Every year I set out to read 52 books, the equivalent of one a week for a year. I have never reached my goal, but I aim for it every year. This year I read 37 books. These included history, theology, poetry, and fiction. Here are a few highlights from my 2018 reading. Continue reading Thoughts on Books I Read in 2018
Every year I set out to read 52 books. I usually make it to between 32-38 books in a year. This year I read only 24 which is an exceptionally slow reading year for me. Unexpected turns came in 2016 and 2017 that slowed my pace in both writing and reading. I hope to get my groove back in 2018. I am off to a good start having finished reading my first book of the year on January 2.
Below are some of the highlights of my 2017 reading: Continue reading Book Review of Books Read in 2017
I am passionate about writing. I’ve loved writing from a young age. I still have my handwritten attempts at writing a Nancy Drew novel as well as my attempt at a Star Trek novel. However, today I write non-fiction along with an occasional poem. I’m the girl who loved essay assignments in college. I signed up for every writing intensive course I could find. I was often disappointed that the classes were not challenging enough. I wanted to be pushed to grow in skill and technique. Continue reading On Writing
A decade has passed since I sat in my Introduction to History class listening to my professor lament on our inability to know history. Instead of introducing her students to the fascinating world of historical knowledge, she adeptly laid the foundation of its futility. Her philosophy ought to have caused her resignation as her own field of discipline had no purpose pursuant her own admission. In fact, her philosophy undermined the entire historical department at the University not to mention the discipline itself. The professor did not simply suggest this untoward line of thinking, she professed it as truth, at least in as much as it could be in a world without truth. She opined truth’s nonexistence in the same manner she dispensed with the ability to know history.
A few weeks into the course, I would hear the same professor attempt to validate her point of view that plagiarism is a moral wrong while many of the students argued that there were legitimate allowances for it. She had no ground to stand on since she had already dismissed the existence of truth weeks before. All she had at her disposal was indignation at the moral malaise of her students. It is not every day that a person comes face to face with the logical conclusions of one’s own philosophy.
Most people live in conflict with their own philosophy. Continue reading Saving Western Civilization
What if you could look at an object and have its history mapped out before your eyes? You consider a book and a timeline unfolds tracing all the ideas back to their origin. You walk through the door of an institution and its history fills-in, in complete detail, as you traverse the hallways.
There are people who have such knowledge. They hear an idea and can tell you of the philosophers who first introduced it according to known history. Others read a style of writing and can identify the writers who influenced this author. Some can hear a musical composition and can tell you the history of the style and what songs influenced the composers. But for most of us, learning the origins of ideas, institutions, culture, and worldviews requires Continue reading It’s a Wonderful World
Some people rescue cats and dogs, I rescue books. I’m a book rescuer. I’ve treasure hunted for special finds in Thrift Stores for many years. Over the years, I have observed the mistreatment of books in these establishments. They are tossed in large bins or baskets before being placed on the display shelves. They sit huddled, one atop of another, this way and that, with pages bending and bindings straining. I’ve watched thrift store clerks rearrange the books on a shelf by slamming them into a grocery cart before they reload them on a different shelf. I’ve also seen what happens at the end of the line when the unsold books go to the clearance warehouse and then the trash. Oh the misery of watching books cast away as worthless paper.
I have always enjoyed finding books for my own collection at thrift store prices. Some years ago, I began buying books I already own that I deem excellent reads. I rescue these poor books from their thrift store prisons and save them for readers who want them. When I am discussing a particular book or author with a friend and they express interest in the book, I search my give away collection to find the book its new home.
I fulfill several purposes in this arrangement. First, I enjoy the treasure hunt. Second, I enjoy saving readers the retail price by Continue reading For the Love of Books
My last post about reading sparked a lot of interest among WordPress Bloggers. I thought I would follow it up with a short description of some of what I have read and am reading this year.
Western Culture at the American Crossroads by Arthur Pontynen & Rod Miller
I ventured into reading this art history book as it peaked my interest on the ISI.org website which is devoted to conservative scholarship that underpins American liberty. As I pushed through the high academic writing, I unearthed a treasure trove of outstanding theology, philosophy, and cultural understanding. These authors taught me that true appreciation and production of high art requires a Trinitarian Christian worldview. The thesis was masterfully supported by the writers.
A few great quotes from this work:
“All knowledge is theology diluted; all culture and politics are a reflection of theology grounded in metaphysics.” p. 217
“A useful generalization, modernism-postmodernism is the classical-Judeo-Christian tradition without an objective or transcendent Being, God, or Truth.” p. 194
“Trinitarian theology makes possible a scientific rationalism that permits the reconciliation of becoming with Being while preserving the integrity of each.” p. 196
“Modernism defined art – and science – not as the material manifestation of wisdom, but as genius-inspired feelings, and facts.” p. 287
Surprised By Hope by N.T. Wright
Wright provides a wonderful hope-filled eschatology in this work. He emphasizes the long lost doctrine of the resurrection of the body and how that matters to the believer’s life now and upon resurrection. He contrasts this view with the common Left Behind eschatology that lacks the richness of biblical eschatology. I found Wright to provide several large pieces of the puzzle that I was missing as I already leaned toward a different picture of the end times.
There were a few areas that Wright discusses in his book that I am not ready to assimilate into my thinking, but they did provide interesting points in a conversation worth considering.
A few great quotes from this work: Continue reading A Few Books I’ve Read This Year
I aim to never read alone. I find that I draw so much more from a book when I read with the collective voices of other authors who have addressed the particular subject. I bounce the words I read off the thoughts I’ve gleaned before from these illustrious voices. I look for where they fit in the conversation. Often I find the voice I am reading to provide a missing element of the conversation. Sometimes it broadness the conversation to include new avenues the subject has yet to reach in my studies. Still, at other times, it narrows the conversation into intricate detail that is the needle and thread weaving the knowledge more securely to the big picture. There are also those writers whose handling of the subject seems to have missed the conversation altogether and yet the other voices come in to play in rebuttal.
My favorite authors to read with are G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Alister McGrath, and a great many others that have joined the conversation over the years. My bookshelves are bulging with their many voices. They span the spectrum of subjects. To name a few consider: John Locke, Charles Dickens, Niccolo Machiavelli, J.R.R Tolkein, Malcolm Muggeridge, Adam Smith, Henry David Thoreau, or newer voices like Ravi Zacharias, Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, and Danny Silk. All of these have something to contribute to the big questions of life and the more Continue reading Never Read Alone