Saturday, June 22, 2019

Saturday Good Reads

The first time I tried to visit the Charles Dickens House Museum in London was in 2012. It was the 200thanniversary of his birth. Through an inexplicable act of bad timing, the museum was closed for renovation. But I did go back, four times, in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. If I return to London, I’ll visit it once again. Yes, I’m a Charles Dickens fan.

Not so fast, David Heddendorf at Front Porch Republic might say. He makes an argument for the fiction of Anthony Trollope over Dickens, and even this Dickens fan thinks he has some good points to make. You can read about it in Puppets and Portraits: Two Victorians.

Josh Hawley, a U.S. Senator from my state of Missouri, barely had time to catch his breath as the state’s new attorney general before he was catapulted into the U.S. Senate. A Republican, he’s struck something of an independent path, criticizing the tech giants before it became fashionable in Washington and opposing a Trump-nominated candidate for a judiciary position. He also surprised a lot of people with his maiden speech in the Senate – calling for a revitalization of the “great American Middle” (guaranteed to offend both parties but especially Republicans).

Imagine my surprise to discover a column this past week in Christianity Today on The Age of Pelagius – on how an ancient heresy continues to plague contemporary culture. And it was written by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley. 

Exactly 130 years ago, Vincent Van Gogh was in an insane asylum, and in the space of one week painted five pictures, including two of his most famous works, Starry Night and Olive Trees with Les Apilles. Martin Bailey at The Art Newspaper tells the story of that week.

More Good Reads

Life and Culture

Competence of Character – Matthew Hosier at Think Theology.

What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane – William Langewiesche at The Atlantic.

Touch – Stewart McAlpine.

Writing and Literature

Preserving the pleasures of the bookshop – Alexander McCall Smith at The Scotsman.

Sherlock Holmes, Hardboiled Detective – Alexis Hall at CrimeReads.

Noir Tropes Are Alive and Well – and Powerful as Ever – Kelsey Rae Dimberg at CrimeReads.


On the banks of a quiet creek (poetry as prompt) – Kelly Belmonte (and others) at All Nine.

Sugar on Snow – David Yezzi at The Atlantic.

American Stuff

Seeds of Home: The Story of the Real Miss Rumphius – Elizabeth Harwell at Kingdom Come.


Foot Washing Words – Eileen Knowles at The Scenic Route.

Art and Architecture

Patrick Dougher – Maureen Doallas at Escape Into Life.

This 16th-Century Italian Church Is Built into the Side of a Cliff – Jessica Stewart at My Modern Met (and see the video below).

Santuario Madonna della Corona

Painting: Woman Reading the Newspaper, oil on canvas by Carl Vilhelm Holsoe (1863-1935).

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