Anna Karenina and the Givenness of Life

Anna Karenina and the Givenness of Life

I was in a serious slump this February, drowning in a sea of unaccomplished tasks all loudly condemning my laziness and inefficiency. I felt incapable of stirring up my own enthusiasm for life to get my head above water, no matter how well I organized my planner or how early I set my alarm. But now it’s March, and things are looking up! My long and daunting to-do list is finally beginning to shrink...

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On Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" – The Tale of a Modern "Idiot"

On Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" – The Tale of a Modern "Idiot"

I recently decided to augment my reading of the classics with some current fiction by reading a Pulitzer Prize winner at night before bed. I embarked on this venture with Donna Tartt’s 2014 winner, The Goldfinch.  The book’s reviews had me ready for a detective story extraordinaire, as did its illustrious awards and reviews. 

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Joy and Death in Tolkien

Joy and Death in Tolkien

Full disclosure? I’m a Tolkien nerd. Now, before you chuckle and stop reading, visions of LARP-ers in elven robes dancing through your brain, allow me to defend myself. There are three kinds of Tolkien-ites: readers, re-readers, and fanatics. Everyone starts as a reader. Some become re-readers, and some fewer become avid re-readers. I myself read the Lord of the Rings trilogy (henceforth LOTR) way more times than I’d like to admit in writing

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An Apology for "The Hovel"

An Apology for "The Hovel"

I think my husband is tired of letting me name things. Our life is becoming a living encyclopedia for the work of William Shakespeare. We have a car named “Hal,” a plant named “Brutus,” and I’m trying to figure out how to convince Ian to let me use “Miranda” as the middle name of a future daughter. (I have a particularly soft spot in my heart for The Tempest.) Needless to say, when it was time to dream up titles for all of our new endeavors at CenterForLit, nothing was safe...

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Just Another Reason I Homeschool: A Meditation on Jayber Crow

Just Another Reason I Homeschool: A Meditation on Jayber Crow

In award-winning author Wendell Berry’s novel, Jayber Crow, twice-orphaned Jonah searches for answers to the eternal questions:  What is the nature of God?  What is prayer?  Is life a random series of disconnected events, or a linear, purposeful, meaningful path?  These universal questions all converge upon Jonah’s more personal questions of identity:  Who am I?  Am I what I do?  Do I, in fact, choose my profession, thus bearing the immense responsibility of making myself?  Or am I born to a calling?

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