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What I'm Reading and Writing

My most recently completed book is Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. I should say I have finished the first reading. Clearly I need to go back and read it again. The temptation is to read it as an allegory of the Christian faith. It is not that, but a retelling of a Greek myth. Here a myth is used in its real sense, a story explaining, or trying to explain, human being and living. We use myth to mean "falsehood" or "imaginative story from the Greeks or Scandinavians" when it is so much more.

Prior to that, two Anthony Trollopes. The Way We Live Now--fascinating; I couldn't put it down. And Barchester Towers; I preferred the former, and Barchester was written early in his career. It shows, perhaps.

I tried to read a Lord Peter Wimsey book and a Patricia Cornwall, but have not been able to really engage with them. On the other hand, I have discovered all the audiobooks on YouTube and am enamored of Agatha Christie novels performed by Hugh Fraser (Captain Hastings from the David Suchet Poirot series). He doesn't just read them; he acts them out in a wonderful range of voices and accents. Christie wrote far more than Poirots and Marples.

Nonfiction, I am reading The Good Life Method, by two professors at Notre Dame on how they teach a freshman philosophy course around the good life, a la Aristotle. Quite fascinating, and I'm an Aristotle fan (far more than Plato, who writes about little boys too much). I would like to use some of it with my own freshmen. Also, professionally, Small Teaching and Small Teaching Online. I suffer from the problem of thinking my online courses are organized but they don't seem that way to the students.

Also recommended: The Ginseng Diggers, by Thomas Luke Manget, who will be on my podcast soon. And Outbound Train, by Renea Winchester, also on my podcast soon.

Biblically, I am reading--rediscovering, I should say--the book of Psalms. Slowly. I took five days on Psalm 40. I recommend that. See related post on this blog (forthcoming). I am embarrassed how I have neglected this blog when my other has so many posts.

My writing? Outside of work, I am writing my teaching memoirs, which I decided to day I will call How I Teach (People to Talk Good): A memoir of 45 years of college teaching.

And fiction: Well, I have two novels being looked at by a small (very) local publisher. If they don't bite, I just don't may be time to stop trying to afflict readers with my storytelling!

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