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...]

Into the Weeds (and the Woods) [Radio Readings]

My new, weekly radio program, Fights in Good Faith, premiers today.  You'll be able to stream it live here on Real Life Radio at 5pm Eastern, and you can catch it again on Sunday at 1pm.  After it airs, the audio will be available on my show's page.  And, in the meantime, here's the 30 second promo for the show:Every Saturday, before the show airs, I'll be posting on the blogs to share links to all the major books, songs, concepts that I mention on the show.  So, while you're listening, i … [Read more...]

Struggling to Offer an Open House

I picked up Robert Farrar Capon's Bed and Board: Plain Talk About Marriage after reading Melanie's post on The Wine Dark Sea on "What has Beatrice to do with Bed?"  The quotes she assembled were easily enough to get me to order the book for myself.And I suspect they're a little more generally appealing than the quote I want to highlight from my reading, so perhaps you want to pop over chez elle first?I really liked Capon's book, and, if I'm ever lucky enough to be verging on getting engag … [Read more...]

Shortlist for my 2015 Blogging Book

Today marks the start of the On Christian Doctrine Augustine bookclub, so, if any of you are interested in joining, you've actually only got three paragraphs from the preface to read today in order to get all caught up with the rest of us.  And one of those three grafs goes like this: To those who do not understand what is here set down, my answer is, that I am not to be blamed for their want of understanding. It is just as if they were anxious to see the new or the old moon, or some very o … [Read more...]

Books on deck for me in 2015!

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...]


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