In Your Midst


Nov 2002

Three years ago the donation of two book collections — Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen’s and Dr. Thomas Marchioro’s — resulted in a plan to develop a parish library for St. James. The purpose of the library would be to help promote the spiritual, intellectual and emotional growth of parishioners by making easily available to them significant works of theological, philosophical and literary merit. A committee was formed to help identify needs, oversee acquisitions and organize the collection.

In This Issue:

A year of planning, selecting, learning and hard work ensued. Many volunteers answered a call for help, many bibliophiles offered parts of their collections, and many people donated funds to buy new books. When the parish celebrated the feast of St. James on July 23rd, 2000, the Hunthausen Library was opened for business for the first time with about 300 books. Now the shelves hold over 600 volumes.

Have you taken advantage of this wonderful parish resource yet? Here are a few of the titles available for your reading enjoyment.

According to James Atlas, founding editor of the Penguin Lives series, this is the “golden age of biography.” The philosophy behind this excellent series is that length is no guarantee of quality, but that interesting and talented authors are. Look for Thomas Cahill’s Pope John XXIII and Gary Wills’ St. Augustine. While we have many saints’ biographies, we also have stories that offer insight into the lives of other admirable people and diverse cultures. Give Me My Father Back tells the heartbreaking story of Minik, the Eskimo who was brought to New York at the turn of the century and displayed as a phenomenon. Learn about courage from Lance Armstrong in It’s Not About the Bike and get to know The Knox Brothers, the amazing siblings who were each leaders in their own diverse fields. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang recounts the stories of three generations of women caught in the maelstrom that was revolutionary China in the 20th century.

Some of our most circulated books are mysteries, especially those by P. D. James, Ellis Peters and John LeCarre. But we also have a good selection of the classics. Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston, Thomas Mann, William Maxwell, Flannery O’Connor, and Thornton Wilder are all waiting for your discovery or rediscovery.

How does American culture look to those who come here from foreign shores? Robert Olin Butler gives us a glimpse through Vietnamese eyes in A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain. In the poignant House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus describes the tragedy that befalls an Iranian family in California. Joy Luck Club is Amy Tan’s story of the efforts of Chinese women of her mother’s generation to acclimate themselves to America.

The library contains many Bibles and biblical commentaries as well as related works like The Dictionary of the Bible, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Theology, and The New Testament Traveler’s Guide. Among the many devotional works are Breakfast with the Pope and Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II. The late Henri Nouwen is well represented with such titles as Here and Now: Living in the Spirit and The Wounded Healer.

Look also for new works that reflect fresh viewpoints. Beverly Donofrio’s unorthodox search for a spiritual life is touchingly documented in Looking for Mary. Cathleen Medwick’s investigation of Teresa of Avila is a commentary on the 16th–century saint’s spiritual and secular accomplishments. Reform of the Papacy is an attempt by John Quinn, the former Archbishop of San Francisco, to engage the Pope in a dialogue about the papacy. And Seattle’s own Father Gordon Douglas has written the warm and touching Hey, Father! about his experiences as Blanchet High School’s chaplain.

Looking for aids to parenting? Learn What to Expect the First Year. Or check out The Good Son and The Good Daughter by Michael Gurian, a psychology professor at Gonzaga.

St. James own House of God, Gate of Heaven is featured with books old and new in the Hunthausen Library.
Leaf through one of our books on art and architecture. Read about the renovation of St. James in House of God, Gate of Heaven. The Chapel of St. Ignatius guides the reader through the beautiful chapel at Seattle University. Brunelleschi’s Dome is the compelling story of one of the greatest architectural achievements of the Renaissance.

Bill Moyers’ Fooling with Words helps explain why poetry still has the power to enthrall and The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis gives us some old and loved examples of the art.

Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths provides timely background on the tragic conflicts in the Holy Land. The Inextinguishable Symphony, a story of Jewish musicians in Nazi Germany, reminds us of the destructiveness of hatred and the power of love.

It’s always fun to read a book by someone you might sit next to at mass. Look for books by parishioners Dr. Lester Sauvage, Robert Clark, Louise Marley, and Jim Wickwire.

Nancy Flohr is the founder and librarian of the Hunthausen library and also serves as a reader at St. James.

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