Biography, Christianity, Novels

Recent Reads: A Schmidt-fest and a memoir

After enjoying the Wednesday Wars, I forged ahead to Okay for Now, Gary D. Schmidt’s companion book written from the perspective of the Wednesday Wars’ narrator’s classmate. Doug Swieteck is a different kind of narrator than Holling Hoodhood, partly because his home life and social stratum are different. Holling’s dad is an architect, but Doug’s… Read More Recent Reads: A Schmidt-fest and a memoir

Biography

A Life Observed

In A Life Observed, author Devin Brown offers a biography of C.S. Lewis for a new audience: “a generation who may know him only through the Narnia films.” Though I don’t fit into this category, I’ve enjoyed this retracing of Lewis’s spiritual development for several reasons. First, Lewis is one of my spiritual mentors. His… Read More A Life Observed

Biography

Hillbilly Elegy

J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis is the best book I’ve read in a long time. Google the title, or the author’s name, and you’ll discover that it is making news as a treatise on the white working class. Some call it “an explanation of Trump voters.” But… Read More Hillbilly Elegy

Biography, Christianity, Essays, Novels

Recent Reads

I’ve had different degrees of success in my reading this summer. For example, though their premises were interesting and they were in general pretty good, I fell by the wayside and failed to finish Simplicity Parenting and Sarum. After waiting weeks for The Nest to become available at the library, the opening pages turned me off quickly by… Read More Recent Reads

Biography

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… Read More You Have a Brain

Biography, Literary Study

The Fellowship

What then, were the Inklings? Was John Wain right to call them (as we reported on the first page of this study) ‘a circle of instigators, almost of incendiaries, meeting to urge one another on in the task of redirecting the whole current of contemporary art and life’? Were they, rather, just a circle of… Read More The Fellowship

Biography

Pioneer Girl

So you feel like you’ve lived an interesting life, maybe a life that illustrates one of the archetypal American themes — Manifest Destiny, for example. How do you go about writing your life story for public consumption? For Laura Ingalls Wilder, the process involved writing a long, seamless, sequential narrative to her writer daughter, Rose… Read More Pioneer Girl

Biography

Steve Jobs

Though I’m neither an especially tech savvy person nor an Apple devotee, lately I’ve been hearing about Steve Jobs everywhere. He seems to be the one people like to quote, especially his comments about designing not the products people want, but the ones people would want if they knew they existed. When my husband watched… Read More Steve Jobs

Biography

A Love Observed

Now 14 years old, this book doesn’t represent cutting edge scholarship on the marriage between Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. I saw it on the shelf at the library, and as a perpetual student of Lewis I was immediately interested. A Love Observed: Joy Davidman’s Life & Marriage to C.S. Lewis was apparently written to… Read More A Love Observed