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Fellowship of the Book: T. M. Doran's Toward the Gleam (Review)

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Christmas is upon us, and Peter Jackson's new Hobbit movie has recently premiered, which reminds me of a great book I've been meaning to recommend. Anyone looking for a Christmas gift for fans of Tolkien's tales of Middle Earth should take a look at T. M. Doran's novel, Toward the Gleam (from Ignatius Press , available in hardback, ereader, and audio editions; get the Kindle version from Amazon .) It is both an homage to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and a gripping tale in its own right. The makers of the book's trailer definitely wanted to draw attention to the connection between Doran's novel and Tolkien's. The cover art design for the book should also remind readers of LOTR. Toward the Gleam 's cover was designed by John Herreid and executed by a wonderful Catholic artist, Daniel Mitsui . You can see that it incorporates some of the design elements from the well-known covers of the 1986 Houghton Mifflin edition (below), such as the r

Books Can Save Our Dying Culture

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On Renewing “A Catholic Reader” I’VE BEEN WANTING to get back to writing on this blog for some time now, after several years of neglect. When I started it, ten years ago, I was recovering from a severe case of burnout, so I wrote mostly to give my frazzled brain something to do. I had spent the past ten years or so teaching in college classrooms, so a bit of that showed up in my blog posts, but mostly I was trying to express what interested me about the books I read and just putting that out there to see if it interested anyone else. I originally called this blog “A Catholic Reader” because that describes my reading tastes—“catholic” with a small “c”—and because it also describes my perspective as a reader, “Catholic” with a capital “c”, a worldview that permeates my understanding of, well, everything. Now that I want to get back to blogging about books and reading, a part of me still wants to teach others, about how to read and why to read and how to get the greatest pleasure and ben