The end of the semester is swiftly approaching, and I've forgotten how much I loved being able to add textbooks to my book list for the year. I think a few of these books will be really helpful later on in my program, and I think they even have some great information to pass on… Continue reading What do they teach them at these schools? (Textbooks Fall 2015)
2015 has been the year of excellent nonfiction, and Joseph Loconte's book did not disappoint. The full title is A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18, and Loconte does justice to all of those topics in under 300 pages, which is pretty impressive.
If you ever need proof that history repeats itself, read Henry IV, Part II. Just like Henry IV, Part I, this play focuses on King Henry IV, his son Hal, and Hal's less than perfect friends. In Part 2, however, Shakespeare plays on the reader's expectations. He knows we are all waiting for Hal's reformation, waiting for Hal to "banish plump Jack, and banish all the world." He knows we are waiting, and he makes us wait. And wait. And then wait some more.
Every year I try to read from several different genres, poetry included. While I've read some poetry this year, this was my first book of poetry of 2015. Dog Songs by Mary Oliver is a collection of poems written about and in celebration of dogs. The poems are short and simple, and there is also a great… Continue reading Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
Confession time: About fifteen minutes into this film I had to go get my copy of the play and follow along. I could hardly understand what anyone was saying, and it was difficult to understand the plot. There are a lot of people in these plays, and none of them go by their real names! If… Continue reading The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part I
Prince Hal is the Shakespearean character I want to love--but it's tricky. At the beginning of the play, he's a prodigal son. He wastes time in taverns, pulls pranks, and commits petty crimes. It's easy to like this Prince Hal, the easygoing, carefree friend of Falstaff. But there's an edge to Hal that doesn't let you laugh along with him.
One of my long-term goals is to read through all of Shakespeare's works. Last year I started on his history plays, which was a larger undertaking than I realized. I only managed to read one--Richard II-- during 2014. This year, I'm determined to finish three more by January 1. I thought I'd share the process here… Continue reading Shakespeare’s Histories
That's how much of 2015 is gone--81.13%, to be exact. Now, I'm not a math expert, but I did a quick Google search to see what percent of my book goal I've accomplished. The answer? 68%. Bottom line: I have 16 books to finish in about 11 weeks. So, here's a look at what's left… Continue reading Eighty-One Percent
After three hours and twenty minutes (not counting the intermission), it’s official, y’all. Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite Hamlet. My review is focusing on my own opinions—not the slightly mixed reviews I read of his stage performance. Take it for what it’s worth! I’m no theatre critic, but I do love me some Shakespeare. 1.… Continue reading Review: NT Live’s Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch
I must never lose sight of those other deaths which precede the final, physical death, the deaths over which we have some freedom; the death of self-will, self-indulgence, self-deception, all those self-devices which, instead of making us more fully alive, make us less. Yesterday I posted an old review of A Circle of Quiet, the first… Continue reading The Summer of the Great-Grandmother by Madeleine L’Engle