Just finished reading Swimming with Scapulars by Matthew Lickona which is something between a reflection and memoir by a 30-something Catholic. I've been recommending it left and right to my Catholic friends (and sienamystic, you should read it too, if only to understand me a bit better). I was constantly going "Oh, I went through that too! And I think that as well! That's just like when I was at Tiny Catholic College!" Very well written with a solid philosophical background.
I picked up Lancelot by Walker Percy from the lib the other day - it drew me in immediately; much more so than his essays, which I just couldn't bring myself to finish. Plus I have a soft spot in my heart for Southern literature, and I only recently found out that he is considered a Catholic author.
Also grabbed Helena by Evelyn Waugh, which is apparently about Constantine's mother. I haven't started it yet, but I have high hopes.
For school I just finished Despair by Nabokov, which is hilarious and compelling. It's a rather sharp satirical piece that attacks Dostoyevsky in particular and psychological murder/detective stories in general. Suffice to say that Nabokov did *not* like Dostoyevsky. At all. I thought I would dislike this when I started it, but I started ripping through it - there are a few points where I lost track of what was real and what wasn't, but ... that's what he wants to happen. Nabokov was one of the writers rebelling against realism, although not to the same degree as some of the other authors I'm going to be reading.
I need to finish The Trial by Kafka before next Wednesday, but that shouldn't be too difficult. I'm enjoying it a great deal. Again, unexpected. I'm the last one to admit that I might actually like modern authors, so go figure. The funny thing is that many people talk about how chilling it is that Josef K. is stuck in this underground court system that doesn't work by any rules we understand. For some reason, this just doesn't bother me all that much. Kafka's writing is entertaining and thought-provoking, but it doesn't engender any emotion in me. I don't feel any of the confusion and frustration that Josef does, and to be honest, I don't really care about him. I don't dislike him, per se, although his treatment of women could be improved a great deal; I just don't really care about him at all. I usually get so wound up in characters that I almost forget that they don't really exist. In this case, I'm just not drawn in. Maybe that isn't unusual considering Kafka's style in somewhat impersonal.
Wow, this is the longest post I've put up in a very long time. Yay, books :)