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Briefly Noted

On Reading Well:  Finding the Good Life through Great Books by karen swallow prior brazos, 272 pages, $19.99 In On Reading Well, Liberty University English professor Karen Swallow Prior sets forth a thoughtful, nuanced vision of the relationship between morality and literature. This vision . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bookish Life

The village idiot of the shtetl of Frampol was offered the job of waiting at the village gates to greet the arrival of the Messiah. “The pay isn’t great,” he was told, “but the work is steady.” The same might be said about the conditions of the bookish life: low pay but steady . . . . Continue Reading »

How Much Dreiser Does a Man Need?

Theodore Dreiser is ranked among our great authors; he was a syllabus mainstay for as polished a master as Saul Bellow. Yet he is neither among the great English-language prose stylists nor a writer of nuanced or profound moral vision. His idea of human life was crudely mechanical and deterministic. . . . . Continue Reading »

Reading is Believing

I’ve been tracking youth reading habits and test scores for a long time, but I’ve never asked this question: What becomes of a faith that places a book at the center of worship if the rising generation doesn’t read? I don’t mean illiteracy. The problem is what reading researchers . . . . Continue Reading »

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Last year I posted in this space a reading plan of my own devising for working through all of Shakespeare's works. I made some work for myself when I created this plan, because I settled on reading plays Monday through Friday, and sonnets and other poems on weekends. Thus it needs annual . . . . Continue Reading »

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