Books on deck for me in 2015!

2014 books

It turns out that Goodreads has a nifty feature that plots the publication date of books you read against when you read them.  (I think it gets confused by second editions and reissues, though).  It was fun to see my year's (well, half-year's -- I started using Goodreads this summer) reading plotted out in this way. Turns out the top ten oldest things I read were:Loss and Gain: Story of a Convert - John Henry Newman (1848) [reread] Dracula - Bram Stoker (1879) Cuchulain of Muirthemne - … [Read more...]

Celebrate the New Year by reading Black Lamb, Grey Falcon!

blgf

My family often celebrates New Year's Eve by watching a very long movie (i.e. Gandhi) on New Year's Eve, when we're committed to staying up to finish it.If you'd like to pick up that tradition but in a literary vein, why not welcome in the new year while reading Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia.I read it this month because all my cool friends were reading/had read it, and I'm very pleased to have done so (though my boyfriend now insists I read … [Read more...]

My Year-End Book Recommendations in TAC and NRO

books, many

I've already shared with you guys the ten best books that I read (for the first time) this year, but in case you're still finishing up shopping for others, I've also added my suggestions to both The American Conservative and National Review's gift guides for the end of the year.   And my recommendations there are a little less narrowly tailored to my hobbyhorses--so fewer philosophy of medicine and disease on those lists.So head on over to both sites to see my ideas, and those of other wri … [Read more...]

My 10 Best Books of 2014

books, many

Every year, I like to make a list of my favorite books I read for the first time in that year.  Thus, my ten best books of the year aren't limited to those that came out in this year.  In chronological order of when I read them, these are my favorites.Oh, and if you'd like to get once-a-month, behind the scene updates about my book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayer that Even I Can Offer, you can sign up here -- my first email goes out on Monday, and includes the copyediting note that a … [Read more...]

Justice Laid (Possibly Unlawfully) Bare

Arguendo

I'm reviewing Arguendo today at The American Interest, and explaining how this play about a Supreme Court case deciding whether stripping was First Amendment protected speech winds up painting SCOTUS in a romantic and heroic light.The justices begin on a plinth that resembles the actual Supreme Court (set design by David Zinn), but shortly after the arguments begin, they send their wheeled chairs zooming down ramps to the main part of the stage. For the rest of the play they scoot around, co … [Read more...]

To Mary Through Henry Adams

Chartres-Interior-8-2011

It's been a week of Marian feasts.  Yesterday was the feast of Mary's name and this past Monday was the feast of her birth.  I lucked into doing extremely thematic reading for the week, since this is when I finally got around to reading the copy of Henry Adams's Mont-Saint-Michel and Chatres that I had on my kindle.Adams (descended from the presidential Adamses) is also the author of The Education of Henry Adams, which was my favorite part of the curriculum of the "Political Philosophy as Edu … [Read more...]

Plato Disappoints at the Googleplex

Plato-raphael

I'm over at First Things today, reviewing Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's Plato at the Googleplex, in which she writes new dialogues for Plato, in modern contests, answering modern questions.  Here's a teaser: When scientists like Laurence Krauss and Neil deGrasse Tyson call philosophers to answer for their crimes today, the lovers of wisdom aren’t accused of anything as exciting as corrupting the youth.In Rebecca Goldstein’s telling, Plato’s greatest danger is his elitism. She’s less worried … [Read more...]


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