2014 was a great year here at A Pilgrim in Narnia! More than 70,000 visitors viewed more than 300 posts. I wrote more than 100 posts in 2014, including a few guest blogs. Based on the digital foot traffic this year, here are the 7 Top Posts from 2014. They all occur in the first half of the year. Actually, the top 20 all occurred before Jun 30th, and some of the more popular older blogs continue to be viewed a lot. This is the “staying power” the Stats Squirrels referred to in my 2014 Year in Review. Since 50 Shades of Grey will come out on film this year, my most popular blog ever–50 Shades of Bad Writing–will probably remain at the top.
Feel free to enjoy these well-enjoyed blogs and restart the conversation! And, again, thanks for visiting. I am especially grateful to all who shared on facebook and twitter.
#7. “Turtles All the Way Down: Discworld Conversations About The Origins of the Universe.” To say that I’m a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is an understatement. Among the humorous fantasy writers, Terry Pratchett has pride of place. At his right and left hand are Douglas Adams in sheer satiric glory, and Neil Gaiman, whose humour shades into great darkness….
#6. “Different Kinds of Reading, Different Kinds of Books.” A couple of weeks ago I tweeted that I was reading 10 books simultaneously. I started looking at my reading notes, and this seems to be a habit for me. I can sit down, read one book all the way through, and then move on. But looking at the different books I am reading right now teaches me something about different kinds of readings we do….
#5. “You’re Not Special, Despite What The Lego Movie Tells You.” It’s become a bit of a running joke among the youth and young adults I work with. Before speaking once, I was introduced like this: “This is Brenton Dickieson, and he’s going to tell us all why we aren’t special.” Talk about a buzz kill! But I really think this is one of the most important messages to the current crop of our best young minds….
#4. “What If He Is Actually Evil? Thoughts on the Moncton Murderer.” In Eastern Canada we have been holding our breath as the RCMP (our national police force) scoured the city of Moncton, New Brunswick for an armed killer on the loose. Witnesses say Justin Bourque ambushed police officers, killing three and wounding two others. Anyone who knows how very far from the epicentre of Canada’s power cities we are will understand how surprising and upsetting this is. The city of Moncton was under lockdown last night until an effective search cornered the murderer and brought him into custody unarmed….
#3. “‘Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What’s to be Said’ by C.S. Lewis.” Perhaps no one would be more surprised than C.S. Lewis himself at the success of his classic children’s stories, The Chronicles of Narnia. Hundreds of millions of copies of the Narnian tales have been sold, and they are read and reread by children and adults everywhere. It won’t be surprising that C.S. Lewis’ Christian worldview emerges in Narnia, though some (like a character in one of Neil Gaiman’s stories) can feel betrayed by this emergence. For some, the Christian ideas break into a world and destroy the art and beauty. For others, they assume that Lewis began with a Christian message and squeezed a story around it. And there are some that read Narnia only for that message. But for Lewis, it was a much more complex and organic project….
#2. “A Clash of Faith: What Happens When Punk Rocker Terry Chimes Reads Mere Christianity.” It’s hard not to love The Clash, though they started filling the stage with noise when I was still in diapers. That’s okay, since Clash headman Mick Jones said in his last performance, “This here set of music is now dedicated to making sure that those people in the crowd that have children, there is something left here later for them in the centuries….”
#1. “6 Surprising Celebrity Audiobook Narrators.” I first discovered audiobooks while taking graduate courses by distance in Japan. I received these world-class lecture packages in the mail, pulled the cassette out of its cellophane wrapper (yes, a tape!), and then popped it into my car’s tape player. These lectures filled my commutes in Japan, from the rice paddies of Asashina-mura with old farmer wives knee-deep in water, crooked backs bending to plant tender shoots of grain, through the Miyota river valley filled with its onion fields and cherry blossoms and Coca Cola vending machines, to the mountaintop tourist village of Karuizawa–a hidden paradise of pine trees and ancient roads and large families of monkeys that wandered across your path….