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The best literature, to me, is inherently local. I base my subjective opinion off of my own experiential sort of research. Essentially, this conclusion comes down to answering one question: “Would I read that book again?” First, I did some math. Assuming that I read a book a week for the rest of my life and assuming that “the rest of my life” means I have another fifty years to live, I can except to read anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500 books with my remaining time on this earth. Now, obviously, I could die tomorrow, and then all of this math would be pointless. But, regardless, my conclusion is this: That’s a lot of books, and it’s not a lot of books at the same time. Most people won’t read near that many books in their lifetime, but then again, there are so many books out there to read—so much so that being able to say, “Well, I’ve read over 2,500 in my lifetime,” really isn’t even close to making a dent. So much to read and so little time. Therefore, a book would have to be exceptional to merit a second read. Why waste reading Gone With the Wind again when you could be using all of that time to encounter a new novel? Clearly, the only reason you would do so is if Gone With the Wind was really, truly, honest to God that good to begin with. And so I ask myself after reaching the words “The End”: Would I read that book again? Read More

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It’s been a while since I’ve written. I’d hoped that graduate school wouldn’t really impede regular posts on this blog, but while I continue to try and figure out the tempo and rhythm of graduate study, I’ve obviously gotten distracted from this site. Thankfully something came along to necessitate a post. I want to direct your attention to a podcast two of my friends have put together, aptly titled An Old Old Story. The first episode goes up tonight at midnight. Read More

I think you have to dig to find the moments of grace in this life, get on your knees in the dirt and plunge your hands into the earth. Grace isn’t brimming on the surface like a ripe cherry or peach to pluck for your own satisfaction. It’s more like a needle hidden in a filthy, sodden haystack pummeled by torrents of rain and weighed down by blankets of choking humidity. Sometimes Christians don’t like this idea I’m putting forth, but I guess the indignation makes sense. If you go to church two or three times a week, you hear about grace so much I would think it’d get to the point where it almost becomes a given or a staple in your world. Read More