Anne of Green Gables Goes Blond?! (Let’s judge a book by its cover)

Few news items have caused such outrage among my peers this week as the revelation that on a new book cover, our beloved (and auburn-tressed) Anne of Green Gables has gone blond. Maybe you, like my facebook friends, find this “terribly wrong,” “thoroughly disturbing,” tear-inducing, nausea-inducing, and/or rage-inducing; or maybe, like one of my fellow Christ and Pop Culture writers, you’re saying, “Isn’t Anne of Green Gables just Twilight for Canadians? Or for 5th grade homeschoolers?” (I was a … [Read more...]

Does the Church Have Room for Science Fiction?

Back in 2011, The Catholic World Report posted a piece titled "The Cross and The Stars" that looked at the possibility for Catholics (or any Christians, presumably) to find value in science fiction (aka, "speculative fiction") literature. It begins by noting the potential challenges that the genre poses for Christians: What do Worlds of If have to do with Jerusalem? Do Catholic writers have a place among the wizards of fantasy and the starships of science fiction? The very pervasiveness of … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Problem of Inheritances

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I can by no means guarantee a financial bequest...but I possess spiritual gifts from a God whose abundance is infinite. I missed Sunday night’s new episode of Downton Abbey—not because of watching the Super Bowl but because of being in bed with what is probably consumption. I can tell because I’ve read a lot of nineteenth century novels, and my life is at a partic … [Read more...]

In Praise of Memorizing Poetry

It's refreshing to see someone stress the importance of memorizing poetry these days, as Brad Leithauser recently did in The New Yorker. He recounts the great Russian poet Joseph Brodsky, who made his students memorize roughly 1,000 lines of poetry in a semester (much to their dismay). In that vein, Leithauser describes the push-back he gets from his own students when he makes them memorize a single sonnet by Shakespeare.So why even bother memorizing poetry these days? Here's Leithauser's ba … [Read more...]

Have the Literary Arts Become Too Secularized?

Last week, Gregory Wolfe -- the founder and editor of Image and author of Beauty Will Save the World -- wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal in which he pushed back against the claims of some -- e.g., Ruth Franklin, Paul Elie -- that secularization has grown triumphant in literature in recent years. He writes: In short, the myth of secularism triumphant in the literary arts is just that—a myth. Yet making lists of counterexamples does not get at a deeper matter. It has to do with the way th … [Read more...]

Did You Go To Passion 2013? Here’s What Fyodor Dostoyevsky Would Say to You

Passion 2013 wrapped up in Atlanta last week. Passion, the conference to end all conferences for college-aged Christians, was attended by upwards of 60,000 young evangelicals and sends a host of amped up college students back to their campuses with renewed vision, passion and excitement for the gospel of Jesus Christ.However, in this emotional experience, many come home feeling as if they have been immediately called to missionary work in dangerous parts of the world, or called to start some … [Read more...]

The Best Children’s Books of 2012

Happy New Year! In keeping with the CAPC tradition of year-end lists of our favorite things, I’ve been reviewing my reading of the past year. 2012 provided an array of delightful picture books for children. I tried my best to narrow them down to a Top 5, but ended up with 6. In any case, I noticed as I was compiling my list that each of them can in some way be classified as a meta-narrative—a story about stories. Meta-narrative is one of my favorite ways to approach story, because it highlights … [Read more...]

Longing for Fiction

In his text Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories, C. S. Lewis writes of fairy stories that “it would be much truer to say that fairy land arouses a longing for he knows not what." It stirs and troubles him (to his life-long enrichment) with the dim sense of something beyond his reach and, far from dulling or emptying the actual world, gives it a new dimension of depth. He does not despise real woods (29) because he has read of enchanted woods: the reading makes all real woods a little enchanted. T … [Read more...]

Great Christmas Reads for Kids

In an act of shameless self promotion, I'm going to share the link to a list of my favorite Christmas books for kids . Some sacred, some secular, each one offers a delightful read for families this Christmas season. I love the way each one, whether focusing on the Nativity or the Grinch or the Nutcracker or Scrooge, focuses on the way that the magic of this season can transform us, if only we will let it. I hope you enjoy these stories with your loved ones, and that your Christmas is merry and … [Read more...]

Our Favorite Graphic Novels of 2012

Christ and Pop Culture's resident Illustrator, Seth Hahne, shares six must-read graphic novels from the past year.  Since I can't know either you or how your tastes run, I'm simply going to presume that you are like myself. I'm going to presume that you—like me—find graphic novels to be a worthwhile expression of personal and cultural storytelling. I'm going to presume that you find the artifacts of pop culture, and in this case graphic novels, worthwhile for any number of reasons—reasons probab … [Read more...]