John Gregory Dunne Died Today
Connecticut-born Author John Gregory Dunne, 71, died today. He wrote many screenplays and novels, including the novel, True Confessions, which has sold over a million copies. Dunne was the mind behind Up Close and Personal with Redford and Pfeiffer. He contributed often to the New York Review of Books
. His latest work, Nothing Lost
, is due to be published by Knopf
in May 2004.
quotes him telling the AP, “Writers read differently than other people, they read at rather than read. They're interested in how it got there and how certain effects are done.”
quotes a friend of his saying, “He was smart, edgy, talented and straight. He hated fraud and duplicity. He could go on for hours about sunshine patriots, who were enthusiastic about war but had never heard a shot fired in anger. In fact, that hypocrisy was a passion of his. He was writing a book on that subject when he died.”
Another family friend quoted above said that Dunne “was so clear about people, so funny, so impossible to fool and so morally rigorous. He was always concerned about getting it right, whether in his journalism or his fiction.”
The author died of heart failure in New York.
Belz on Henry and Bartley
I’ve been slow to point non-World magazine readers to Joel Belz' tribute
to the journalist-editors Carl F. H. Henry and Robert Bartley. Both died in 2003, and let’s hope someone has been following their steps so as to take their places in the world of letters—figuratively speaking.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” - Philippians 2:4-11 ESV
Brandywine Books wishes you, your friends, and your family a merry Christmas. God rest ye merry, gentlemen and women.
Commenting on Christian Fiction
A praise of the top-selling movie this week
, Return of the King, sparked a discussion of a Christian’s responsibilities in writing and reading fiction at Worldmagblog.com. The conversation is interesting, so I’m recommend it to you. Writer Dan Edelen said, “The pressure groups ensure bland, non-creative work. A quick trip to your fiction section at your local Christian bookstore reveals a vast sea of lowest common denominator writings that have been sanitized to the point of being made entirely sterile. How many apocalyptic or 'young schoolteacher coming into her own on the prairie of 1850' novels can one read? I'm not sure the dearth of creative spark is because of the lack of good writers. Rather it is the pressure Christian writers face to make their work appeal to all sects. … We are creating our own impoverishment artistically.”
About these kind of discussions, Derek Helt said, “I worry that we trivialize truly important issues by treating every trivial issue as if it really were truly important.”
Morality in Publishing
Karen Sandstrom of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes about an ugly publishing trend
in today’s paper. She notes her skepticism of the story about Hussein’s capture because of added details which seemed to be fudging fact and raising drama. She says that at one point in hearing the news from Iraq she thought the evil dictator would get a book deal out of this war when it was all over. That thought lead to an overview of fact-fudged recent memoirs. The highlight, she says, is a 1997 book called, The Kiss
, which describes the author’s incestuous relationship with her father.
Sandstrom writes, “Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly wisely wondered, ‘just because a writer can speak the unspeakable, does that mean that she should?’ It’s a good question that leads to another. Should the free speech we love so passionately in the United States imply a guaranteed audience for every story?”
Apparently, the books have digressed since 1997. She points to Amazon’s #1 Editor’s Pick for 2003 as an example. “James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces
[is] a rehab memoir in which the author describes his anesthetic-free dental surgery. Is that progress, or what?”
She concludes, “The more that publishers feel pressed by competition to stake out big, unseemly stories and the more inured consumers become to the lowering of entertainment standards, the less likely it is that good taste and self-restraint will prevail. Who knows?”
This ties in to the story we mentioned
Dec. 9 about publishers printing too much. But more to the point of what they are printing, let me quote a wonderful mystery author, P. D. James, from her book Original Sin
. In a directors meeting for the publishing house around which the story builds, the disliked managing director Gerard said,
“The business of publishing is to give people what they want, not to make moral judgements.”
[Frances replied] “You could argue that if you were manufacturing cigarettes.”
“I would argue it if I were manufacturing cigarettes. Or whisky for that matter.”
De Witt said: “It isn’t a true analogy. You could argue that drink is positively beneficial if used in moderation. You can never argue that a bad novel is other than a bad novel.”
“Bad for whom? And what do you mean by bad? Beacher tells a strong story, keeps the action moving, provides that mizture of sex and violence which people apparently want. Who are we to tell readers what is good for them? Anyway, haven’t yo always argued that the important thing is to get people reading? Let them begin with cheap romantic fiction and they may go on to Jane Austen or George Eliot. I don’t see why they should—go on to the classics, I mean. That’s you argument, not mine. What’s wrong with cheap romantic fiction if that’s what they happen to enjoy? It’s a pretty condescending attitude to argue that popular fiction is only justified if it leads on to higher things. Well, what you and Gabriel happen to think are higher things.”
[Gabriel] said: “Are you saying that one shouldn’t make value judgements? We make them every day of our lives.”
“I’m saying you shouldn’t make them for other people. I’m saying that I shouldn’t make them as a publisher. Anyway, there’s one unanswerable argument: if I’m not allowed to make a profit on popular books, good or bad, I can’t afford to publish less popular books for what you see as the discerning minority.”
Gerard is right on the last thing he says, but not the first. Publishers cannot take a cold approach to the subjects they publish; neither can distributors be completely hands-off with the things they distribute. Regardless of the decisions made, publishers have a moral responsibility to publish suitable material. By printing and selling a book, they approve it for consumption, not by every possible reader, but by enough. No one in the process from writer to publisher to bookseller to reader is exempt from the moral decision to pass a book along, and by doing so, we approve the book.
That morality is the foundation of our nation’s freedom. We all must work to do what’s right, according to how we understand it, looking out for each other, loving our neighbors as ourselves, promoting the good and demoting the bad. But many publishers seem to have taken Gerard’s view, making money where they can, leaving moral decisions to the readers.
Novels Are Lies About the Truth
In The Paris Review, Fall 2003, Paul Auster talks about writing
and his books. The online edition excerpts only a couple hundred words, but both this one and the interview with Jim Crace are interesting. Asked about The Invention of Solitude
, Auster says, "I'm no longer certain that I know what reality is anymore. All I can do is talk about the mechanics of reality, to gather evidence about what goes on in the world and try to record it as faithfully as I can. I've used that approach in my novels. It's not a method so much as an act of faith: to present things as they really happen, not as they're supposed to happen or as we'd like them to happen. Novels are fictions, of course, and therefore they tell lies (in the strictest sense of the term), but through those lies every novelist attempts to tell the truth about the world."
What about the Books I Sold Out of My Chevy at Walmart?
, we have a fascinating comparison of best-selling book lists, USA Today’s best of the year and Bookscan’s non-fiction list for 2003. USA Today’s list
shows Mrs. Clinton’s Living History
in seventh place, just ahead of Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life
. However, Bookscan’s list
, which is tallied from scanned bar codes at participating merchants, reports that Warren’s books sold 1,507,902 and Clinton’s book, 1,084,520. That’s half-a-million books overlooked by USA Today’s list, which has a long list of contributors (seen at the foot of this page
Matt Drudge, who recorded the Bookscan list linked above, points out that while Bill O’Reilly claims his book, Who's Looking Out for You
, is vying with Mrs. Clinton’s book for top billing, the Bookscan list shows his book trailing hers by over 500k, and neither is pushing the upper limit. The #1 position on Bookscan’s list goes to The South Beach Diet
with 2,304,608 copies sold. Oddly enough, USA Today suggests Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution
has sold more. Thanks to Susan Olasky and World Magazine’s blog for pointing out this comparison.
In related news, Mrs. Clinton has been nominated for a Grammy
for her audiobook version of Living History. Maybe I don’t understand what qualifies for nomination in the spoken word category, but from what I’ve heard of Clinton reading this book, it’s great for putting one to sleep. For all of the spoken word nominations, see the official list.
"The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to feel ourselves at home here on earth." - Malcolm Muggeridge
Ok, Who Buys the Most Fiction? I See That Hand.
The Wall Street Journal
has a feature story
on Sessalee Hensley, who is the fiction buyer for Barnes & Noble
, governing 652 B&N stores and 200 B. Dalton Booksellers
. The article says she has order entire printings of some favorites, a portion of which she designates to each store.
Concern that she's decided wrong sometimes keeps her up at night. Concern that she's decided wrong keeps publishers up as well. "Do you have any idea how much power this woman has?" an executive from a major house who requested anonymity asked in hushed tones. "If she doesn't like a book, that's it," moaned a novelist who also requested anonymity.
For the record, Ms. Hensley can be swayed by a strong marketing plan, a confirmed booking of an author on "Oprah" or "Today" or a publisher's relentless faith in a book. "You can't downplay a publisher's enthusiasm," she acknowledges, "but make the eye contact and figure out if it's real."
Can you judge a book by its cover, Ms. Hensley? "I can never remember if it's .26 seconds or .026, but that's how long a customer has to decide to pick up a book. I'm trying to suck up every sale off the street, and if the jacket's not quite right it makes it a harder thing to do."
Experience and necessity--so many books, so little time--have made Ms. Hensley quick on the draw. "I give everything 50 to 100 pages. "You can usually tell. If it's a thriller and no one is murdered within the first 100 pages, that's not really going to work."
Ms. Hensley read a hunk of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones when it was sneaked over to her in manuscript and "I knew immediately it was going to be the best book ever. I think we bought up the whole printing." She saw phenom written all over Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, but missed the boat, she says, on Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume.
I’ll let you link to the article
to see what trends Hensely sees in spring fiction.
Gene Edward Veith on Stephen King
"Stephen King is actually a talented story-teller. When he sets aside his formula of ordinary household objects going berserk, he can be quite good. In his address to the serious authors at the [NBA] awards banquet, he urged them to read popular authors so that they stay in touch with their own culture. That is good advice. At the same time, popular authors might strive not just to cash in on their culture but to improve it. The best writers tend to have always aspired to be both popular and serious, to teach by delighting, and to delight by teaching. That may require, though, working from a better worldview." Seen on World's Blog here.
Tolkien's Faith: How the Lord of the Rings is Steeped in Christianity
Kathy Shaidle, who blogs at RelapsedCatholic.com
, has an article in the Toronto Star
on J. R. R. Tolkien and his work. Her message is that many Tolkien fans miss the messages within his mythology. They focus, I gather, on surface interests, on orcs and elves, instead of rooting out their meanings.
After dealing with that a bit, she writes on Tolkien's beliefs.
In 1938, he denounced the Nazis' "wholly pernicious and unscientific race-doctrine." That same year, a German publisher asked for permission to publish Tolkien's first book, The Hobbit — and wondered, in passing, if Tolkien "had Aryan blood."
It was altogether the wrong question. Tolkien's classic reply dripped with uncharacteristic sarcasm:
"I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by `arisch.' I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people."
Speaking of fascists: mention of fellow biographer Joseph Pearce elicits a laugh from Michael Coren. The two British-born writers first crossed paths, after a fashion, many years ago. In his former life, Pearce was a youth leader in the notorious ultra-right-wing National Front. Coren often saw Pearce at anti-racist demonstrations in London — they were on opposite sides. "We used to throw bottles at him," Coren recalls.
Pearce later served prison time for inciting racial hatred at such demonstrations. His jailhouse conversion to Christianity was inspired in part, he now says, by reading The Lord Of The Rings.
It's tempting to think that Tolkien, that unlikely evangelist, would have traded all the Elvish-speaking Gandalf impersonators on Earth for a few more readers like Joseph Pearce.
Who Cares About the NY Times Book Lists?
In the World’s December 6 issue, they mention briefly their reason for neglecting the NY Times Bestseller lists when compiling their own Top 5 list. World regularly publishes a list with mini-reviews of the top five best-selling books of hardback fiction or non-fiction, using their own scoring values for ranks on the lists assembled by the American Booksellers Association, Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today, and in this issue Barnes & Noble. Though the list in this issue is on hardback novels, the spotlight book is the #7 best-selling book of 2003
, Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life
According to the article, which has no link, the book has sold over 10,000,000 copies since September 2002. “It outsells all the books on [the NY Times Nonfiction Best-Seller List] many times over,” World writes, but it doesn’t appear on that list. The NY Times puts The Purpose-Driven Life
in an advice books list, dominated mostly by diet books. That decision lead the magazine to ignore the newspaper’s books lists when compiling their own short list.
I've been slow to point your attention to a couple pages in World Magazine on children's literature, but if you're still in the market to buy books for your little ones, look here for some recommendations. In "Fall titles, small shelves,"
Susan Olasky describes a handful of picture books, recommending some to buy, some to borrow, and some to avoid. Of similar interest are her recommendations for the 50 best chilren's books of the 20th Century
The Popularity of Books Related to The DaVinci Code
Dan Brown’s long-time bestseller, The Da Vinci Code
, is generating interest in books on related topics. Apparently, people are interested in the ridiculous premise of the novel so much that they are losing sleep reading it and are returning to bookstores asking, “Do you have anything like The Da Vinci Code?" According to this USA Today article
, that question is common lately.
The Da Vinci Code
has 4.5 million hardcover copies in print (no release plans for paperback yet, and why should there be?). The record of a hardcover novel is 6 million, held by The Bridges of Madison County. The article states, “It's a novel, but Brown writes in an introductory note that "all descriptions of documents and secret rituals ... are accurate." Scholars and theologians, both conservative and liberal, dispute that. Some even say Brown is anti-Catholic. But Doubleday Publisher Stephen Rubin says ‘the accuracy questions have added to the celebrity of the book. People want to read it for themselves.’”
Maybe Marvin Olasky has a point when he writes
about “the nonsense that writers put forward when they play on the credulity of skeptics.” Though I disagree with him in the comment thread of that post, this article makes me wonder.
First Edition Potter Books Sell for ~$90,000
For unknown reasons, J.K. Rowling's father, Peter, has sold four first editions
of his daughter's books, which have various personal inscriptions in them. Inscribed inside Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
"To Peter Rowling, in memory of Mr. Ridley, and to Susan Stadden, who helped Harry out of his cupboard. Dear Dad, If I had said 'Ronald (Weasley) Ridley' they would have tracked the poor bloke down . . . but that's why Ron's called Ron of course!
Happy Father's Day 2000 and lots of love
from your first born, JK Rowling"
This edition of the Goblet of Fire
sold for $48k. Three books auctioned through Sotheby's did not sell, making seven books total offered by Mr. Rowling. Hopefully, this is not evidence of hard feelings between father and daughter.
And In the Darkness, Praised Him
blog posted praise
for "Return of the King," referring to their article this week reviewing the film and interviewing movie-makers. Interesting comments on Tolkien and fiction have followed.
Letters to the Editor
I told myself I would write a blog entry on my next letter to the editor printed in World Magazine, but I had hoped it would be more substantial than this one
Regarding "Teaching methods" (Blog Watch, Nov. 15): Cleaning the bathroom mirror with a toilet-soaked squeegee may have happened somewhere, but I haven't found a story with the details.--Phil Wade, Ringgold, Ga.
Oh, well. You write what you must and sometimes it’s published. The best part of getting a letters to the editor printed is when a friend or acquaintance from across the states notices it and thinks, “Hey! I know that guy!” Of course, there was the time my letter to the local paper was mentioned on a local talk radio show. I only heard about that through my brother. Good thing too. They were grilling me on something they disliked.
What would a publishing professional read if she could read what she wanted to read?
Our Girl in Chicago
linked to a 1999 article
which asked the above question to several unnamed people, and learned some interesting things--things related to National Book Award complaints and boring literature being praised while the fun stuff is ignored or dissed. I read that article, and wanted to write on it myself; but frankly, you'd be better off reading it from her. Here's a quote from the short article in question:
One marketing person said that she'd love to finish Paradise Lost, which she struggled only partway through while in college. “Now that I know something about defeat and frustration, I keep thinking about how Satan got cast out of Heaven,” she said. “In college I couldn't relate. Now I can.”
... Many of my respondents would, with relief, simply give up reading most new books and head straight back to the classics. It was chilling to learning what some people in publishing haven't read: The Odyssey, Dickens, Tolstoy, Gogol, The Aeneid.
I hope the marketing professional gets more out of Paradise Lost
than sympathy for Satan, but anything's a good reason to return to one of Milton's great works. Speaking of great literature, I hope to work through Spenser's The Faerie Queen
Do I have to read all the books I buy?
Are there too books out there? Too many to review? Too many to pick through to find one worthwhile, or better yet amazing? Carole Goldberg, book editor for the Hartford Courant, has written an article
which quotes book industry people saying “Goodness, yes! There is a veritable plethora of books out there” (not an exact quote). To read the article
, you may login with brandybuck2
, password hobbit
Publishing output in 2002 grew by almost 6%. A Madison, WI bookseller says, “'Publishers are printing books, not publishing them,' by failing to properly market and promote their titles.” A publicist says, “Everyone is under pressure to show they're finding the next Hemingway; but it's not clear what the public wants to read, so publishers buy as many manuscripts as they can for small amounts.” A few popular titles can pay for many unpopular ones.
If you’re an avid reader looking for a worthy purchase or library loan, what should you do? Listen to your friends and trusted reviewers. A former editor says, “as an individual reader, I've lost the capability to discover a good book for myself. There are just too many, so I rely on the media.” But Reviewer Laura Miller says that she relies on “a close community of reviewers, book scouts, editors and others in the business to help her decide what to review.” Otherwise, there’s simply too much to wade through. “And while reviewing can be like being a kid let loose in a candy store, Miller points out that ‘there are a million jars and packages in that store, and a lot of it is joke candy that tastes really bad.’”
Seen in ArtsJournal.com
On and Through the Target!
"If teachers are in the habit of approaching a story as if it were a research problem for which any answer is believable so long as it is not obvious, then I think students will never learn to enjoy fiction. Too much interpretation is certainly worse than too little, and where feeling for a story is absent, theory will not supply it." -- Flannery O’Connor, as read in Terry's Almanac.
Carl Henry, Home with the Lord on Sunday
Theologian Carl F. H. Henry, the founding editor of Christianity Today Magazine, died on Sunday at age 90. Henry was a first generation American, who “to engage evangelicals in a discussion of social and cultural problems and to help define authentic involvement,” according to this Christianity Today article
. “In 1947, Henry's first of many major books was published. The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism
emphasized the Christian's dual citizenship, challenging the withdrawal of fundamentalists from society.” This book was reissued in paperback last August.
In this article
by the late professor and editor Kenneth Kanzer, which describes Henry’s 80th birthday celebration at Fourth Presbyterian in Bethesda, MD, Chuck Colson is reported to have said that of all the powerful intellects he knew he had never met the equal of Carl F. H. Henry.
In his blog today
, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, starts his tribute to Henry with this quote, “Everyone has a theology. It may be a very shoddy one, and if it is shoddy, it will rise to haunt one in a crisis of life. It's my conviction that only a theology which has the living God at its center and that is rooted in Christ, the crucified and risen Redeemer, has the intellectual struts to engage the modern secular views effectively.”
May ten leaders like Henry rise up to take his place on earth.
Put the Snow White Book Down, and No One Will Get Scarred!
The Scotsman reports
that an associate professor of sociology at Purdue has co-written a study that warns against the mind-twisting stereotypes to be found in classic fairy tales. “There is a lot of association between beauty and goodness and then conversely between ugliness and evil and laziness” she said. The study reports that the unhealthy association, if left alone, could be as dangerous for young minds as exploitive music videos.
The co-authors examined 168 Grimm fairy tales and focused on those tales most repeated during the 20th century. The top five repeated tales are Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretal.
makes the professor’s concerns a bit clearer. It quotes Prof. Grauerholz saying, "What is striking is the way in which women's beauty is mentioned. In 'The Pink Flower' a maiden is described as 'so beautiful that no painter could ever have made her look more beautiful.' In 'The Goose Girl at the Spring,' a character's beauty is compared to a miracle. In other tales, a woman is so beautiful it can cause her danger."
“These powerful messages that say women need to be beautiful may compel some women to seek beauty at the expense of other pursuits, such as careers or education, Grauerholz says.”
She has something of a point, doesn’t she? Women should not believe themselves valuable primarily because of their physical beauty. They are whole beings, only part flesh, the other part spirit. I believe a woman’s spirit outshines her physical appearance more often than not. That’s why pretty and rude women are less attractive than their kind sisters who are not as visually stunning. The initial attraction may be to the former, but with a little time, that latter outshines her. Women are valuable because there are human, Imago Deo. Their purpose is not to be pretty, but “to glorify God and enjoy him forever,” to quote the catechism.
I’m not sure how pursuing a career or education opposes pursuing beauty. I know some beautiful, well-educated women. How did they do it? And what is the problem with associating virtue with beauty? Goodness is beautiful as is truth and love.
I think a stronger danger is that young girls may define feminine beauty in terms of specific cover photos or actresses. Pop culture broadcasts a distinct image of what they think is beautiful, and they are mostly wrong. Girls who believe they must look like someone particular to be attractive will stumble over themselves and risk strong emotional defeat if rejected. They will save themselves trouble if they understand the beautiful in far broader terms, like the words quoted above.
This is already a longer post than I intended. Beauty is a deep subject. I hope I’ve written clearly, because I will stop now.
Lord of the Rings Award Tax Break
In semi-literary news, The Age newspaper has an article
on Peter Jackson’s success with The Lord of the Rings and the future of his special-effects and film making company. I link to it in order to take issue with a quote in the final third of the article. The article explains that Jackson took advantage of a tax code which allowed businesses to deduct up-front the taxes on their production costs. If understand the law properly, the exemption was intended to help businesses get off their feet. With a movie studio, the exemption applied to a projected production costs. In short, Jackson gained a $200M tax write-off in 1999 before filming began. To this, New Zealand's Minister of Economic Development Jim Anderton said, “It was an ingenious scheme that cost New Zealand taxpayers an enormous amount of money, and there's no proof that there are any long-term benefits from those movies to our economy because of it.”
No, sir, it didn’t cost New Zealand taxpayers a brass nickel. No New Zealander shelled out more for tax bills because Jackson was allowed to pay fewer taxes. And where are the benefits of making the movies? According to the side bar on this article, “there were 20,000 extras, 250 horses, and a crew of 2600.” Those are jobs and services paid for (read benefits). I’m sorry that tourism hasn’t skyrocketed, but that isn’t the only benefit to measure from these films. But the first point is more important. No one has to pay for tax breaks. Not Jackson’s $200M exemption, not another man’s $77 rebate.
Welcome to Brandywine Books
To my new readers, I wish you the very best this Christmas season and hope return to this site frequently. If you keep an eye on literary news, you probably won’t read anything late-breaking here. I’m a pitifully slow Internet writer (read blogger). I often have a dozen or more references on my list to write about, and after a while, some of them fall off because they seem too old. Despite this, I hope to entertain and inform you as only a blogger, would-be fiction author, and general literary enthusiast can do.
Let me begin by directing your attention elsewhere. Will Duquette hosts a great book review site called “The View from the Foothills
.” Will, Deb English (which is a great name for a teacher, literature fan, or writer), and others write reviews of several books throughout the month, publishing them both on the blog and in a monthly e-zine section. It’s a great way to gain exposure to a variety of titles and authors, and the comments section allows you to ask questions. On Tuesday, Will wrote
about C.S. Lewis’ The Discarded Image
, an introduction to medieval literature. Will writes, “Lewis attempts to capture the general world-view of the medieval age--the Model of the universe shared by readers and writers alike. In so doing he presents many examples from a plethora of authors, and gives us some idea of what they are like, but that's secondary. The primary goal is that we should have some idea of the things the authors would have taken for granted.”
Also, emerging author Jared Wilson surveys his thoughts on the literary author Paul Auster.
He plans to write about Auster frequently, so be sure to watch for it. His film and theology posts are good too, but you should go and decide for yourself.
Link and enjoy yourself.
I'm pleased to announce that Brandywine Books is being referred by two new sources. First, CrossSearch.com, "an online directory of Christian Web sites," has reviewed and accepted the site for its personal weblog section. You can see details page on this entry here.
Second, World Magazine's new blog
has added a link here and to the excellent ArtsJournal.com
under the "culture" label in their sidebar links list. Thank you very much. It feels like winning a people's choice award, not that I would know.
If you are coming here for the first time from one of these links, welcome. Feel free to comment on these posts or on things you've seen elsewhere by emailing me at dnifriend at yahoo.com.