Saturday, December 30, 2023

Saturday Good Reads - Dec. 30, 2023

The Free Press hosted an essay contest for seniors (you had to be over 70 to enter), and the results were rather stunning. The winner selected was Michael Tobin, 77, who told a marvelous story about his brilliant wife. Read “A Love Song for Deborah.”  

The Advent 2023 edition of An Unexpected Journal has been posted, and it’s (almost) all things Dostoevsky. Under the general theme of “Sober Hope: Finding Faith in the Bleak Midwinter,” included are some 21 articles on the Russian writer’s novels, short stories, his faith, adaptations of his novels into film, poetry and a story about him, a biography review, his place in literature, and more. It’s a smashingly good edition.


It's not a word I would associate with Hamas, the terrorist organization, but Matti Friedman at The Free Press does. The word is wisdom. He writes that Hamas has wisdom because it’s figured out what it’s fighting for, and the West hasn’t. Hamas also understood how western elites would likely respond to its attack on Israel on Oct. 7.


For those who think the reports of rapes and sexual violence were an exaggeration or Israel was to blame, or for those who turned their backs on what really happened on Oct. 7, The New York Times published a story that provides the details


The controversy continues to swirl around Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard. The debate has shifted, though, from equivocating remarks about genocide to her use of others’ work, which we used to call plagiarism but renamed by the Harvard Board of Governors as “duplicative language,” and questions about her research data. Peter Wood at The Spectator explains that plagiarism matters, for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is how you can discipline students or faculty for plagiarism when all they have to do is claim “duplicative language”?


More Good Reads


Life and Culture


The first episode of the Howdy Doody Show aired on NBC on Dec. 27, 1947 – Timeless Television.


Top 10 YouTubes of 2023 – Denny Burk.


When the Left Can No Longer Dream – John Horvat at The Imaginative Conservative.


American Stuff


The secret U.S. effort to track, hide and surveil the Chinese spy balloon – Courtney Kube and Carol Lee at NBC News.


The Fateful Nineties – Christopher Caldwell at First Things Magazine.


News Media


Democracy Dies in Daylight – Matt Taibbi at Racket News.


GetReligion will close on Feb. 2, the 20th anniversary of this blog’s birth – Terry Mattingly at GetReligion.


Writing and Literature


All Good Books Are Alike – James Witmer at Story Warren.


Intention: a short story written in the aftermath of Hamas’ 7 October attack on Israel – Etgar Keret at The Guardian.


The Miracle of the Bells: A Forgotten Novel & Film – Michael De Sapio at The Imaginative Conservative.




Craft and Theology: The Reason – Nathaniel Marshall at Front Porch Republic.


Why Is the Lord’s Supper Important? – Murungi Igweta at Tabletalk.


Everything Is Going Wrong in the World? G. Campbell Morgan Remind Us to Adjust Our Focus – Randy Alcorn at Eternal Perspectives Ministries/ 




A Video Excerpt of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – Andrew Benson Brown at Society of Classical Poets.


Small thing – Sonja Benskin Mesher.


An Abandoned Cemetery – Carey Jobe at Society of Classical Poets.




Hans Holbein, the inventor of portraits – David Starkey at The Spectator.




Why the Dark Ages Weren’t Really All That Dark – Robbie Mitchell at Ancient Origins.




Battle for the past: the Ukrainians trying to save their archaeological treasure amid war – Charlotte Higgins at The Guardian.


You’ll Never Walk Alone – Madison Scouts

 Painting: A man reading, oil on canvas by Eugene-Francois De Block (1812-1893)

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