This month, Philip Yancey’s Washington Post op-ed on “the death of reading” caused a lot of buzz. You can read that here. It also inspired some interesting responses, including this one by Cynthia Haven tying Yancey’s ideas into Czesław Miłosz’s idea that we are living in a time of “the complete undoing of essences, of eternalContinue reading “Bookish Links — July 2017”
As promised, here’s the companion to my post on opening lines, this time turning the focus to poetry. John Donne, “The Canonization” For God’s sake, hold your tongue and let me love, Come on, who (besides Samuel Johnson) doesn’t love a beginning like that? It’s short and snappy, it’s to-the-point, and it brings that immediacyContinue reading “A Few Words about First Lines: Poetry Edition”
Because what are weekends for if not for reading beautiful poems? “As kingfishers catch fire” by Gerard Manley Hopkins As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; As tumbled over rim in roundy wells Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; Each mortalContinue reading “A Poem for the Weekend”
Our local library had its semi-annual book sale some weeks ago, and now finally, I’m here to blog the results! (And sorry there are no pictures. The camera’s not cooperating today.) On to the list: Best Film Plays, 1943-44 edited by John Gassner and Dudley Nichols A collection of ten classic screenplays, among them TheContinue reading “Spring Library Sale”
As Christmas looms nearer still, I thought I’d dig up this old gem. This time last year, Neil Gaiman was asked to give a reading of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol at the New York City Public Library, using the selfsame manuscript from which Dickens himself gave readings back when. Below is a recording of thatContinue reading “Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Read by Neil Gaiman”
I just finished The Picture of Dorian Gray last night and as promised, a review is in the works. In the meantime, I have a question for you. In Oscar Wilde’s preface to the novel, he states: There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badlyContinue reading “Update on Dorian Gray and a Question”
So, this post is a bit late. I usually do my “First Impressions” posts after reading only a chapter or two of a new book, but this time, my interest in reading exceeded my patience for blogging. I am now at Chapter 8 of The Picture of Dorian Gray, which puts me near the halfwayContinue reading “First Impressions: The Picture of Dorian Gray“
“Flower in the Crannied Wall” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson Flower in the crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies, I hold you here, root and all, in my hand, Little flower–but if I could understand What you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is.