Little Women

The following things about Louisa May Alcott's “Little Women” have surprised me:  it’s a very Christian work; it’s ridiculously funny; and tremendously erudite. The movies of “Little Women” that I’ve seen don’t give a sense of the following things:  it’s a very Christian work; it’s ridiculously funny; and tremendously erudite. (To be more precise, it’s … Continue reading Little Women

The Last Picture Show

I knew nothing about this story going in.  I thought it was going to be some sober, artsy-fartsy thing.  It’s actually filled with sex, much of it surprisingly explicit and even erotic.  The sex is painted real, meaning it’s only occasionally a joyful thing and more often: sad, boring, painful, calculating, stolen, paid for, animalistic … Continue reading The Last Picture Show

By the Shores of Silver Lake

This book is filled with wonderful episodes and, in my opinion, the best writing this late in the Little House series.  Mary going blind, and the death of Jack, are well-known episodes; I had read them last year without continuing in the book, and their simple power holds you on second reading.  Continuing into the … Continue reading By the Shores of Silver Lake

Anna Karenina – Parts 1 and 2 (of 8)

A few years after finishing “Anna Karenina,” Tolstoy sank into a spiritual funk or crisis that resulted in his work, “A Confession.”  In the latter work, he shares the following recollection from his formative years: The kind aunt with whom I lived, herself the purest of beings, always told me that there was nothing she … Continue reading Anna Karenina – Parts 1 and 2 (of 8)