The Problem with Audiobooks

Kids love audiobooks. Heck, parents love audiobooks! Our family has enjoyed listening to entertaining renditions of Mr. Popper’s Penguins and My Father’s Dragon on long car rides up the East coast. Many commuters have found audiobooks to be a handy way to redeem the time. Who can say no to a good audiobook? The Read-AloudContinue reading “The Problem with Audiobooks”

Ivan Ilych and the Middle-Class Avoidance of Death

“What do you want?” There are certain questions that cut straight to the core. Many of us go to great lengths to avoid such questions, filling the silence with noise, Netflix, friends, busyness, work. We cope with the uncomfortable seriousness of these eternal questions with humor and sarcasm. In the end, it’s avoidance. We don’tContinue reading “Ivan Ilych and the Middle-Class Avoidance of Death”

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Will Not Be Silenced

If there’s one voice that cannot be silenced in our modern era, it’s the fierce roar that rises from the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Douglass’s forthright account of his escape from slavery is so raw you can almost smell the stomach-turning metallic wreak coming off the blood-spattered pages. Rising from beneath theContinue reading “Frederick Douglass: The Lion Will Not Be Silenced”

Les Mis: When Justice Is Overshadowed by the Law

I’m teaching Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables this fall. First published to international acclaim in 1862, the novel’s inception actually took place in 1845 under the working title Jean Tréjean, which translator Julie Rose characterizes as “the story of a convict, a poor man persecuted by a system in which justice has been overshadowed by theContinue reading “Les Mis: When Justice Is Overshadowed by the Law”

9 Classics to Add to Your 2020 Reading List

As you put together your good intentions for 2020, consider adding some classics to your reading list. I know what you are thinking: But weren’t these books written to be read by whiny high school students and no one else? Whether you were forced to read some of these in school or not, I thinkContinue reading “9 Classics to Add to Your 2020 Reading List”

Book Review: ‘On Reading Well’ by Karen Swallow Prior

“Good books are a very great mercy to the world.” -Richard Baxter I’ve heard it said that a well-crafted book review is a success if it makes you want to go read the book. If this isn’t too meta for you, it’s the object of this review to make you want to go read KarenContinue reading “Book Review: ‘On Reading Well’ by Karen Swallow Prior”