Fiction writers create characters. By putting words on a page, the fiction writer makes these characters come alive in the imagination of readers around the world. The fiction writer also creates plots, weaving these characters together into intricate storylines that reveal the unique personality of each character, revealing and...
Last week I did a series of posts on Jesus and his church as the Light of the World. Today I want to add one final related thought. Flannery O’Connor was a brilliant fiction writer. She was also Catholic and deeply committed to Scripture. Though her fiction is often dark...
Anthony Doerr's novel All the Light We Cannot See is one of those rare books that is actually difficult to put down. While most books that fit this category are white-knuckle thrillers that keep us reading because we need to know what happens next, All the Light We Cannot...
I have learned that whenever C. S. Lewis weighs in on a subject, I’d better pay attention. He’s not always right, of course, but he is always wise and thought provoking. This is true of everything that Lewis wrote on anything. But when it comes to Lewis writing about...
Yesterday we looked at two of Lewis’ categories of poor readers: the unliterary (a broad category of those who merely use books to get at ideas) and the status seeker (who reads so he can talk about—or boast about, really—what he’s read). But Lewis’ list gets more interesting. And...
This is the first fiction work to be included as our Book of the Month. I’m sure it won’t be the last. After years of people telling me that I need to read Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, I finally did (the book is a Pulitzer Prize winner, by the way)....
We all want to read good books and avoid bad ones. But how do we know the difference? C. S. Lewis helps us here. In An Experiment in Criticism, Lewis proposes that what makes a book good or bad is the type of reading it invites. He begins by stating...
I actually hate grading papers. There, I said it. I love to read and I love to learn. But there’s just something tedious about slugging my way through a stack of papers that makes my eyes bleed—even if the papers are well-written. This is why I’ve tried to mix...
Last week we looked at C. S. Lewis’ thoughts on what makes a good reader and what makes a good book. Today I want to close off that series by examining Lewis’ thoughts on fiction. I don’t believe it’s too much to say that Lewis found fiction indispensible to his...
"Where did you go?" "To look ahead," said Gandalf. "And what brought you back…?" The wizard responded: "Looking behind." ~The Hobbit   It was only for a moment, but for me its memory will last. Having just finished grading some exams, I was bored. In search for a cure, I decided to check out the...
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