litlover12: (CSL)
Hi, everyone. I'm still alive. :-) Sorry I haven't posted or commented much lately. Keeping busy here. I went to the C. S. Lewis & the Inklings Society meeting at Grove City College (which was fantastic -- nice group of people, beautiful school!). Unfortunately, it was FREEZING the whole time, and I'm now fighting off a cold (which is not fantastic, but I have hopes of being able to head it off before it gets properly underway).

And I bought EIGHT books at the conference, which I think is a record even for me. :-)

I've been keeping up with your posts and thinking of you all often!
litlover12: (Cross)
"I have heard a man maintain that 'the importance of the Resurrection is that it proves survival'. Such a view cannot at any point be reconciled with the language of the New Testament. On such a view Christ would simply have done what all men do when they die: the only novelty would have been that in His case we were allowed to see it happening. But there is not in Scripture the faintest suggestion that the Resurrection was new evidence for something that had in fact been always happening. The New Testament writers speak as if Christ's achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the 'first fruits', the 'pioneer of life'. He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has opened."

C. S. Lewis, Miracles
litlover12: (CSL)
I know, I'm a week early, but there were a lot of things to be thankful for this week! Like . . .Read more... )
litlover12: (GK1)
That is, it hasn't been announced online yet -- but I just got the e-mail announcing that my Lewis essay won the Book Riot contest. Many thanks to all of you who voted for me and/or encouraged me!
litlover12: (Writing)
I've got a new piece in The Atlantic. I think (I hope!) that those of you who like Sherlock, Cabin Pressure, Star Trek: Into Darkness, or any combination thereof will like this one!

Also, this is the last day you can vote for my C. S. Lewis essay at Book Riot. Again, just go here and click the Like button. Thanks to those of you who have already voted for me!
litlover12: (CSL)
When I posted this the other day, LJ was having a spaz attack, so I'm not sure how many saw it. So I'll post it once more:

My essay on C. S. Lewis is a finalist in the Book Riot competition! Winner is determined by audience vote. If you'd like to vote for me, please go here and click on the little "Like" button at the top left. Thanks in advance!
litlover12: (Writing)
My essay on C. S. Lewis is a finalist in the Book Riot competition! Winner is determined by audience vote. If you'd like to vote for me, please go here and click on the little "Like" button at the top left. Thanks in advance!

In other writing news, here's my Gatsby review!
litlover12: (CSL)
I’m entering Book Riot’s START HERE, Vol. 2 Write-In Giveaway. For my entry, I've chosen to write about C. S. Lewis.
Read more... )

Book meme

Feb. 13th, 2013 08:46 am
litlover12: (Books)
I got this from a message board, and modified it a bit. The idea is simple: Suppose that for some reason you had to pare your library down to 25 single volumes, plus 1 series. You're allowed to read other books, but these 25 (plus 1) are the only books you're allowed to keep or to reread.

(The original meme said 20 books plus 1 series, but that would be inhuman. I think there's something in the Geneva Convention about it.)

You can put the series anywhere in your list, but mark it with an asterisk.

Here are mine . . .


The indispensables )
litlover12: (Dickens)
I was feeling a bit sad about the Charles Dickens bicentennial and the Gene Kelly centennial drawing to a close. They've made this year so much fun.

Then I was reminded that 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis's death.

So there's that.

On a happier note*, though, [livejournal.com profile] ibmiller reminds me that it will also mark the bicentennial of Pride and Prejudice

*Not saying that it wasn't a happy occasion for Lewis -- the Lewis Institute calls it "his passing from death to life," and I'm sure he saw it the same way himself! But it makes for kind of a different celebration . . .
litlover12: (GK_LC)
The Gene Kelly Cross Stitch Pattern.

I haven't cross-stitched in ages -- never even finished the Snoopy I was making for my goddaughter when she was born, six years ago -- but I am so tempted to get this, you have NO IDEA.

In other "this is a thing that exists" news: The Narnia Wardrobe Ring. We've finally found a ring I wouldn't wear: For one thing, I'd have to sell everything I own, ever have owned, and ever will own, plus any potential firstborn child, to afford it. For another thing, the sheer size and weight of it would drag my hand all the way down to the floor.

But the concept's kind of cool, don't you think? Wonder if they make a pendant . . .
litlover12: (CSL)
"Does not every movement in the Passion write large some common element in the sufferings of our race? First, the prayer of anguish; not granted. Then He turns to His friends. They are asleep — as ours, or we, are so often, or busy, or away, or preoccupied. Then He faces the Church; the very Church that He brought into existence. It condemns Him. This also is characteristic. In every Church, in every institution, there is something which sooner or later works against the very purpose for which it came into existence.

"But there seems to be another chance. There is the State; in this case, the Roman state. Its pretensions are far lower than those of the Jewish church, but for that very reason it may be free of local fanaticisms. It claims to be just on a rough, worldly level. Yes, but only so far as is consistent with political expediency and raison d’etat. One becomes a counter in a complicated game.

"But even now all is not lost. There is still an appeal to the People — the poor and simple whom He had blessed, whom He had healed and fed and taught, to whom He Himself belongs. But they have become over-night (it is nothing unusual) a murderous rabble shouting for His blood. There is, then, nothing left but God. And to God, God’s last words are 'Why hast thou forsaken me?'

"You see how characteristic, how representative, it all is. The human situation writ large. These are among the things it means to be a man. Every rope breaks when you seize it. Every door is slammed shut as you reach it. To be like the fox at the end of the run; the earths all staked.

"As for the last dereliction of all, how can we either understand or endure it? Is it that God Himself cannot be man unless God seems to vanish at His greatest need? And if so, why? I sometimes wonder if we have even begun to understand what is involved in the very concept of creation. If God will create, He will make something to be, and yet to be not Himself. To be created is, in some sense, to be ejected or separated. Can it be that the more perfect the creature is, the further this separation must at some point be pushed? It is saints, not common people, who experience the 'dark night.'”

From Letters to Malcom: Chiefly on Prayer by C. S. Lewis

Ooooh!

May. 31st, 2011 12:47 pm
litlover12: (CSL)
There's a new book out with C. S. Lewis's translation of the Aeneid, or at least the parts that he got around to translating. Intriguing!
litlover12: (CSL)
28. Some firsts: First book you remember loving/being obsessed with. First book that made you cry. First book you gave to someone else as a gift.

Into the home stretch! )
litlover12: (CSL)
13. Do you reread a lot? Why (not)? Name a book you have reread many times.

Some tough questions here . . .  )
litlover12: (CSL)
First of all, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mosinging1986 for suggesting that this project have a tag of its own. I think it's a great idea and I should have thought of it before. So I came up with "top 20 movies" as a tag (because I'm creative like that), and hopefully it will be helpful to anyone who wants to refer back to these posts when looking for something to watch.

On to #18 and #17! )
litlover12: (CSL)
So, I'm dying to buy The Paris Wife and The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. But before I do, I really need to read some of the following, all currently on my shelves:

The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824. Beethoven's Letters. My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams. Charles Dickens. Knowing Dickens. Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities and the French Revolution. Martin Chuzzlewit. Sketches by Boz. Mr. Dick or The Tenth Book. The Master's Cat: The Story of Charles Dickens as Told by His Cat. Katey: The Life and Loves of Dickens's Artist Daughter. Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey. A Daughter's Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg. All but My Life. Sala's Gift. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. The Complete Saki. Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker. Walking on Water. Fly Fishing with Darth Vader. The Great Typo Hunt. Studies in Words. Reading Like a Writer. Mockingbird. The Glass-Blowers. Hide My Eyes. London Refrain. Full Dark House. The Collected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay. The Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton.  Havah. Almost Heaven. Resurrection. The Heart of the Artist. The Control Freak. Why Grace Changes Everything. God Hides in Plain Sight.

And that's not even all of them.

I need professional help.
litlover12: (DK1)
Did you know E. L. Konigsburg wrote a young adult novel about Eleanor of Aquitaine? I didn't! Not until very recently, that is. It's a wonder to me that she was able to get such an in-depth historical novel for teens, especially one with a title like A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, into print, and I guess it's not that well-known these days at all. But fortunately, the library had it. I find Eleanor one of the most intriguing historical figures of all time (thanks in large part to Katharine Hepburn, I admit) and was dying to read the book the minute I heard about it. (Incidentally, the cover for this version, which is the current edition, isn't nearly as good as this cover on my library copy.)

I haven't been a "young adult" reader for quite some time, but in my opinion, Konigsburg (who won my heart years ago with From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) did a fine job making the book both educational and enjoyable for that age group. I enjoyed it myself, very much . . . although there are two things I would change.

The premise is excellent -- Eleanor is in heaven with friends, waiting to see if Henry will be allowed up to join her -- but the author goes with the old "heaven is boring" theme beloved of too many authors. I have no sympathy with that attitude at all. Heaven, I believe, would be an endlessly thrilling place even for someone as vivid and colorful as Eleanor, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to be subjected to a steady diet of C. S. Lewis until he or she comes around.

The other thing is that the people with Eleanor -- her mother-in-law Matilda, William the Marshal, and Abbot Suger -- have no real conflicts with her about anything. They poke some gentle fun at her on occasion, and she needles them, but on the whole they all get along pretty harmoniously. We never get to meet anyone like, say, Thomas Becket, who is said to be higher up in heaven with the rest of the saints. If only Konigsburg had brought him in . . . now, there would have been a meeting for the ages!
litlover12: (DLS1)
I haven't read as much of C. S. Lewis's literary criticism as I have of his theological and fictional work, but I always enjoy a dip into it. And though I haven't yet read Paradise Lost, my book club may read it this year, so this was helpful preparation. As always, Lewis's work was lucid, deeply insightful, and a pleasure to read. I did find myself occasionally disagreeing with his religious points, though, which is rare for me. Let's just say that, when Dorothy L. Sayers used to say that Milton had a bit too much influence on Lewis's views of the battle of the sexes, she may have been on to something. Let us all thank heaven that Joy Gresham came along and opened his eyes to a few things. :-) Four out of five stars.

I also worked a belated Christmas present into the schedule, Why Shoot a Butler? by Georgette Heyer. This is my second Heyer mystery. I liked it, but at the same time I couldn't help noticing a marked similarity to my first Heyer mystery, Behold, Here's Poison. Heyer seems to have a weakness for conceited young lawyers with carefully concealed hearts of gold who mock the police, solve the crime, and get the girl. I rather hope this doesn't turn out to be a trend in her work. Two such characters are all right, but a whole mess of them would seem a little formulaic. That's why I had to stop reading the Brother Cadfael series: similar characters, similar romances, and even similar plots kept showing up until I felt like I was reading the same book over and over again.

Getting back to Heyer, probably her greatest weakness here is the tendency to lapse into telling instead of showing -- especially in places where she summarizes conversations instead of giving us actual dialogue. Conversely, though, when she does give us dialogue, it's one of her greatest strengths. The plot is original and strong and the characters, despite the hint of the formulaic, very good. Three-and-a-half out of five stars.

I've now started Jasper Fforde's eagerly awaited Shades of Grey. I also happen to be on the last day of Operation Book Binge. One more book in one day -- can I do it? We'll see!

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