This review is posted under “Memoir,” but Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader isn’t memoir. Where memoir often attempts to bring healing or closure to part of an author’s past, Ex Libris provides general commentary on the life of a book addict. This is a collection of short essays about books, each one weaving a bit of Anne Fadiman’s story into it. Continue reading
6 All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty* is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40)
Every time I’ve heard this passage quoted, the emphasis has always been on the last sentence. The word of our God will stand forever. That’s an appropriate emphasis. The only thing that is lasting and of any value is the word of God; namely, Jesus. But I’ve recently been struck by the repetition in these verses. The grass withers, the flower fades. The grass withers, the flower fades. Continue reading
I’m currently in one of those ruts where I don’t really have an appetite for the Bible. It’s a terrible rut to be in, and one that Christ’s grace has wrenched me out of too many times to count. Though there is no sufficient substitute for the power of the Word, I am immensely grateful for spiritual books in these times. They are a life ring of sorts, thrown around me, keeping me afloat and pulling me closer and closer towards my Savior. This book served me in such a way.
One emotion overtook me on Friday, the Supreme Court’s gay-marriage landmark decision day: no emotion. Well, not entirely true. Confusion. I was mostly confused. I know what Christians are supposed to believe. I know what the Bible teaches. But my mind is racked with so many questions, and they aren’t new ones. But why…? But what about…? But is this fair…?
Prayer is one of those disciplines that more people struggle with than enjoy. We read and hear countless stories about the power of prayer, both in the Bible and from the Church. And then we take inventory of our lives and stand there bewildered by the canyon-sized chasm between what we know about prayer and how we experience it.
A couple weeks ago I was talking to my brothers about why we as humans are so unhappy. One of them opined that the issue is rooted in our desires: we expect too much out of things and of people. Those things and people never deliver, and thus we’re left disappointed and unsatisfied. So, the proposed solution would be to lower our expectations or stop desiring things that won’t meet them. Continue reading
Maureen Corrigan is a book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air, a book reviewer and writer for The Washington Post’s Book World, an English professor at Georgetown University, and has an English/literature Ph.D. from an Ivy League. What does all of that mean? 1) She has the coolest job(s) in the world, and 2) she has read an insane amount of books.
I watched this movie in Romania a few years ago. It was a pretty special experience. And it was a really fantastic movie. You can imagine my excitement, then, at finding this book for .50 cents at a thrift store in California. Never mind that I had a whole carry-on already full of books and shoes (as every good carry-on bag faithfully stewards) that I had to haul across the States – this was worth the added weight. Right?
I would like to apologize in advance if this post comes off as angry. But I’m angry. I’m angry at all this unfair bloodshed and I’m angry at feeling betrayed by fellow Christians. I’m angry at ignorance. I’m angry at propaganda that shoves misconstrued realities down peoples’ throats.
Lately I have been made starkly aware of how rubbish I am at love. There is an ugly side of me that is at times selfish, impatient, and cruel; I will refuse to love, because a) I lack the desire, or b) I lack the will.