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Showing posts from March, 2012

Recently Read: Murder, Melding Worlds, and a Soothing Mug of Bush Tea

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Here are a few of the books I've read purely for entertainment in the past few weeks. I've read, or am reading, others for more serious purposes, but I'll list them separately at another time.

An Impartial Witness: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Bess Crawford Mysteries) and Legacy of the Dead (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries),both by Charles Todd (who is apparently actually a mother-son team of writers). These are murder mystery novels set around the time of World War I in England, the protagonist of the first being a young nurse busy patching up the wounded behind the lines in France (but getting plenty of leave in England, which facilitates her sleuthing). The second takes place immediately after the war and features a Scotland Yard detective recovering from shell shock and suffering from guilt after having to shoot a non-com for cowardice during the long, dehumanizing slog of trench warfare. The personality of the dead man continues to haunt Inspector Rutledge and offers run…

Poetic Imagination and the truth of God

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What follows is a little essay I wrote for our parish newsletter/magazine, where it appeared this past Christmas. I offer it here because it discusses a book, The Heliand, that appeals to me on a variety of levels, and raises -- in my mind, at least -- the question of the poetic imagination, which I would like to deal with explicitly in some future post.

The Almighty Word at Christmastime I find the “Christmas season” (that time of year that used to be Advent) irritating, but not for the reason you might expect. It’s not the wretched Christmas music blared in every public venue from Macy’s to Jiffy Lube, nor is it the crass commercialization that spawns such things as sermons on “What Would Jesus Buy?” and ads that show tinsel Christmas trees with small electronics as ornaments. Those are mostly products of a crass and cynical world that has little love for God, and are therefore not to be wondered at or, in my case, even noticed (I have developed a fine faculty for ignoring and…

Waking the Dead: A Blogger's Return

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I see it's been a year since my last post -- but not because I've quit reading, or thinking about what I read. I simply got busy and lost the habit of writing, and have been reading too many things to keep up with, thanks largely to my Kindle eReader, which makes it perhaps too easy to be reading several different books at once. For instance, right now the "Current Reading" category on my Kindle (which I have come to prefer for reading, over physical books) contains 34 titles -- not all of which I'm actually reading at the moment -- spanning a range of categories from spiritual reading (St Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises and St Therese of Lisieux's The Story of a Soul), through some agrarian essays of Wendell Berry and historical novels of Louis de Wohl, to Stephen King's Dark Tower novel series. It's interesting that these 34 title represent almost exactly 5% of the 678 titles currently residing on my Kindle. If I'm stranded on a de…