls) chose to be born on Earth so that we could learn, improve, and return to our heavenly father after life, with the atonement of our brother Jesus patching up the sins we committed if we were sorry. We could only be with our loved ones after death if we were sealed (officially connected) to them and lived worthily for our whole lives. Everything in my life, and I truly mean everything, revolved around the authority, expectations, practices, and ceremonies of 'The Church.'
In 1989, our family moved to South Jordan - at the time a small, rural community in the south-west part of Salt Lake Valley and in the shadow of the Oquirrh Mountains. For many reasons, conflict erupted in our home a few years later which culminated in me considering suicide and being homeless for most of 1999. It has taken me a long time to shed the trauma and negative habits that were imprinted on me or that I adopted during those few years. My siblings were also greatly affected but I won't speak to their experiences. As adults, we have moved in and out of each other's lives but I'm very glad to still have relationships with them.
☙ 'We have each other and for all I know that's what hope is.' ― James Goldman, The Lion in Winter
Amy and I had known each other since the early 1990s when she mentored Laurisa's Girl Scout troop but we had not been close until a day in June, 1998 when I happened to enter her workplace and a couple days later she called to ask me out. Exactly one year after that first date, I asked her to marry me during a climb on a rock formation outside Moab, Utah and our wedding was held the following October in the beautiful back garden of my grandparents' home in Salt Lake City. Our first couple years together were difficult due to my selfishness. When she left me in April, 2000, I immediately knew that I needed to change who I was because I didn't want to live my life without her. Her justified assertion of independence initiated our reunion on better terms. Since then, our love and commitment has steadily grown. She's my best friend and I appreciate her wisdom and sense of fun. In our decades together, she has has literally made my dreams come true (more about that later). Amy carried, birthed, and raised our our five wonderful children at great cost to herself. Now ages 12-22, our kids frequently amaze me with their intelligence, vitality, and love.
Our family has lived in the Utah side of beautiful Cache Valley since late 2004. We moved into our current house in December, 2019 and renewed our wedding vows in our back garden there on the 22nd anniversary of our first date in June, 2020. Diana, our oldest, was married to her love, Jordan, also in our back garden in June, 2022.
☙ 'He read whenever he could as he walked to and from his work.' ― Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
I dropped out of high school in the spring of 1999. A couple years later, Amy convinced me to earn my GED and go back to school to better myself and provide for our growing family. I went on to earn an Associate of Science degree in general studies from Salt Lake Community College in 2004, a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in history with a minor in British & Irish literature from Utah State University in 2007 (including two years studying Latin), and a Master of Science degree in library science with an emphasis in rural and small libraries from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2009. Amy graduated with an AS in general studies from SLCC, a BS in sociology from USU, an MS in educational psychology-school counselling from USU, and is currently working on her DEd from Capella University. She is an exceptional counsellor at Logan High School (see Honors & Awards at her LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-anderson-61a27780).
In my adult life I have worked as a shelver and circulation clerk with the Salt Lake County Library System (Dec 1999-Dec 2004), a shelver at Barnes & Noble (Jan 2001-Aug 2002), a clerk at the Bridgerland Applied Technology College book store (Mar 2005-Jan 2008), and since Jun 2008 I have worked at the Logan Library, a medium-sized public library in Cache Valley. I was first a circulation clerk, then the associate librarian for interlibrary loan, then the head of adult nonfiction and reference services, and am now the assistant director & adult nonfiction librarian. My professional specialities include maintaining adult non-fiction collections (the Dewey classes, reference, local history, and educational video), customer service, research, working with Friends groups, and defending intellectual freedom. I'm proud to be a member of this democratic, educational, and service-oriented profession. I'm an active member of the Utah Library Association and the Cache Valley Library Association, which I helped establish a decade ago.
☙ 'Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, And say my glory was I had such friends.' ― W.B. Yeats, The Municipal Gallery Revisited
I am grateful to have some great friends. Amy, Craig, and Shawn have been by my side for many years though good times and bad. Steve, Jenni, Josh, and Devan have been my friends since childhood and we still keep in touch (and meet up occasionally). We've had fun and adventures, but it's the conversations that are most meaningful to me, deepening our relationships and giving me strength.
☙ 'Love of England is very nearly the strongest emotion that I possess.' ― Bertrand Russell, Autobiography
I have loved England, especially its medieval history, since my youth. It's hard to describe my feelings for England and this paragraph won't do it justice. I think about England every day. I often mourn the fact that I was not born there, or that I don't live there now. I see the world through an England lens - anything is made more interesting to me if I can find a connection between it and England. People are often intrigued or confused by my reality. Some of my fellow Americans are even offended. But a majority of my ancestors were English, emmigrating in two waves in the 1600s and 1800s, so England is in my DNA. I remember coming out as an England lover (Anglophile) at the height of Britpop in the mid-1990s. Britishness was all around us at that time, from Wonderwall on the radio and Blackadder on public television, to Jane Austen in cinemas, and Princess Diana on magazine covers in the shops. My love for all things England has grown exponentially since then. I'm a financial supporter of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, English Heritage, and The National Trust.
In October, 2016, Amy and I took our kids to visit England for the first time. Since this was also our first time travelling outside of the US, it was stressful for me but also completely wonderful. We were able to stand on the battlefield of Hastings on its 950th anniversary and it was a powerful experience for me. Over the course of nine days, we also visited Canterbury (briefly), St Margaret's-at-Cliffe, the London Temple, Laurence Olivier's birthplace in Dorking, Stonehenge, the village of Anderson, Thomas Hardy sites around Dorchester (his birthplace cottage, his adult home: Max Gate, the resting place of his heart in St Michael's, Stinsford), the Cerne Giant, Glastonbury Tor, Wales (briefly), Shrewsbury Abbey (locus of the Cadfael Chronicles), Ruthwell Kirk (just over the Scottish border), Sycamore Gap/Hadrian's Wall, Bede sites around Durham (his church St Paul's, Jarrow and his tomb at Durham Cathedral), Nottingham (searching for the place my great-grandfather stayed in 1902), Kibworth (featured in The Story of England by Michael Wood), London (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the British Museum), and the Abbey Road zebra crossing! We brought home 28 books in our luggage.
☙ 'I'm a big fan of the local library. I just read a book, but that's another story.' ― British Sea Power, Who's In Control?
I have loved books, libraries, and bookstores since long before working in them. As a child, my parents read to me and encouraged me to read. I have happy memories of visiting the Sprague Library in Salt Lake City with my mom (I picked out 'Saint George and the Dragon' by Hodges & Hyman) and with my Anderson grandma (I, with her help, asked the librarian about the origin of Robin Hood tales and the resulting answer was the first time I learned of Piers Ploughman). I once rode my bike to and from the old South Jordan library with my friend Steve (5 miles each way - quite a distance for my young self) and I later enjoyed spending time in the old Salt Lake City Library, the old West Jordan library, and the new (at the time) Bingham Creek library. Thankfully, my parents were willing to transport me to and from these temples of learning. I later discovered the wonders of Barnes & Noble and Sam Weller's. They were places I enjoying going to learn, explore, and hang out but later became havens that may have saved me.
Today I am a slow but usually thorough reader and I finish about 25 books per year- roughly 2/3 nonfiction and 1/3 fiction. I still frequently purchase books (I can often be found haunting any place with used books for sale) and we have 2700+ in our personal library (mostly catalogued here). I collect interesting Penguin Classics (I have 150+), editions of the 11 books authored by my great-grandfather, Nephi Anderson (I have 90+, including four signed), books about Robin Hood (I have 50+), and editions of my favourite novel, Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (I have 20+). Surprisingly, perhaps because books have been an important medium for information that has drastically altered my thinking as an adult, my mom once told someone that I read 'too much'!
☙ 'Where are your books? - that light bequeathed, To beings else forlorn and blind! Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed, From dead men to their kind.' ― William Wordsworth, Expostulation & Reply
Follow/friend me on Litsy, Goodreads, and The StoryGraph for reading updates and favourite quotes.
I rate the books I read / music I listen to / films I watch with the following system:
★★★★★ Loved it
★★★★☆ Liked it
★★☆☆☆ Disliked it
★☆☆☆☆ Hated it
My ten favourite books are:
· Great Tales from English History Volume 1 (Robert Lacey, 2004)
· Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy, 1891)
· Selected Poems and Four Plays (William Butler Yeats, edited by M.L. Rosenthal, 1996)
· Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Penguin Classics) (Bede, translated by Leo Sherley-Price, 731)
· The Wild Places (Robert Macfarlane, 2007)
· Essays (Penguin Modern Classics) (George Orwell, edited by Bernard Crick, 1941)
· Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination (Peter Ackroyd, 2002)
· Landscape and Memory (Simon Schama, 1995)
· The Wake (Paul Kingsnorth, 2014)
· In Search of England: Journeys Into the English Past (Michael Wood, 1999)
· Unforgettable Fire: Past, Present, and Future - the Definitive Biography of U2 (Eamon Dunphy, 1987)
· The Big Fellow: Michael Collins & the Irish Revolution (Frank O'Connor, 1937)
· The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follet, 1989)
· Unquiet (Linn Ullmann, 2019)
· Lark Rise to Candleford (Flora Thompson, 1945)
· Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (unknown, c. 1400)
· Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury, 1953)
· Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith (Deborah Heiligman, 2009)
· Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited (Michael Millgate, 2004)
· Michael Collins: Screenplay and Film Diary (Neil Jordan, 1996)
Coming soon: my ten favourite book covers
The ten best books I finished in 2022 were:
· Twentieth Century Interpretations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (edited by Denton Fox, 1968)
· Matrix (Lauren Groff, 2021)
· Changing (Liv Ullmann, 1976)
· The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France (Eric Jager, 2004)
· Unquiet (Linn Ullmann, 2019)
· Educated (Tara Westover, 2018)
· Images: My Life in Film (Ingmar Bergman, 1990)
· The Seventh Seal (Melvyn Bragg, 1993)
· Cathedral: The Story Of Its Construction (David Macaulay, 1973)
· Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think About Abortion (Gabrielle Stanley Blair, 2022)
☙ 'If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.' ― Charles Darwin, The Autobiography
While growing up I took lessons on piano before briefly studying trumpet at school, then taught myself to play my mom's classical guitar. From 1997-2000 I was the singer and rhythm guitarist in a rock band with my friends Craig, Josh, and Devan. I don't play any instruments regularly any more but I still listen to a lot of music - an average of 7100+ tracks per year, or 18 tracks per day. I love 90s alternative rock and Britpop (the music of my teenage years), post-Britpop, 00s post-punk revival, post-rock, celtic folk music, Gregorian chant, soundtracks of my favourite films, and Western classical string music, especially string quartets and the compositions of Ralph Vaughan Williams. Recently, I have been slowly discovering English folk music and the original British and Irish post-punk bands of c. 1975-85. Lists of the music I've listened to can be found on my last.fm profile. To view a nearly-complete list of the concerts I have attended since I was 16, visit https://www.last.fm/user/bibliothecarivs/events. My all-time favourite musical composition is Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending. I still frequently purchase music albums on CD and we have 700+ in our home library (not catalogued yet).
My ten favourite popular music albums are:
· Urban Hymns (The Verve, 1997)
· Takk… (Sigur Rós, 2005)
· No Need to Argue (The Cranberries, 1994)
· Story of an Immigrant (Civil Twilight, 2015)
· A Rush of Blood to the Head (Coldplay, 2002)
· An Appointment with Mr. Yeats (The Waterboys, 2011)
· Valhalla Dancehall (British Sea Power, 2011)
· Boy (U2, 1980)
· Shag Tobacco (Gavin Friday, 1995)
· White Chalk (PJ Harvey, 2007)
· Under the Iron Sea (Keane, 2006)
· Surfacing (Sarah McLachlan, 1997)
· All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone (Explosions in the Sky, 2007)
· Razorblade Suitcase (Bush, 1996)
· The Invisible Band (Travis, 2001)
· Animals (Pink Floyd, 1977)
· Whatever and Ever Amen (Ben Folds Five, 1997)
· 21 (Adele, 2011)
· OK Computer (Radiohead, 1997)
· Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (The Smashing Pumpkins, 1995)
My ten favourite popular music songs are:
· Lucky Man (The Verve, 1997)
· Acrobat (U2, 1991)
· Time (Pink Floyd, 1973)
· The Rebels (The Cranberries, 1996)
· Boxes (Travis, 2013)
· Possession [Live] (Sarah McLachlan, 1999)
· Yeats's Grave (The Cranberries, 1994)
· Sæglópur (Sigur Rós, 2005)
· My Twentieth Century (Gavin Friday, 1995)
· River Lea (Adele, 2015)
My ten favourite music videos are:
· Please (U2, 1997)
· Apparition (Stealing Sheep, 2015)
· Lucky Man - US Version (The Verve, 1997)
· Love is Noise (The Verve, 2008)
· Glósóli (Sigur Rós, 2005)
· Up & Up (Coldplay, 2016)
· I'm Outta Time (Oasis, 2008)
· I Can't Be With You (The Cranberries, 1995)
· Burn the Witch (Radiohead, 2016)
· Do the Evolution (Pearl Jam, 1997)
· Coffee & TV (Blur, 1999)
Coming soon: my ten favourite album covers & my ten favourite live albums/tracks
My ten most-listened music artists in 2022 were:
· Kaiser Chiefs
· The Waterboys
· Harry Styles
· Black Sabbath
· The Cure
· Franz Ferdinand
· Daniel Hart
☙ 'I saw a film today, oh boy, The English army had just won the war. A crowd of people turned away, But I just had to look, having read the book...' ― The Beatles, A Day in the Life
I have always been a frequent film viewer, but it was only as an adult that I began to recognise and develop my own taste. I enjoy historical films, adaptations of classic European literature, Irish cinema, the work of director/screenwriter Ingmar Bergman, director Ken Loach, and actors Laurence Olivier, Daniel Day-Lewis, Brendan Gleeson, Kenneth Branagh, Max von Sydow, Cillian Murphy, Emma Thompson, Jennifer Connelly, Mel Gibson, Mick Lally, and Rowan Atkinson. I still frequently purchase films on DVD and Blu-ray and we have 900+ films in our home library (not catalogued yet).
My ten favourite films:
· The Secret of Roan Inish (John Sayles, 1994)
· Michael Collins (Neil Jordan, 1996)
· Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (Kevin Reynolds, 1991)
· Richard III (Laurence Olivier, 1955)
· The Secret of Kells (Thomm Moore, 2009)
· The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
· Hamlet (Franco Zeffirelli, 1990)
· Braveheart (Mel Gibson, 1995)
· Becket (Peter Glenville, 1964)
· The Green Knight (David Lowery, 2021)
· Creation (Jon Amiel, 2009)
· Calvary (John McDonagh, 2014)
· War Horse (Steven Spielberg, 2011)
· The Wind that Shakes the Barley (Ken Loach, 2006)
· Macbeth (Jed Kurzel, 2015)
· The Village (M. Night Shyamalan, 2004)
· The Three Musketeers (Stephen Herek, 1993)
· Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones, 1975)
· The Count of Monte Cristo (Kevin Reynolds, 2002)
· Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Peter Weir, 2003)
My ten favourite television shows:
· Mr. Bean (1990-1995)
· Keeping Up Appearances (1990-1995)
· The Last Kingdom (2015-2022)
· Cadfael (1994-1998)
· Tess of the d'Urbervilles (2008)
· The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1959)
· Lark Rise to Candleford (2008-2011)
· Black Books (2000-2004)
· Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-1974)
· The Hollow Crown (2012-2016)
☙ 'I don't blame any one for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have believed it myself.' ― Joseph Smith Jr., King Follett funeral sermon
From roughly age 15-30 I swung back and forth between intense LDS religious practice and occasional periods of apathy, embarrassment, imperfection anxiety, and doubt. In late 2010 I began a journey to explore other religious options after reading the experience of a Cache Valley man who had converted from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Episcopal Church. Over the following year, I first investigated Catholicism (which has fascinated me since childhood), then paganism, Deism, and finally landed in Humanism, where I have resided, fairly comfortably, ever since. Looking back, I visualise these steps as concentric circles, each larger than the one before. Though there were many factors at play, my over-arching desire on this journey was for a universal and objective truth. Along the way, the light of science pushed the supernatural farther and farther away until it no longer had any real meaning or purpose in my life except as an anthropological curiosity. During this time, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel C. Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, and especially A.C. Grayling and Bertrand Russell were guiding lights. For a year and a half, I hid my new beliefs from everyone outside our home until it felt right to come out as an unbeliever. This was a very difficult and painful process which put a lot of strain on our marriage and kids. Thankfully, we're in a good place now despite sometimes mourning the loss of my old way of thinking and living. I often attend church services with Amy and still enjoy a strong personal interest in Mormonism, Roman Catholicism, Celtic Catholicism, Anglicanism, British & Scandinavian paganism (both old & new), folklore, and the intersections between them. In a reverse of the oft-used phrase, sometimes I think of myself as 'religious but not spiritual' since I'm a philosophical naturalist but enjoy the accoutrements of Western religion: ritual, tradition, ancient texts, ecclesiastical architecture, music, candles, vestments, 'smells & bells', etc. I may be a religious humanist.
☙ 'Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.' ― William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well act I, scene I
I am a humanist because I try to live an ethical life and I don't see convincing evidence for anything supernatural. This translates into a focus on humanity's one shared life, here and now (since there's likely no pre-existence, nor after-life), and a responsibility to, at the very least, be kind to everyone equally as best I can. Humans working together to improve life on Earth is the only higher power I believe in. In the interest of equality, I support a strict separation between religion and government, including reverting the US national motto to E pluribus unum (Out of many, one). While not a pacifist, I am generally against violence. I'm a paid member of Humanists International, Humanists UK, the American Humanist Association, and Humanists of Utah. I'm an annual financial supporter of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee, and GO Humanity.
☙ 'Comment is free, but facts are sacred.' ― C. P. Scott, Manchester Guardian, 5 May 1921
I highly respect the noble profession of investigative journalism and try to support independent, non-profit news organizations and public broadcasters. I consume a lot of news in various mediums. I subscribe to the Guardian Weekly print magazine, the Salt Lake Tribune digital edition, and buy a print issue of our local newspaper, the Herald Journal, every Saturday. I often visit the Guardian and BBC News websites. I listen to the BBC World Service through the KUER mobile app and watch Sky News on YouTube to get UK news and a British perspective on world events. I'm an annual financial supporter of KUER 90.1 NPR Utah and PBS Utah.
☙ 'The advancement of science and the diffusion of information [is] the best aliment to true liberty.' ― James Madison, first inaugural address
Literacy, education, free information, free expression, and truth are incredibly important to me. I'm in favour of public schools and public libraries and I'm anti-censorship. Let's stand up for intellectual freedom and #UniteAgainstBookBans. I'm a financial supporter of the Wikimedia Foundation, Utah Humanities, the Friends of the Logan Library, the Friends of Merrill-Cazier Library, USU Alumni Association student scholarships, Helicon West, and Bridgerland Literacy.
☙ 'Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.' ― Winston S. Churchill
I'm a strong supporter of multi-party representative democracy. I try to be informed about the issues of the day - from our neighbourhood to the world, I try to consider multiple sides of an issue, and I vote in every election. I'm in favour of sensible taxes, sensible term-limits, opening debates to more candidates, public financing of elections, implementing ranked choice voting, making it easier to vote, making it easier to run for office, and making it easier for political parties to organize and be accepted by the state. Hate speech and violent rhetoric have no place in a democracy (or anywhere, for that matter). During my political journey over the years, I have voted for Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, independents, and Greens.
☙ 'What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?' ― George Eliot
I'm a green democratic socialist, or ecosocialist, because the climate crisis is the largest problem facing humanity and I believe that unrestrained capitalism and growth, which caused the crisis, must be replaced by a more nature-friendly, humanising, and equal way of living. (Because I live within American politics, I must explain that democratic socialism ≠ single-party authoritarian state communism. Like many leftists before me including George Orwell and Clement Atlee, I support the former and strongly condemn the latter.) I am in favour of a robust 'Green New Deal', or 'Green Industrial Revolution'. I also believe that distributing our society's resources and power more fairly would go a long way towards resolving systematic inequalities of health, education, and opportunity for women, and racial, gender, and sexual minorities. I'm still learning and I'm definitely not perfect but I would call myself a feminist, an LGBTQ+ ally, an anti-racist, and an anti-fascist. I love trees (especially the broad-leaf varieties) and hate fossil fuel derivatives (including pollution and plastics - #KeepItInTheGround). I stand with the 99%. I have attended public rallies in support of free speech, women, scientists, public lands, and climate change action. I'm anti-violence and pro civil disobedience. I'm against the death penalty and the proliferation of guns. I'm in favour of physician-assisted suicide. I'm in favour of creating a 'single-payer' healthcare system or 'Medicare for All' system or, even better, a National Health Service in the US. We can afford to provide this basic human need in the most wealthy country on earth. Healthcare is a human right.
The Political Compass places me in the 'libertarian left' quadrant (no surprise). The worldwide Green politics movement is my home, with its four pillars of environmentalism, nonviolence, social justice and grassroots democracy, but I also stand in solidarity with many other democratic, non-violent, and environmentalist labour and progressive movements, organisations, and parties. I support the #PlanetAndPeopleBeforeProfit. I'm a paid member of the Green Party of the United States, the Green Party of Utah, Democratic Socialists of America, and Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake. I'm an annual financial supporter of Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace, and One Tree Planted.
The one major subject of disagreement I have with other leftists is abortion. Despite empathising with pregnant women in desperate circumstances (though I acknowledge that as a cisgender male I will never know what that feels like), I just haven't been able to come to terms with the idea of the intentional termination of potential humans. I believe that anyone who has sperm should use it responsibly and I myself have had a vasectomy (Men don't talk enough about this simple procedure that can avoid major problems. If you're curious, ask me about it.) I'm in favour of scientific sex-positive education in public schools, including information about birth control, and of government and community safety nets for those who fall pregnant. The fact that some people close to me are pro-choice has made me deeply question my position, but my core belief hasn't changed. Since I disagree with the predominantly religious rhetoric and arguments in the American anti-abortion movement, I find myself in a very small boat with other anti-abortion secularists, humanists, progressives, and socialists. And, yes, I know that many of the organizations I have joined support abortion rights. It's a paradox I live with.
☙ 'I must keep my own style & go on in my own way.' ― Jane Austen, letter
I love visual art. I have drawn or sketched for most of my life. Favourite mediums and styles include pen-and-ink, woodcuts and etchings, stained glass, oil paintings from the romantic and realism movements, gothic architecture, and black and white photography. Favourite artists include John Everett Millais, Agnes Miller Parker, Tom Gauld, Arthur Rackham, Howard Pyle, David Macaulay (whom I had the opportunity to meet in 2014), Edward Gorey, Fred van Deelan, N.C. Wyeth, William Morris, Brian Cook, Jackie Morris, Anton Corbijn, Ben Jennings, Maxim Peter Griffin, and Banksy. My all-time favourite artwork is Mariana by Millais.
My favourite sport is association football. I am a fan and part-owner of the Dorchester Town FC Magpies. I'm also a fan of the Three Lions and the Lionesses- England's senior national teams. Our son is a fan of Tottenham Hotspur so I casually follow them as well as Real Salt Lake, our local professional team.
Due to the illness of someone close to me, I'm a financial supporter of the Intermountain Foundation at Primary Children's Hospital, the Children's Oncology Group Foundation, and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Let's #kickchildhoodcancer.
I've had a conflicted relationship with food all of my adult life. I'm somewhat overweight but otherwise surprisingly healthy. I currently subscribe to Noom to help me get healthier and positive changes are happening. I've been a vegetarian since 2013 for moral reasons and for the past few years I haven't consumed dairy for dietary reasons. I enjoy bread in almost any form, oatmeal porridge, apples, berries, potatoes, rice, nuts, lentils, eggs, pot pies, green salads, pickles or gherkins, sauces and dressings, soups, black pepper, cold water, black coffee (often decaffeinated), wassail, ginger ale, and beer (usually non-alcoholic). Join me for a ploughman's lunch?
And, finally, a few random facts. I enjoy open-water swimming and walking. I'm slowly learning to play the tin whistle. I was cast as Hamlet in Ms. Doxey's sixth grade class production and have loved Shakespearean tragedies and histories ever since. When I was 15, my sister and I had the chance to meet Margaret Thatcher but at the last moment I was too embarrassed by my common clothes to go through with it. I have never been skiing (in neither snow nor water), which is strange for a Utahn. I once talked to Ben Folds on the phone. I was the second president of the Cache Valley Library Association. I enjoy playing chess, Klondike solitaire or Patience, Tetris, and Kubb. I dreamed of owning a Mini after being introduced to them in the television show Mr. Bean in the 1990s and since 2017, I have. In addition to England, I'm also interested in Ireland and the Scandinavian countries. I hope to stand on the site of the battle of Hastings on its 1000th anniversary on 14 October 2066 (I'd be 86 years old). Though my persistent fear of death has lessened considerably since reading Irvin Yalom and Martin Hägglund, it still lurks in the shadows. Before I die, I would like to produce my own translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
Though I have had some significant struggles, I must admit that overall I have been very privileged. I agree with Dickens' character Amy Dorrit when she said, 'Sometimes it has been rather hard to live, but I think not harder... than many people find it.'
- 🇺🇸 / 🏴
- Also On
- Currently Reading
- Favorite Authors
- Peter Ackroyd, Nephi Anderson, Bede, Ingmar Bergman, Ray Bradbury, Christine F. Cooper-rompato, Tom Gauld, Thomas Hardy, Dan Jones, Norman L. Jones, Paul Kingsnorth, David Macaulay, Robert Macfarlane, George Orwell, Bertrand Russell, Simon Schama, William Shakespeare, Colm Tóibín, Michael Wood, William Butler Yeats
- Local Favorites
Bookstores: Back of Beyond Books, Eborn Books, Grandpa's Bookshelf, Ken Sanders Rare Books, Marissa's Books, Orrin Schwab Books, Pioneer Book, Powell's City of Books (Portland), The Book Garden, The Cathedral Bookshop, , Weller Book Works
Libraries: Bingham Creek Library, Calvin S. Smith Library, Dorking Library, Logan Library, Merrill-Cazier Library, St. Ann's Library
- Interesting Library
- affle, Bibliothecarius, BlaueBlume, CatherineWalton, CharlesDarwin, DrRalph, Emma.June.Lyon, firstunitariansociet, Geedge, GeorgeOrwellLibrary, Hodekin, Jaisell, JamesJoyceLibrary, Jeffsul, Kathleen828, MyopicBookworm, Pianojazz, publiusdb, Rivendell, shawnecono, slandefani, twp77, utahstatearchives, WilliamButlerYeats, WilliamMorris