What I Read: September 2019

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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G.K. Chesterton, A Man for Our Times

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. In a world of Twitter and Internet memes that prize brevity, short yet poignant quotes are often passed around on social media without much thought as to where they came from. Some of my personal favorites: “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.”; “To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same…

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“Good Omens” TV Show Review

Book-to-screen adaptations are always going to be tricky, because the mediums of books and films have very different needs, abilities, and limitations. You can’t tell a story the exact same way in both forms; and if you try, it’s going to be a hot mess. However, I have found that the most successful adaptations are usually when the same writer works on both (and is proficient in both forms). I’m pleased to say that such was the case with Good…

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“Tolkien” Movie Review

When I first learned that there was going to be a biopic about J.R.R. Tolkien, I was excited but also extremely apprehensive. Tolkien was a man who might not be easily grasped by today’s culture: a devout Catholic, a loving and faithful husband and father, a survivor of the Somme in World War I, and someone who loved language so much that he invented several of his own, just for fun. Tolkien is criticized for a lack of female characters…

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Shakespeare Love

So, I am definitely someone who loves traditions. I love familiarity and I enjoy having different things to look forward to throughout the year. You might recall my Hobbit-fest tradition. In my book, An Adult-ish Toolkit, I have an entire chapter about the importance of celebrating birthdays. And I put a lot of thought into the planning of holidays and other milestone events. One of my favorite traditions that I have adopted in the last few years is the declaration…

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Narnia Thoughts

C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series was a hallmark of my youth and, subsequently, is a lens through which I tend to view the world. I’m sure that the books were read to me, but I primarily remember watching the old BBC mini-series, which we would borrow from the local library on a pretty regular basis. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader are some of the most prominent stories that I remember…

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G.K. Chesterton, Father Brown, and Evangelizing the Culture

At one of the local parishes, I help to lead a series called “Evangelizing the Culture”. We meet once a month and different people lead discussions on various books, movies, TV shows, or other forms of media from our modern culture and we look at how we can find messages relating to our faith even in seemingly secular work. I’ve led discussions ranging from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, the Disney movie Moana, Homer Simpson, and John Green’s The Fault…

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What a Piece of Work is Man

I’ve been watching Shakespeare in some form or another for as long as I can remember. One of the joys of being home schooled is that I wasn’t forced to study Shakespeare until I was in college and was already in love with the stories for themselves. Instead, I was introduced to these stories by my mother, with various movie and theater productions, accompanied by the enthusiasm of my older sister. I can still remember the first time that we…

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What I read: August 2018

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

Continue Reading

Chesterton, Elfland, and the Modern Imagination

I recently attended my very first Chesterton Conference, an event which is put on every year by the American Chesterton Society. If you have never heard of the writer G.K. Chesterton, it might strike you as odd that there could be an entire conference dedicated to his work, never mind an entire national organization. (Chesterton is actually celebrated world-wide, as there is also an Australian Chesterton Society, as well) Well, let me tell you, Chesterton is probably the greatest writer…

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