Category Books

Repost: More Reader’s Digest Condensed Poetry

Here are the rest of my favorite condensed poems from Reader’s Digest, complete with footnotes!   Thanks to Reader’s Digest, I was able to read a hundred or so poems by Mr Tennyson this afternoon, and I’ve learned to love the ethereal beauty of Victorian poetry. Thank goodness I have the annotated version, or it would have […]

Repost: Reader’s Digest Condensed Poetry I

Hard to believe I’ve been blogging for 5 years. I haven’t gotten better with practice, in fact maybe worse. This is an early post. Enjoy! For decades Readers Digest has already done the heavy lifting of reading and understanding literature for us. I find their Condensed Poems series is a great doorway to broader cultural […]

The Habits of Men’s Minds (a review of De Lubac’s “Catholicism”)

All the same a change was gradually wrought upon the habits of men’s minds. Their whole picture of the world was changed. Just as they would no longer see the spiritual reflected in the sensible or the universal and the particular as reciprocally symbolical, so the idea of the relationship between the physical body of […]

Book Review: Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin

Laurus can be described as historical fiction, it takes place in 15th century Russia, but that gives the wrong impression about the contents. It does not simply tell a medieval story, it tells the story in a medieval way. The mental barriers between us and the past are high. The modern mentality is very different from the primitive, ancient, or medieval […]

Summer Reading

By the end of April I will have been liberated from classes. I have many goals for the summer and one is to build my attention span back to what it used to be. That means less internet and more reading in the evenings. I am going to have a pile of career-related stuff to read, but […]

Hating your customers

Spider-Man was a great character; his super powers were just plausible enough to get me to suspend my disbelief: getting bit by a radioactive spider messed with his DNA… somehow… it was good enough. Quite unlike that that irritating crew known as the X-Men, none of whom were able to carry a comic book on his own so they had […]

More Apocalyptic Fiction

We live in apocalyptic times, that is, times when we realize that the prevailing order is unstable, that our idols have feet of clay or our houses are built on sand or whatever other Biblical metaphor comes to mind. This old book review of mine (from 2012!) reflects on an older, much more severe cultural crisis: […]