Favorite Books of 2019

Hello. It’s been … a while. For several reasons, I stepped away from this blog a little over a year ago, and I don’t expect to return to regular posting any time soon since I’m currently making arrangements to go to school in 2020. But I don’t want to let this space go entirely silentContinue reading “Favorite Books of 2019”

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Book Review: The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

I glanced round the bus. Though the windows were closed, and soon muffed, the bus was full of light. It was a cruel light. I shrank from the faces and forms by which I was surrounded. They were all fixed faces, full not of possibilities but of impossibilities, some gaunt, some bloated, some glaring with idiotic ferocity, some drowned beyond recovery in dreams; but all, in one way or another, distorted and faded. One had a feeling that they might fall to pieces at any moment if the light grew much stronger. Then—there was a mirror on the end wall of the bus—I caught sight of my own.

And still the light grew.

And still the light grew.

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Bookish Links — June 2018

Joy Clarkson, of the podcast Speaking with Joy, is running an online book club for C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce! We’re five chapters in already, but the chapters are short so there’s time to catch up. More info here. Just in time for Bloomsday, The New York Times dropped this longform article about anContinue reading “Bookish Links — June 2018”

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First Impressions: The Confessions of Saint Augustine

Let the proud deride me, O God, and all whom you have not yet laid low and humiliated for the salvation of their souls; but let me still confess my sins to you for your honor and glory. Allow me, I beseech you, to trace again in memory my past deviations and to offer youContinue reading “First Impressions: The Confessions of Saint Augustine”

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Authors on Authors

Long, long ago, not long after I started this blog, I published a list of favorite authors of mine and the authors whom they had pointed to as influences on their work. It was just lists of names, nothing more than that. So today, I’d like to update and expand on some of those entries, guided by the words of the writers themselves.

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Bookish Links — October 2017

By now, you’ve probably heard about Jill Bialosky’s memoir Poetry Will Save Your Life, for which she “borrowed” paragraphs from several other sources. By far, the best take on this whole debacle has come from Talya Zax at Forward. (HT: A. M. Juster) “Poetry is another level of complexity—communities creating a higher level of meaningContinue reading “Bookish Links — October 2017”

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A Few Words about First Lines

I’m still reading Anna Karenina, which, as you may know, contains one of the most famous opening lines in the history of literature: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. That got me thinking about other opening lines that I especially like, and before long, I had aContinue reading “A Few Words about First Lines”

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Bookish Links — June 2017

Rain Taxi magazine has one of the last interviews Derek Walcott gave before he died. He and interviewer Michael Swingen talked about Hart Crane for most of it, so there’s some fascinating analysis there. This month, there was a ton of articles about Gwendolyn Brooks, for the occasion of her 100th birthday (I wrote oneContinue reading “Bookish Links — June 2017”

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The C. S. Lewis Quote That Everybody Gets Wrong

As I mentioned last week in my review of C. S. Lewis’s The Four Loves, the book contains one of the more famous Lewis quotes. You’ve probably seen it before: It certainly sounds like good advice, and read in isolation, it is open to the interpretation that most people give it. Oddly enough though, LewisContinue reading “The C. S. Lewis Quote That Everybody Gets Wrong”

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Book Review: The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis

I think it was the C. S. Lewis scholar William O’Flaherty who called The Four Loves one of Lewis’s least-read books. I call that a crying shame. Not only is it a great book, it’s also an important one, I think. Especially now, when it’s easier than ever for our ideas about love to run awry, books like this are especially helpful in eliminating some of those misconceptions and teaching us to love in a more God-honoring way.

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Bookish Links — February 2017

The Atlantic ran a wonderful story about Father Columba Stewart, an American Benedictine monk who travels all over Asia and Africa to find and digitize manuscripts that might otherwise be lost to ISIS. This is a beautiful essay about how words, poetry, and tradition can anchor us during turbulent times, with a neat little digressionContinue reading “Bookish Links — February 2017”

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Favorite Books of 2016

Two-and-a-half years after starting this site, I figure it’s time I get my blogging act together and start a regular, end-of-the-year wrap-up series. I’m afraid I can’t provide you with a grand total of books I read in 2016, A) because I wasn’t keeping track and B) because whatever the final tally is, I’m sureContinue reading “Favorite Books of 2016”

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