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The End of Many Books

Watership Down

by Richard Adams

I read this final “curse” from this post a few months ago:

“May all of your rabbits die, and may you be unable to sell the hutch.”

I thought that sounded good, but I had no idea what the hutch part was all about. Ha!

My wife told me it was a reference to Watership Down, a novel about…rabbits. I was intrigued, plus I had been looking for my next fiction book to plod through.

I really enjoyed it, and recommend it, even if you don’t immediately push it to the top of your queue. It’s a good story with an unexpected leader, a strong sacrificer, a troubled oracle, and a ruthless (and virtually unbeatable) tyrant.

4 of 5 stars

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Every Thumb's Width

Tackling Virgil

We’ve made the call that our 2022 Raggant Fiction Festival will cover some of the epics. The festival’s title is: Monumental Myths – Lit That Made Western Man. When talking about which epic I wanted to cover my first response was anything except for the Aeneid. Ha. Turns out, due to a number of variables, that I am now very excited about tackling Virgil. As I get going, I found this fantastic looking resource that I’ll be trying for doing some work in the original Latin text. I told my Latin students in class today that they can help keep me accountable.

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The End of Many Books

Planet Narnia

This was my third full time through the book, and I’ve read large chunks more times than that. I’d give it seven stars out of five if that was possible. This time I got to read it with my college astronomy class, to whom I assigned it, and I enjoyed sharing Ward’s discoveries with them and hearing their thoughts. I can’t assign it to everyone, but I can recommend it to everyone, whether for insight into world of Narnia or just for considering the unique power of donegality in fiction.

5 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

Ecochondriacs

My wife just finished listening to this and loved it. I liked it. I enjoyed the spy-like suspense, the climate-change jabs, and the idea of a Hummer running nonstop outside of an office building. I cared about the main characters, and it also seemed like there were a lot of characters to keep track of, especially since I read it in pieces as posted on Blog and Mablog over a couple months. The story could have been a lot longer, especially as the plot wrap-ups were finished like the ink was running out. Overall it was more good, hearty, fun fiction from Mr. Wilson.

3 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

That Hideous Strength

I give this book 10 out of 5 stars. It is my favorite fiction book of all that I’ve read. It is prescient, auspicious, faith-building, and fun. I had wanted to reread it when the pandemic lockdowns began last March (2020), and didn’t get around to start listening until December, but, wow, it’s still double-plus-extra good.

What’s not good are the covers. I selected a decent one to go with this post, but here is the Audible cover:

And then take a look at some of the craziness.

We seem to be living in a bitter mix of 1984/Brave New World, but the world is much more like Lewis’ vision, even though Orwell hated it and wrote his dystopian nostrum against it. Read THS. Listen to it. Again and again. Get yourself to St. Anne’s.

10 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

Beowulf

A New Verse Rendering by Douglas Wilson

I had only read Haney’s translation, and it was good though I knew no alternative. Wilson’s rendering was different, with more alliterative snap, and also good. The whole thing is epic, poetic dragon slaying at it’s best. Wilson’s essay at the end of on “Beowulf: The UnChrist” is also worldview-gold.

Should you read this? The story is required reading, and this edition serves the story well.

4 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

The Princess and Curdie

by George MacDonald

Do you need a magical story about cultural corruption and decay confronted by a thirteen year-old boy with a mattock and courage? If yes, then this is it. Having finished the Wingfeather Saga last summer, I have to believe that MacDonald lit some of Peterson’s creative sparks. I’m glad I read it, highly recommend it, even without reading The Princess and the Goblin. My biggest disappointment was not finding out more about the Uglies, which Peterson’s whole plot actually aims to redeem.

4 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

The Man in the Dark

by Doug Wilson

Just finished reading my first romance novel. It had lies, envy, manipulation, murder, fornication, suspense, guilt, and gospel.

4 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

The Fellowship of the Ring

by J. R. R. Tolkien

I listened to The Fellowship this time through, and found that Tolkien’s goal for the story rings true for me:

The prime motive was the desire of a tale-teller to try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and at times maybe excite them or deeply move them.

My review from 2013: Alright, alright, I actually enjoyed it. I even sorta, kinda appreciate Frodo as both reluctant but doughty hero who is strong because he is weak (at least so far).

4 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

Inferno

I enjoyed this imaginary epic trip through hell again following Dante following Virgil. I still don’t know much Italian history, making me thankful as in previous reads for the footnotes. While I wouldn’t call Inferno helpful for Christian doctrine, I definitely think it works for deepening Christian devotion.

Read again in December 2016 as part of reading the entire Divine Comedy in Omnibus V.

2014: Entertaining and frustrating. Entertaining, not in the sense of amusement, but in the sense of focusing attention on the many deserved punishments of sin, even if only imagined by the poet. Frustrating because I know so little history in order to fully appreciate all the allusions. Thankful for the many notes by Musa.

4 of 5 stars