Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Reading St. Tully

"Lactantius, known as the 'Christian Cicero', declared that in his treatises Cicero 'contributed a great deal of his own', and found On Duties adaptable to the needs of the Church; Ambrose's On the Duties of Ministers owes very much to the same source, and his Epistles deliberately imitate Ciceronian diction and form. For Jerome and Augustine Cicero symbolized the pagan culture whose vanities Christianity had rejected. Yet Jerome, in a dream, saw himself arraigned before the Seat of Judgment as more Ciceronian than Christian, and Augustine, though The City of God was written to oppose Cicero's conception of Providence, writes of his treatise the Hortensius: 'this book quite altered my affections, turned my prayers to thyself, O Lord.' At that decisive moment of transition from the ancient to the medieval world, the Fathers kept alive and transmitted, the classical philosophy that they had learnt from Cicero: whose works thus became an important ingredient in Christian doctrine and scholastic logic." Michael Grant in Cicero: Selected Works