Friday, October 9, 2009

Tiber River Review: St. Augustine's Confessions

I recently tackled St. Augustine's Confessions. I vaguely remember reading bits and pieces of it in a college philosophy class (in fact, I still have that very musty old copy), but I don't think the professor realized he was living on this planet, so we never really delved very deeply into any of the philosophy books we covered, nor did we read any of them from cover to cover. St. Augustine's Confessions is by no means light reading. Bits and pieces of it are a bit lighthearted, in fact, I even found myself laughing out loud on a few occasions, but on the whole the I found the book to be what I would describe as heavy. It's certainly not a frivolous read. While at times the book seemed a bit daunting, the story itself is captivating. This is essentially St. Augustine's autobiography and conversion story. I have a penchant for history, so from that standpoint, I really enjoyed St. Augustine's account of life in the Roman Empire 1600 years ago. As he takes us on his journey to God, he gives us glimpses into life in the Roman Empire. His story of conversion is timeless and something to which many of us can relate and aspire. His compelling story is nothing short of inspirational. At times, the reader may even think that St. Augustine's journey to God is simply too good to be true. St. Augustine journeys from a life immersed in sin to one doused in holiness. You can't read this book and not come away with the realization that God has unlimited patience and mercy for even what appears to be the most hopeless cases. St. Augustine's undying gratitude and praise for God is inspiring as well. On many occasions I took a few moments to ponder whether or not I am actually giving God all the praise and gratitude He deserves in my daily life. If nothing else, reading St. Augustine is a humbling experience. I do want to take a moment to discuss the translation of this particular printing of The Confessions. Compared to the Penguin Classics version I read parts of in college, the language in this version is a bit more reader friendly. The size of the font is also much easier on the eyes. Perhaps reading teeny tiny fonts when you are 18 isn't an issue, but when you are in your thirties and have spent the day chasing after small children, the last thing you want to do is sit down and read teeny tiny print in a book that can seem a bit daunting at times. (Let's just say that St. Augustine can be rather wordy at times.) So I certainly appreciated the larger font (although it's still small compared to many other books I've read recently) and the more modern feeling translation of this timeless classic. I also appreciated the built-in woven bookmark that came with this beautiful hardback edition. It's great to have a bookmark that my little one can't remove from my book . (One of her favorite past times. Must be a riot to watch Mommy search for the book mark and the page she read last.)

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of Confessions Of St. Augustine, Hardback for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. As a blogger reviewer for Tiber River, a free copy of this book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

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