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…

Commonplace Wednesday 1

Since it’s summertime and I have a bit more time on my hands, I’m going to try something new on my blog. I keep a commonplace book where I write down the most interesting (to me) quotations from the books I’m reading. And I thought, “Why not share these on the ol’ blog?” So, welcome to the first Commonplace Wednesday. Each week (maybe) I’m going to post the quotations that I’ve gathered from the week before. Now usually fiction doesn’t get in because I generally don’t read fiction with a pen in hand. However, if a particular piece of proesy is striking enough, I might be forced to run and write it down.

From Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson

“Mistakes don’t just hang on the wall like ugly pictures. Mistakes are seeds.” He thumped his chest. “In here. They grow. They take over. You make a mistake, you gotta make it right. Dig that seed out. Old Wiz used to say, ‘Fruit rots, wood rots, but lazy-ass boys rot the fastest.’”

From Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges

I know what the Greeks do not know, incertitude.

My taste runs to hourglasses, maps, seventeenth-century typefaces, etymologies, the taste of coffee, and the prose of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Whatever one man does, it is as if all men did it. For that reason, it is not unfair that one disobedience in a garden should contaminate all humanity; for that reason, it is not unjust that the crucifixion of a single Jew should be sufficient to save it.

Why does it disturb us that the map be included in the map and the thousand and one nights in the book of the Thousand and One Nights? Why does it disturb us that Don Quixote be a reader of the Quixote and Hamlet a spectator of Hamlet? I believe I have found the reason. These inversions suggest that if the characters of a fictional work can be readers or spectators, we, its readers or spectators, can be fictitious. In 1833, Carlyle observed that the history of the universe is an infinite sacred book that all men write and read and try to understand, and in which they are also written.

The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.

From “The Oracle of the Dog” by G.K. Chesterton

It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense and can’t see things as they are.

From “A Misunderstanding about Method” by G.K. Chesterton

I could do a great many things before I came to definitely anti-social action like robbing a bank or (worse still) working in a bank.

From Our Reasonable Faith by Herman Bavinck

There is room for the grace of God only if the justice of God is first fully established.

Religion preceded all culture and civilization, and right up to the present day religion continues to occupy its own position alongside of science, art, and technology. It cannot be supplanted or compensated for even by the magnificent results of human effort. Religion supplies a unique need in man, and its tendency after the fall is always to rescue him from a particular  distress.

For the purpose of that election is not to pick up a few people at random, to bring them to salvation, and to let them stand loosely alongside each other as single individuals…In an organic sense it is mankind that is saved in the church, and in the new heaven and earth the world is restored.

Then the working days preceded the Sabbath; now the Sabbath begins the week and hallows all its days.

The believers of the Old Testament are saved in no other way than we are, nor are we saved in any other way than they.

In the foreground there is always the idea of His kingship. He is called the Anointed, because He has been anointed as king.


Lee Martin said…
This is a great idea!