Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Notes on Books for American Literature for High School

September 12th, 2013 No comments

I have starred what is most important.

*A Eugene O’Neill play. O’Neill is the best American playwright; really he’s the best English-language playwright since Shakespeare. Long Day’s Journey into Night: A one-day play, somewhat autobiographical, about a retired actor, his two grown sons (both failures in their own ways), and his morphine-addicted wife, who relapses after a cure they thought might finally work. Read more…

Categories: books, education, writing Tags:

"Your Bible"

January 19th, 2009 2 comments

Christian Book Distributors sent me some spam which illustrates modern gnosticism:






















Actually, it’s not “your Bible”. It’s God’s Word. The last four verses of the Bible are relevant:

22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Categories: Bible, books, religion, thinking Tags:

TV, Intemperance, and Video Games

January 2nd, 2009 No comments

A comment I made at the Baylyblog on a good entry on the book Goody Two Shoes, family reading, and TV:

Maybe the biggest problem with TV is that you don’t get satiated. TV is fine in moderation, like wine and chocolate. If you ingest a lot of wine or chocolate, the desire goes away, at least for that day. Plus, a stomach ache or hangover may remind you that you’ve sinned. But you can sit in front of the TV indefinitely, and wake up fresh the next day. So the best solution may be to never watch it, just as for some people the best solution to alcohol is never to take a single drop.

I wonder which is a more harmful sin nowadays: insobriety or excessive TV? Or how about excessive video game playing? Heathens may laugh at calling such things sinful, but I’m glad to see pastoral warnings about them.

January 3: Clint Mahoney posted the Television poem of Roald Dahl on the Baylyblog. An excerpt:

In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.

Categories: books, living, religion Tags:

Children’s Books

December 22nd, 2008 No comments

Children’s Books, Lost and Found
by Joseph Bottum is in the December 2008 First Things.

Categories: books, children Tags:

The 2008 Christmas List

December 3rd, 2008 No comments

1. The BFG, by Roald Dahl (1982). The Big Friendly Giant is good for kids and adults
both. It has the flavor of science fiction, and the way the BFG talks is hilarious.

2.Netflix instant movies. Netflix appeared in a previous list, but what is new is being able to watch
movies instantly on your computer.

3. The Coincraft coin shop across from the British Museum. Roman coins for only one pound each, and
wonderful browsing in the shop, catalog, and website.

4. The
by Donald Knuth (1984). This famous computer manual will teach you TeX,
typesetting, and a lot of good quotations. It’s for reading through, not looking up.

5. Evidences of Christianity, by William Paley (1794). Paley’s watch-in-the-forest
argument for God, from another book, is better known. This book argues for Christianity specifically, using
historical rather than design arguments. Free at

4. Economics and Jewish Law: Halakhic
by Aaron Levine (1987). The questions in this book on ethics and economics are as good
as the answers.

5. Stomp Rockets . It’s amazing how high a rocket powered merely by jumping-propelled air can go. Even
Faith could make it rise a few feet. See

6. Youth hostels . These are better than hotels for families, as well as cheaper. We stayed at the Eu
castle kitchens
in Normandy,
Melrose in Scotland, near the Abbey (the best), and Hawkshead

7. English country walks. The countryside and weather are ideal for walks, with varied scenery, marked
paths, villages, and sheep.

8. Britanny’s gites (farmhouses). We rented one near Languenan. In France, having your own kitchen is

9. To Teach the Senators Wisdom; or, An Oxford Guide Book by J.C.
Masterman (1952). This is a mix of travel guide and novel, as college fellows converse about what sights are the
essence of Oxford. It’s the best Oxford guide I have seen.

10. Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior by Kate Fox (2004). Dr. Fox
is an anthropologist who studied English manners and conversation and wrote them up humorously but analytically.

11. Wacky Wednesday, by Theo LeSieg (Dr.Seuss) (1974). I didn’t know the LeSieg Seuss
books, a bit different from his usual style. This one is about a day when detached feet appear on ceilings and
mice chase cats.

12. Portsmouth. The Victory, other old ships, helicopter simulations, the modern naval base,
museums, an artillery museum (the Royal
Armoury), a partly Roman castle, the sea… It’s easy to get to and good for many visits.

Lists of good things from other years are at

Some other items this year: Fraser’s Flashman, McCall-Smith’s African mystery
books, Sights of Britain,
Cathedral, Bern, St. Malo, Walking with Dinosaurs,
HREF=””> Rummy,
English sausages. The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends music CD. The Silver Chair
movie (1990, Alex Kirby),
pommeau aperitif,
Harry Potter books. British Museum coin exhibit.
Bernard Cornwell’s Sea Lord , Richard Fortey’s The Secret Life of the
Natural History Museum
, Carreg
Cennen Castle

Categories: books, living Tags:

December 25th, 2007 No comments

My 2007 Christmas list. My 2007 list of good things I’ve discovered over the year is up at :
Merry Christmas, all!

Categories: books, movies Tags: