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8 Steps to Building the Perfect Summer Reading List

Happy Memorial Day! While this may not be, technically, the first day of summer, it's the day we all think of as the REAL beginning to the season of warmth! And with that season comes a renewed desire to read! Get tan, take it easy, and devour your bookshelves! But how do you decide which … Continue reading 8 Steps to Building the Perfect Summer Reading List

Moby Dick Reading Journal – Chapters 53-64

Over 52% read! I am feeling very accomplished right now! I fell behind in my reading for a little while, and skipped my entry last week altogether because I had read so little that I had nothing new to say. But I've gotten over the hump. That 35-50% hump, which seems to be the place … Continue reading Moby Dick Reading Journal – Chapters 53-64

Reclaiming Catholic Culture through Classic Literature

An Interview with StAR Magazine's Editor, Joseph Pearce You may know him as the acclaimed expert on J.R.R. Tolkien, or you may know him for his Ignatius Press critical editions of the classics, but Joseph Pearce is also the dedicated editor for St. Austin Review (StAR), a publication comitted to reclaiming culture. Getting to Know … Continue reading Reclaiming Catholic Culture through Classic Literature

Moby Dick Journal Chapters 48 – 52

I've been rather remiss with my readings this week, and I've only gotten through a couple chapters, but they were very exciting, and here's my recap on them! 🙂 The crew of the Pequod went after their first whale, and in the chase, Ishmael was thrown into the ocean and experienced his first life-threatening episode … Continue reading Moby Dick Journal Chapters 48 – 52

Archetypes in the Classics

"Archetype: a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology." Dictionary.com I love archetypes! It comes from the fact that I see the world through the lens of narrative, and so I love finding the themes and ties that bind the world together, and make stories possible. Archetypes do just that! They present the … Continue reading Archetypes in the Classics

22 of the Most Exciting Children’s Books of All Time

May the Force be with you! It's Star Wars day, and in honor of this momentous occasion, I want to direct you to some books that will be as monumental for you to read as Star Wars is for you to watch! Epic adventures don't just come to life on the screen - there are … Continue reading 22 of the Most Exciting Children’s Books of All Time

Moby Dick Journal – Chapters 35-47

"What do ye do when ye see a whale, men?" "Sing out for him!" Sorry I missed last week's update! I was out of town, camping with my family and making new friends. It was a magical weekend, so no regrets on my part. 🙂 But I never stopped reading, so now you're getting two … Continue reading Moby Dick Journal – Chapters 35-47

Do I Have to Finish the Book I Hate?

Ever sloughed through a painful book, wishing you had not committed to it, but feeling guilty if you put it down and pick up something new? You feel like there’s something wrong with you for not liking a book that everyone else has exuberantly recommended, so you want to finish it to keep up appearances. … Continue reading Do I Have to Finish the Book I Hate?

Why Make a Reading Plan?

Reading Without a Plan I've never had a reading plan before. My personality craves independence, and I don't like the idea of structuring my life, particularly my entertainment, so I've never chosen to pre-plan my reading, watching, or activities list for the year. I dread the feeling of being 'boxed' in. Then last year, I … Continue reading Why Make a Reading Plan?

Moby Dick Journal – Chapters 22-34

At last, I have seen the fabled captain Ahab, and slowly, over the course of 12 more chapters, I have begun to get a whole sense of his personality. And yet I still feel like I know him very little, mostly because he strikes me as a man of action, and no action has as … Continue reading Moby Dick Journal – Chapters 22-34

A World of Real Fairy Tales

Are fairy tales an escape from reality, or a window into a more real world we cannot see? Sulamith Wulfing, a renowned fairy tale artist of the early 1900's, is reported to have had visions into this deeper reality, and would be far from saying that fairy tales are a world of falsehood. Her artwork, … Continue reading A World of Real Fairy Tales

Moby Dick Journal – Chapters 1-21

Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.Moby Dick, by Herman Melville Well, I am now more chapters into Moby Dick … Continue reading Moby Dick Journal – Chapters 1-21

My Journey through Moby Dick

I have been reading Moby Dick for a good two weeks now - a fortnight, as they say - and I think I shall keep a record of my observations as I make my way through. I would like to have it later to look back on, and I’d like to invite you to join … Continue reading My Journey through Moby Dick

Treading Water with Moby Dick, and the App that Finally Helped Me Read It!

Giving Up on Moby Dick Two years ago, I gave up on reading Moby Dick. It was an extremely well-written work, with beautiful descriptions, vivid characters, and striking scenes; it was a book of mythic magnitude, of fabled fame, of prosperous popularity, and yet – I could not get through the seventh chapter. The sixth … Continue reading Treading Water with Moby Dick, and the App that Finally Helped Me Read It!

2018-19

It was the winter of weepingAs they all cried out “Me too!” “Me too!”In a vale of tepid tearsOver self-inflicted sufferingWhile the root of it all, the curse of it all,Was in their deepest yearningTheir heart-sick, unheard cries forReal love, full love, true loveA love beyond their comprehension.

The Secret Garden

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden The Secret Garden was the first really difficult book I ever read. At first I made my way through pretty easily, although I had almost no idea how to picture the first chapters that … Continue reading The Secret Garden

How a Life without Quiet has No Pleasure

And How to Find True Peace through Reading Our Modern Lifestyle Does Not Provide True Fulfillment We are creatures of habit, used to the things we experience every day, and disinclined to take up those things that would break up our natural routines. We roll out of bed, down coffee, commute to the office, work, … Continue reading How a Life without Quiet has No Pleasure

3 Steps that Make Reading Easier

We Struggle against the Classics as Ahab against the White Whale “As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote.” Herman Melville, Moby Dick Like Ahab in his battle against the White Whale, Classics are a mystery we would like to conquer, but that often seem beyond our reach. They are … Continue reading 3 Steps that Make Reading Easier

The Brothers Karamazov

“For we must love not only occasionally, for a moment, but forever. Everyone can love occasionally, even the wicked can.”Father Zossima, The Brothers Karamazov When I was fifteen, my mother gave me this book for Christmas, but two months later, after she had read it, she told me I was not allowed to read my … Continue reading The Brothers Karamazov