Made it about thirty minutes into the first episode of Labyrinth
(The mini series based on the Kate Mosse book, not the idtastic Jennifer Connelly-David Bowie musical), then bailed due to a combination of generalised irritation and lack of caring. It managed to have both Bucky and Draco in it, which should have warned me off from the start. The fact that I pitched the book at the wall ten pages in should also have been a bad sign, probably. I was hoping the film would be less silly. Sadly not. They also managed to make the archaeology even worse
. I also find a) feuding sisters, b) highly-sexualised evil women, c) basically anything to do with the holy grail but especially pertaining to d) lost books of secret revelations, extremely tiresome. I should probably just avoid Cathar-related material entirely, which is too bad, because the Cathars seemed cool.
Though seriously, what was up with the "Gnostics" Christians? They're like the Loki of early church history. There's two camps: They were wrong wrong wrongity wrong, and had very bad no good beliefs, and they probably shouldn't have been slaughtered wholesale, but still WRONG! OR
(and no middle ground here), they were poor misunderstood woobies who were right and alone knew the true meaning of meaning, but the more powerful forces of greed and evil oppressed, murdered and then misrepresented them. Oh, and they weren't called gnostics, that's just a label the Holy Mother Church slapped on them while they were misrepresenting them. I've pretty much never met or read anyone who wasn't firmly in one camp or the other, and a lot of the discussion seems to descend into flame wars pretty quickly.
On that topic, I finished Growing into God: A Beginner's Guide to Christian Mysticism by John R. Mabry
didn't like the gnostic Christians, except the Valentinians, who he says weren't gnostic anyway), which was mostly pretty good, if not quite what I expected. I thought this would be an academic history of mysticism and an outline of the major beliefs. This was more of a self-help books for aspiring mystics.
Given that, I found it pretty useful. The prose was chatty and accessible, with a Q&A appendix for each chapter, clarifying many points I'd wondered about within the chapters. I read it straight through, but I'd recommend reading by topic: the chapter, the Q&A, then the quotes by mystics.
It's definitely a beginner's book, which is where I am on this topic, and it's orientated towards people who are or can be part of a Christian community. I found that last point a little frustrating because I was looking for something an unchurched person can do (in that there is no church in my area).
Still, I did find the book insightful, and will probably read it again.
I tried to read Pegasus
by Robin McKinley, but didn't finish. It just sort of meandered about with no declarable plot, and considering I'd been spoiled that there was no proper ending and no sequel in sight, I gave up.
I'm currently reading a Marcus Borg book about reading the Bible, the memoirs of a Palestinian-Canadian war reporter, and several books on diesel engine repair (one of which likes to explain everything through mathematical equations, which I don't find deeply helpful).
I'm trying to decide if I should just go right ahead and rewatch Sinbad
immediately or wait a bit. I guess there's no word on a second season? I have
ordered a library book entitled When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise and Fall of Islam's Greatest Dynasty
By Hugh Kennedy as period research. This is going to be one of those FML fandoms, I can tell. I can't believe I'm doing period research for a show that fails basic geography. (They got from Basra to Malta between one episode and the next, in a boat, in 800 CE, without apparently taking the time to sail around Africa). I just really like the characters, okay?
May rewatch Highlander
a bit while I'm deciding.