Mrs. Dalloway

Mrs. Dalloway (1925) is a brussels sprouts book for me. For some reason the M.A.S.H. episode where Radar is in love with someone musical, and Hawkeye Pierce coaches him that he should respond to anything said about Bach with a knowing “Ahhhh, Bach!” comes to mind. This is one of those well-known books I’d like… Read More Mrs. Dalloway


Lucy and the Book

I’ve been struck lately by the uniqueness of the experience of reading the Bible as compared to reading other books. Normally I hate the term “strategy,” but in the same way Lucy goes into the silent and mysterious upstairs of the wise magician’s house in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader armed with a plan… Read More Lucy and the Book

Picture Books

Many Moons

This is a profound book. I marvel every time I read it. It’s about a princess sick in bed whose father promises her he’ll give her whatever she wants. She wants the moon. His counselors all give long-winded, complicated reasons why it’s too far away, too big, and too heavy, but the court jester suggests asking… Read More Many Moons


A Room with a View

I know it’s famous. I know it was a successful movie. But I had settled into grim dislike for it and was bearing down on the final pages before it suddenly and surprisingly won me over. I chose E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View(1908) because I expected to like it. It’s a novel about inner passions… Read More A Room with a View


Watchman’s Stone

This is one of those books I’m embarrassed that I like: Watchman’s Stone, by Rona Randall. It’s one of three books I haven’t read since junior high but have felt a whim to revisit lately. This one cost me a WHOLE TWENTY-FIVE CENTS to get through interlibrary loan! But I have to confess I enjoyed… Read More Watchman’s Stone

Chapter Books

The Black Cauldron

I read Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain chronicles when I was in junior high. Mrs. Greenblatt, the librarian, recommended them to me, and I wasn’t disappointed. Last year I revisited the first book, The Book of Three, and this week I read book 2, The Black Cauldron. Experiencing the book as an (alleged) adult, I was less absorbed by the… Read More The Black Cauldron


A Live Coal in the Sea

I finished L’Engle’s  A Live Coal in the Sea. It was hard to put down once I got going, even though there’s much in it that’s excruciating. It centers around a family’s attempt to absorb a variety of traumas through a surrounding “sea” of mercy. That’s the best way I can summarize it. The statement from… Read More A Live Coal in the Sea