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2016 Reading Review – Part IV

In this (final) segment: Novels. (See the full list of my 2016 reading here.) While these novels didn’t make it into the neat little categories of the earlier entries, there were some great reads here. And I’ve kept up with some past categories I love, notably books with that “small town feel” and those by […]

2016 Reading Review – Part III

In this segment: Non-Fiction and Religion. (See the full list of my 2016 reading here.) My non-fiction reading is a bit eclectic, usually recommendations from others. This year was no different. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | This was really just a short essay. And while I like Adichie’s reading, I don’t really remember […]

2016 Reading Review – Part II

In this segment: Science Fiction and Young Adult Literature. (See the full list of my 2016 reading here.) I don’t read a ton of traditional Science Fiction and this year’s readings were no exception. But they were both great reads. *The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North | This might be my top recommendation from […]

2016 Reading Review – Part I

In this segment: African American Literature and Memoir. (See the full list of my 2016 reading here.) African American Literature continues to be one of my most-read genres. I find it intellectually challenging as well as emotionally moving. 2016’s reading was no exception. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson | This was a […]

2016 Reading Review – List

A friend’s recent post prodded me to finally write up last year’s reading. My plan is to break this into a few posts, starting with the list here. In borrowing from my friend’s post, I’ll asterisk my favorites. You can read my thoughts the books by following the linked genre titles. African American Literature The Autobiography […]

On His 149th Birthday

In honor of the birthday (yesterday) of one of my intellectual heroes, I thought I’d write a few words. I first encountered W.E.B. Du Bois in a college US history survey in my second year. We read an excerpt from The Souls of Black Folk and I was moved to read the whole book that […]

Pete’s Dragon, Trigger Warnings, and Safe Spaces

I took my son to see the new Pete’s Dragon movie. (It was good.) It got me thinking about trigger warnings, but not in the way you might think. (Mild spoilers ahead.) Just before Pete’s parents die, his mom says something complimentary to him. Then, years later, the new mother-figure in the movie says almost […]

On Lincoln and Our Second Founding

As a historian, the Fourth of July can be a difficult holiday. Our founding myths are full of a-historical notions about the “Founding Fathers” and the birth of freedom (while maintaining slavery). These ideas are enshrined in our national anthem. Written in during the War of 1812, its words celebrate “the land of the free” at […]

The Messiness of Grace

As a parting gift (before we move to Utah), my wife’s pastor gave her a copy of Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber, founding pastor (or pastrix) of House for All Sinners and Saints church in Denver. I quickly scooped it up and was delighted by the read. […]

Equality as a Christian Value

I just finished Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. It constitutes a very compelling case for equality and justice being Christian virtues. A small part of the book directly addresses the Pauline passages in the New Testament that suggest a lesser, subordinate role for women in the Church community, and I think she deftly parries any […]