What Jane Didn’t Tell Rochester

Jane Eyre is a manual for Christian romance and anybody in love should read it. The lessons in it are many, but here is an unexpected one: the lover tells the beloved what he needs to hear and not always what he wishes to hear. Jane and Rochester initially are separated by God and Jane’s obedience [Read More...]

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Lesson in Loving Well: Never, Ever Be St John Rivers

If you wish to be in love properly and have not read Jane Eyre, stop now. Read the book. If you are still reading, then you know that the worst moment in the book is when St John Rivers proposes to Jane Eyre. This proposal comes from a man who is called to a hard ministry in [Read More...]

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Learning from Fiction: What is wrong with fundamentalists and atheists?

The man who cannot learn from fiction because it is not literally true is like the man who cannot watch an event on television because it is not “literally” before his eyes. He is missing the truth in the representation of reality. Fiction has taught me as much as n0n-fiction. That Hideous Strength, Jane Eyre, the myths of Republic, and [Read More...]

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Lessons in Leadership (I): Steve Jobs

I am reading books on leadership with a group of friends at HBU and we began with Steve Jobs. Walter Isaacson is a better writer than Jobs’ a topic and at times the gap between talent and the subject’s pretensions shows in the book: Jobs was less consequential than he believed and Isaacson struggles to do more [Read More...]

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Middle March Advice from Middlemarch

It is the middle of March, so I am reading Middlemarch. This plan has been much more cheering than the year I studied Julius Caesar during the Ides of March. Middlemarch may be the best novel written in English, though perhaps not. Unlike Pride and Prejudice, the novel meanders and it does not sparkle with [Read More...]

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The Problem of “Pamela” for Pamela

Pamela is an early English sort-of-novel showing the triumph of the virtue of Pamela: one of the more insufferable characters ever to appear in literature. For those tempted to believe that Elsie Dinsmore, her American soul sister, would be tolerable if English: wrong. Virtue is supposed to be triumphant in Pamela and a certain virtue is, but meanwhile virtue becomes [Read More...]

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Our Kid’s Dentist Says: Buy this Book!

    So I have this novel . . .and the publisher has fixed certain earlier publication problems. It has just been reviewed positively here. This kind review is not by our dentist, but our dentist would like to get paid. You know what to do. You can buy it here. . .  It has a [Read More...]

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In Which I Live Blog Sarah Palin’s New Book: “Good Tidings of Great Joy”

The Rules: In a live reading, I live my life while reading a book and post my unedited (actually lightly edited) thoughts as I go. I then end with my final thoughts and this stands as the “review.” Thoughts Before Reading: If a free book comes in the mail, it must be acknowledged. Sarah Palin [Read More...]

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The Bible and “Fifty Shades of Grey”

To avoid disappointment let me begin by saying this is not a post reviewing Fifty Shades of Grey. I have not read it and am averse to commenting on books I have not read. I have no intention of reading Fifty Shades of Grey, not having yet completed the complete works of Anthony Trollope, also a romantic writer. [Read More...]

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On Mindless Entertainment

Charles Dickens wrote a most excellent essay against proposed Sabbath laws, Sunday Under Three Heads. Certain puritanical types wanted to close absolutely everything closable all Sunday and ban harmless pursuits, though they were harder on the middle-class and poor than the rich. Dickens would not stand for it. He admitted that a day of rest was [Read More...]

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