Learning about Sainthood from Terry Pratchett #LittleAngelsReadUp

Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, passed away today.  I'm encouraging other fans to celebrate his life and writing by giving a copy of one of his books to a friend and/or donating one to a school or library today.  I've made an image and hashtag to share below, if you'd like to join in.The first Pratchett I read was Small Gods (a standalone book in the Discworld series), which led me into the whole series.  My favorite characters to follow are Sam Vimes (of the Watch sub … [Read more...]

The Last 5 Years’s Primer on Loving Badly [Guest Post]

Monique Ocampo recently joined the Patheos Catholic channel and is also a big fan of The Last 5 Years.  In the guest post below, she discusses what she learned from Cathy and Jamie's relationship. Time is a big theme in “The Last Five Years.” The original stage production shows a large clock on the set. It’s shown in “The Schmuel Song,” symbolized by Jamie’s story and the watch he gives her. Throughout the musical, Jamie can only think of the present moment while Cathy can only t … [Read more...]

Reaching Out through Retold Stories [Radio Readings]

You can listen to “Fights in Good Faith,” my weekly radio program, streaming today at 5pm ET and tomorrow (Sun) at 1pm  The episode is now available to download/stream on demand.This week, Rosamund Hodge's Crimson Bound served as a jumping off point to talk about why I love reading retold stories.Every week, I put up a “Radio Readings” post, so you can track down the books, articles, and, (this week) fanfiction that I cite on the show. So, without further ado, here’s what I’m talking … [Read more...]

The Story of Shmuel and Tailoring Support [Guest Post]

This is a guest post by Ellery Weil on The Last 5 Years. I've included a video clip of a "Story of Shmuel" performance, but it's not the one Ellery is discussing.The Last Five Years is a story of love lost, or maybe love that was never really there. But more than that, it’s a story about the different shapes “support” can take, depending on the person who needs it, and how easy it is for people’s attempts to support each other to backfire without proper communication. One of the main issues p … [Read more...]

Asking a Lover for Too-Limited Support

When I hosted a party to watch The Last 5 Years, one of my guests tried to play diagnose-the-heresy with the two leads and claimed that they were both Pelagians, seeing happiness/success/virtue as simply a result of their own efforts.  I disagreed for several reasons, the most important being that I think Pelagians think that a good life is harder to achieve than either Jamie or Cathy does, and that Pelagians see their own weakness as the primary obstacle to their salvation, while Jamie and Ca … [Read more...]

No Villains, Just Inept Lovers in The Last 5 Years

The Last 5 Years tells the story of Jamie and Cathy's relationship, from the moment they meet, through when they marry, to the moment, five years after they relationship began, their marriage ends.  The musical is a series of sung monologues--Jamie and Cathy each telling the story of their relationship in alternating songs, that cover the relationship's arc from opposite directions: Jamie from beginning to end, Cathy from end to beginning.  Thus, Cathy's first song is set the morning that she f … [Read more...]

When has a book in one field helped you in a seemingly unrelated one?

I've just finished Scott Aaronson's Quantum Computing Since Democritus this week (making a list of the books I wanted to read has really helped me prioritize them!), and I'd like all of your help in prepping what's going to be a segment I do on it this week for my radio show.Quantum Computing Since Democritus falls into the same category for me as Flatland -- it's a book about a technical field, where most of the benefit I get out of reading it is not the increased knowledge of/mastery of … [Read more...]