Favorite books of 2021 (and 2020)

My blog is new, so I've never picked out favorite books for a year, but here we go. My ten faves for 2021, fiction and nonfiction, out of the 66 books I read: 1. New Testament -- the recent translation by David Bentley Hart 2. Notre Dame de Paris Translated by Alban Krailsheimer 3. Lonesome … Continue reading Favorite books of 2021 (and 2020)

Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

It's a common trope in fiction: a final confrontation between the central hero of a story and its central villain. It's an important trope in Westerns, both on the page and screen -- Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is just one famous example. And we see it in works of fiction that are too many to count: … Continue reading Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

McMurtry and Cervantes

Larry McMurtry published “Streets of Laredo”, his sequel to “Lonesome Dove”, in summer 1993.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution then ran a piece by Michael Skube, who compared “Lonesome Dove” to “Don Quixote”:   Living briefly off the luster of its predecessor, a sequel establishes its own grounds as art or it diminishes the work from which … Continue reading McMurtry and Cervantes

Don Quixote and Lonesome Dove

I've recently finished Larry's McMurtry's western, "Lonesome Dove," a magnificent novel that I cannot get off my mind. I've been doing a little research about the book, and apparently McMurtry was partly inspired by "Don Quixote." In his 2008 memoir, he wrote: [E]arly on, I read some version of Don Quixote and pondered the grave … Continue reading Don Quixote and Lonesome Dove

Pale Blue Dots

I posted Sancho Panza's speech about the earth in the comments section of a YouTube video featuring Carl Sagan's meditations from "Pale Blue Dot." One Youtuber replied that there were similar thoughts in Cicero’s “Scipio’s Dream” and Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations.” Cicero’s “Scipio’s Dream”, part 3: And as I looked on every side I saw other … Continue reading Pale Blue Dots