Richard Swenson’s Contentment: The Secret to a Lasting Calm was recommended on a blog several years ago (I don’t remember which one!). I started reading it then, but it didn’t “take.” Recently I picked it up again, and this time I completed it. I have mixed feelings about this book. The up side is that


Who does a Christian vote for in this election? The two major party candidates seem desperately inadequate in both character and policy. I have been registered as a Republican for years, but the day after the nominee seemed determined, I changed to Independent. I’ve thought about it for some time, given how little real difference


I’ve had a great experience reading this little book by John Eldredge aloud to my two daughters. Epic: The Story God is Telling and the Role that is Yours to Play takes up the question of why the most popular books and movies move us so deeply. Its answer? They follow the same pattern as

My Name is Asher Lev

I’m not sure when I last read Chaim Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev. It is filed under “all time favorites” in my internal library. Thinking it might be an interesting read for one of my children with an artistic talent, I decided to reread it along with her so that we could talk about

Links to Think About

I have been striking out in my recent reading efforts. I tried Ethan Canin’s Doubter’s Almanac and gave up quickly because it was unexpectedly tawdry. I tried Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of Western Science and felt bored. I’m plugging along with R.C. Sproul’s Who is Jesus? and just started Edward Rutherfurd’s Sarum — which, if

Bartleby the Scrivener

Have you ever read this? Herman Melville’s enigmatic tale about a law scrivener who comes to an office on Wall Street was part of an American lit class in college. I loved this puzzling, bleak story about the law copyist, his employer, and the inscrutable sentence that makes up almost Bartleby’s entire vocabulary: “I would

Foundations and Faultlines

I don’t watch many movies, but amazingly, this week I have watched two. The first, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), was recommended for the week in my daughter’s government curriculum. The second, Bridge of Spies (2015), arrived courtesy of Netflix. I enjoyed both movies and was struck by how both, in their different eras,

Orbiting Jupiter

I read Gary D. Schmidt’s new middle grade novel in a day. Learning about the book from Sherry’s review, I was interested — even though she had made it clear that it was not a feel-good story. I’ll let Amazon’s description suffice for plot summary. Orbiting Jupiter tells the shattering story of Joseph, a father

You Have a Brain

We bought Ben Carson’s You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. for our kids. We knew a bit of his life story; someone had given us America the Beautiful a few years ago, and my husband had read it. We had also watched the movie Gifted Hands. His seemed like an inspiring


Somehow, I had missed this famous tale! Since we are focusing on medieval history this year in our homeschool, I decided to pluck my copy of Ivanhoe from the shelf and read it aloud to the girls. It showed great faith in Sir Walter Scott, given that I have read only one of his novels