I’ve been reading a chapter a week of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, a reading challenge for 2020 organized by the Facebook group Rebuilding Hollin. This is my fourth time reading the trilogy, and I’m always reminded of what a good story it is. Poet Malcolm Guite happened to be in Oxford recently, stopped in the famous Tolkien/Lewis/Inklings pub of the Eagle & Child, and was reminded of a scene from The Fellowship of the Ring.
And speaking of the trilogy, the movie version of The Two Towers brought Madelyn Canada to tears. Sam Gamgee’s wisdom is something for all of us to reflect upon: “It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo.”
I’ve seen a few episodes of the country music series by Ken Burns that’s been airing on PBS, and even though I grew up in what is close to ground zero for jazz (New Orleans), there is a considerable amount of the stories Burns tells that I’m familiar with. Jonathan Clarke at City Journal writes about the series, and he notes that most of the PBS core audience finds itself in unknown territory.
I’ve read perhaps 20 of the British Crime Classics – mysteries from mystery’s Golden Age (roughly 1920s to 1940s) – being republished by the British Library. Jeremy Black at The Critic discusses his favorites in the series.
More Good Reads
Writing and Literature
Internal Adventures: Fans of George Eliot are celebrating her bicentenary – Kathy O’Shaugnessy at Standpoint Magazine.
Shakespeare on Love and War – Paul Krause at The Imaginative Conservative.
'No Divine Revelation, Feminine Intuition or Mumbo Jumbo': Dorothy L Sayers and the Detection Club – Francesca Wade at The Guardian.
Dana Gioia: A poet who combines sarcasm and song – Matthew Brennan at Catholic Herald.
Sinner’s Tower – Malcolm Guite at Literary Life.
The Fountains of Vaucluse – Troy Camplin at The Chained Muse.
Life and Culture
Sacred Truths in a Profane World – Sir Roger Scruton at The Imaginative Conservative.
Brass Spittoon: Imagining Hope for 2020 – Matt Stewart at Front Porch Republic.
Adulting, and the Fifth Commandment Rule of Thumb – Rachel D at Gentle Reformation.
'A Hidden Life' According to Neil Postman – Paul Frank Spencer at Mere Orthodoxy.
Children and Death: These Precious Days – Rick Wilcox at Literary Life.
Confessions of a Recovering Political Idolater – Jared Wilson at For the Church.
A Journalist's Faith: New Memoir Tells How Justice Prevailed in Civil Rights Era Murders – Bobby Ross Jr. at Religion Unplugged.
British Documents’ Influence on Cornerstone Texts for Other Countries - Michael Paul Hurd at English Historical Fiction Authors.
The murdered “handsome” priest with a decades-long secret – BBC (Hat tip: J of India)
Painting: Sitting Man with a Book (1690-1700), Cornelis Dusart; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.