The Heart of the Family

Over the last year I discovered Elizabeth Goudge, a 20th century Christian author with a remarkable gift for capturing the beauty and sense of place in the English countryside that forms the setting for many of her books. Readers of Goudge will be familiar with her trilogy about the Eliot family, their indomitable matriarch Lucilla… Read More The Heart of the Family

Miscellany, Picture Books


It might not look like much to you. Dirt, with bits of feeble green poking through. But a week and two days ago, it looked like this: and this: and this: A few weeks ago the cardinals, who are here all winter but silent, began singing again in the morning. Then the robins came back.… Read More Look…

Christianity, Nonfiction

The Everlasting Man

The Everlasting Man (1925) is G.K. Chesterton’s response to H.G. Wells’ Outline of History. Chesterton took issue with Wells’ evolutionary interpretation and his ensuing book is one of the ten C.S. Lewis credited as most influential in his intellectual life, spiritual history and vocation. What comes to mind first is a question: what would Chesterton… Read More The Everlasting Man

Chapter Books

Linnets and Valerians

*Edited to add: See my revised view of this book. It’s Read-Aloud Thursday, and none of the shorter books we’ve read this week seem post-worthy. But we’re a few chapters into Elizabeth Goudge’s Linnets and Valerians, an ALA Notable Book for Children published in 1964. We are having a blast with it. For one thing,… Read More Linnets and Valerians

On Reading

Chatty reading

As my youngest read to me today, I found myself reflecting on reading styles — and wondering how much they are a function of maturity, or personality, or ? My youngest is a chatty reader. Every page or two, she stops reading the text to offer commentary, study the pictures, ask questions, or flip back… Read More Chatty reading


Alone Together

M.I.T. professor Sherry Turkle has written two previous books on the subject of technology and its effects on humanity. Apparently The Second Self, published 26 years ago, presents a more sunny thesis that online exploration is beneficial to self-development. But Turkle’s new book, Alone Together, is a fascinating and at times devastating exploration of the… Read More Alone Together

Chapter Books

The Ordinary Princess

“Was it a good book?” I asked my daughters this question after finishing The Ordinary Princess. The answer seemed obvious; though I read it to them on my Kindle (complete with some decent illustrations, but still without the attractions of actual ink and paper), they were completely captivated from beginning to end. “Lots of giggles!”… Read More The Ordinary Princess