2016: A Year of Reading

headerThis time last year I had a sense of the kind of season that 2016 would be, but I did not know the how deeply the experiences of bereavement, family responsibility, and overwork would impact me. While my work has been lean in quality, and our little family castle is in serious need of attention, I have had a relatively good reading year. As a PhD student it is my “job” to read. More than this, though, through the difficulties and disappointments of 2015-16, reading has been a solace to me. Books are for me mental playgrounds, intellectual exercises, escapes not from something but into everything all at once.

Despite a lot of challenges, I exceeded some of my reading goals this year. I averaged 10 books a month–making this the biggest year ever for me. It was also the least variable year for me in book reading. Comparing the years 2014-16, we see a shift to more regularity. In the previous two years, my book reading sank as I got to the end of the winter semester and to the middle of the fall semester. What is consistent in all three years is the strength of my summer reading. The undergraduate teaching that dominates my fall and winter does not allow for a lot of reading, while the graduate teaching I have been doing each summer requires (permits!) a high reading level.


Though I don’t tend to count blogs or most internet articles, books are not all of my reading. In 2016 I also increased my reading of articles I read thoroughly and the number of lectures I listened to. While the three-year stats on article reading are more variable, it is evident that this kind of reading is front-loaded. I expect this trend to be similar in 2017-18 as I have four literature reviews to complete.


While all the numbers are up, the trend is a bit deceptive. In 2016 I meant to slow down a tiny bit and read longer, more academic books. My average length (319 pages/book) is almost the same as last year (312 pages/book), meaning that this was not the year I intended.

There is a reason for this. Because of the kind of year it was, I missed a lot of my academic goals. I read widely, but I can see that I turned to reading as a kind of tonic. From the point that my father-in-law landed in hospital in January 2015, through my mother’s diagnosis and rapid descent last winter, until October of this year, I got very little academic writing done. For the first time I have missed real deadlines and let people down. It wasn’t until late-October that I felt the fog lift. I was clear for the first time in months. I still have days where the work comes with agonizing slowness–I am not anywhere near my old pace–but I can see where things are going for me.

stats4Even more than this, a kind of neat academic miracle occurred in the midst of the fog. While I wrote very little of my dissertation in that period–and was on leave for half of it–the narrative of my PhD thesis emerged very clearly in my mind. I can now see very precisely how all of the pieces fit together, and what the next two years look like for me. I just need time to write it all down.

2017, then, is less about reading and more about writing. In 2017 I will need to slow down and spend more time in each book. I can no longer afford to use reading as a tonic; it now has to be sustenance in all kinds of ways. In 2017 I will need to slow down and spend more time in each book. I will read fewer books, but probably take in more articles and lectures.

If you check out the reading list below (or the 2016  Goodreads Infographic with a more detailed summary), you will see my reading year was organized around 6 main focal points:

  1. The completion of my Reading C.S. Lewis Chronologically project on March 8th.
  2. A summer class at SignumU on “Mythologies of Love & Sex,” which was partly a C.S. Lewis course. Even though I had read everything before I assigned the syllabus, I wanted to reread these books as students were reading so my lectures were fresh–and so I could determine if the reading list was too heavy (it was!). I also read some things twice, which shows some discrepancy between the Goodreads list and my own.
  3. Research visits in the summer to the Wade Center (US) and the Bodleian (UK). archives, with conferences at Taylor University (in June) and the University of Glasgow (in September). This was why at the beginning of June I reread the Ransom Cycle and had a number of items that were part of a literature review, and in August my reading has the scent of interesting things found in a library. It is also why I have read C.S. Lewis’ The Quest of Bleheris and An Experiment in Criticism several times.
  4. A class at SignumU in the fall on “Folkloric Transformations,” with lectures by folklorist Dr. Dimitra Fimi and a reading list that focused mostly on vampyre literature and some fairy tale retellings.
  5. Each month I tried to read a theological book as a kind of devotional time. This included more classic works such as Dante’s Divine Comedy, Bonhoeffer’s Life Together and The Cost of Discipleship, George MacDonald’s Unspoken Sermons, Watchman Nee’s Normal Christian Life, and Thomas à Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ. I also read more modern treatments such as Alister McGrath’s work on Luther’s Theology of the Cross, Flannery O’Conner’s Prayer Journal, Ann Jervis’ At the Heart of the Gospel, Phyllis Tickle’s The Age of the Spirit, René Girard’s Sacrifice, Stanley Hauwerwas’ Cross-Shattered Christ, and Anna Fisk’s important book, Sex, Sin, and Our Selves.
  6. Reading projects through the Harry Potter world (I am now reading the supplementary books), Terry Pratchett’s Discworld (six books this year, and am now reading #21, Jingo), and what I call the “Extended Inklings”–books by and about the Oxford Inklings, and some of their friends and influences (like G.K. Chesterton, George MacDonald, and Dorothy Sayers).

3The Goodreads app is kind of limited. They have a thousand possibilities for creating infographics, and though I am grateful for the one they have given us, I like to track different things. For example, my book reading trends show that 74.4% of my authors are men. Although 1/4 of books from women might be a high count considering the kind of authors I am focussed on, and the kind of work I do, I would like it to be higher. If I take out the books by C.S. Lewis–my primary author–the number of women authors increases to almost 1/3. In 2017 I expect that to be about the same ratio, but I will see a shift in the 2017-18 school year.

I also have begun tracking books by genre. True, my metric here is odd, but it works for me. I use these categories; Theology; SF/Fantasy lit; books by or about C.S. Lewis; books by or about the Extended Inklings; Classic Literature (mostly fiction); Modern Literature (fiction); and other Nonfiction (a catch-all; next year I’ll separate out feminist studies). The largest single category is Fantasy and SciFi literature, and if we included the Inklings and C.S. Lewis, speculative fiction might make up half of my reading (I only count books in one category). Books by and about C.S. Lewis make up about 1/5th of my reading, down a little this year as I completed my chronological reading. I am pleased that the Classic lit and Theology categories are each about 1/6th of my reading as I try to fill in the blank spaces in my education and put my PhD research in context.


What of 2017? I would like to set my sights high, but recognize that to be successful in my PhD program I need to narrow and deepen my reading. In 2017 I aim to hold steady as a whole, but decrease my book reading to 100 books, increase lectures series and classes to 10, and increase to 125 articles (235 pieces overall).

Here is my list of books in my 2016 reading. “CSL” below means “C.S. Lewis.” I’ve linked some of the blogs that connect with the things I’ve read. Are any of these books yours? If so, feel free to link my list. If you have your own year-end list or best-of blog, make sure you list it!

# Date Book, Article, or Lecture Series
1 Jan 01 Sørina Higgins, “Introduction” to King Arthur and the Inklings (2016)
2 Jan 05 Warren Berger, A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas (2014)
3 Jan 08 CSL, “De Audiendis Poetis” (1958?)
4 Jan 09 John Christopher, The Death of Grass (1956)
5 Jan 03 Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal (1945-47; 2015)
6 Jan 11 CSL, “On Juvenile Tastes” (1958)
7 Jan 12 Norman Pittenger, “Apologist versus Apologist: A Critique of C.S. Lewis as ‘Defender of the Faith’” (1958)
8 Jan 12 E.L. Allen, “The Theology of C.S. Lewis” (1945)
9 Jan 13 CSL, “Rejoinder to Dr. Pittenger” (1958)
10 Jan 13 George C. Anderson, “C.S. Lewis: Foe of Humanism” (1945)
11 Jan 13 Lyle W. Dorsett, “Unscrambling the C. S. Lewis ‘Hoax'” (1989)
12 Jan 13 Pittenger, Lewis, Letters to the Editor, Christian Century (1958)
13 Jan 14 CSL, “On the Efficacy of Prayer” (1959)
14 Jan 18 Ron Srigley, “Dear Parents: Everything You Need to Know About Your Son and Daughter’s University But Don’t” (2015)
15 Jan 18 Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms (1993)
16 Jan 19 Derek Tidball et al, The Atonment Debate: Papers from the London Symposium on the Atonement (2005)
17 Jan 20 Brian Grazer, ch. 1 of A Curious Mind (2015)
18 Jan 23 CSL, The Discarded Image (1964, 1930s-50s Lectures)
19 Jan 24 Terry Pratchett, Theatre of Cruelty (1993)
20 Jan 28 CSL, “Modern Theology & Biblical Criticism” (= “Fern-seed and Elephants”) (1959)
21 Jan 29 Carol & Philop Zaleski, The Fellowship: The Literary LIves of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams (2015)
22 Jan 31 CSL, The Four Loves (1959)
23 Feb 01 Alister McGrath, Luther’s Theology of the Cross (1985)
24 Feb 02 CSL, “The English prose Morte” (1959; 1963)
25 Feb 02 CSL, “Lucretius” (unknown date)
26 Feb 03 Simon Armitage, Translation of the Alliterative Death of King Arthur/Morte Arthure (1400; 2012)
27 Feb 08 Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1852-53)
28 Feb 08 Christopher Hitchens, “Edward Said in Light and Shade (and Saul),” in Hitch 22 (2010)
29 Feb 09 CSL, “After 10 Years” (1959-60)
30 Feb 13 William Wordsworth, Poems in Two Volumes, Volume 2 (1803)
31 Feb 16 CSL, “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” (1959)
32 Feb 16 CSL, “Good Work and Good Works” (1959)
33 Feb 16 CSL, “The Language of Religion” (1960)
34 Feb 16 CSL, Preface to Austen Farrer, A Faith of Our Own (1960)
35 Feb 16 CSL, “Christianity and Culture” (1939)
36 Feb 16 CSL, Review of M. Pauline Parker, The Allegory of the Faerie Queene (1960)
37 Feb 16 CSL, Review of R.S. Loomis, Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages (1960)
38 Feb 16 CSL, “Metre” (1960)
39 Feb 16 Walter Hooper, Preface to Selectred Literary Essays (1968)
40 Feb 16 CSL, Review of John Vyvyan, Shakespeare and the Rose of Love (1960)
41 Feb 16 CSL, “It All Began With a Picture….” (1960)
42 Feb 17 Michael J. Gorman, The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant: A (Not So) New Model of the Atonement (2014)
43 Feb 17 CSL, A Grief Observed (1960)
44 Feb 17 CSL, “Haggard Rides Again” = “The Mythopoiec Gift of Rider Haggard” (1960)
45 Feb 18 CSL, “Neoplatonism in te Poetry of Spenser” (1961)
46 Feb 18 CSL, “Boswell’s Bugbear: Sir John Hawkins, The Life of Samuel Jonhson, ed. Bertram Hylton Davis” (1961)
47 Feb 18 Harvie M. Conn, “Literature and Criticism” (1960)
48 Feb 22 CSL, “Four-Letter Words” (1961)
49 Feb 23 CSL, “Before We Can Communicate” (1961)
50 Feb 23 CSL, An Experiment in Criticism (1961)
51 Feb 23 CSL, “Tragic ends: George Steiner, The Death of Tragedy” (1962)
52 Feb 24 “Eros on the loose: David Loth, The Erotic in Literature” (1962)
53 Feb 24 CSL, “Oddyseus Sails Again: The Odyssey, trans. Robert Fitzgerald” (1962)
54 Feb 24 CSL, “Ajaz and others: John Jones, On Aristotle and Greek Tragedy” (1962)
51 Feb 24 CSL, “Sex in Literature” (1962)
52 Feb 25 CSL, “The Vision of John Bunyan” (1962)
53 Feb 25 CSL, “The Anthropological Approach” (1962)
54 Feb 25 CSL, “Unreal Estates” (1962)
55 Feb 26 George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons (1867)
56 Feb 28 Terry Pratchett, Soul Music (1994)
57 Mar 01 Walter Hooper, Preface to CSL, Of Other Worlds (1965)
58 Mar 01 Walter Hooper, Preface to CSL, Of This and Other Worlds (1982)
59 Mar 02 CSL, “The Seeing Eye” = “Onward, Christian Spacemen” (1963)
60 Mar 02 CSL, “Must Our Image of God Go?” (1963)
61 Mar 02 Walter Hooper, Preface to CSL, Christian Reflections (1966)
62 Mar 04 CSL, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (1963)
63 Mar 07 CSL, Introduction to Selections from Layamon’s Brut, ed. G.L. Brook (1963)
64 Mar 07 CSL, “Spenser’s Cruel Cupid” (1963)
65 Mar 07 Walter Hooper, Preface to Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1965)
66 Mar 07 CSL, “Poetry and exegesis: Harold Bloom, The Visionary Company: A Reading of English Poetry (1963)
67 Mar 07 CSL, “Rhyme and reason: Dorothy L. Sayers, The Poetry of Search and the Poetry of Statement” (1963)
68 Mar 08 CSL, “Cross-Examination” = “I Was Decided Upon” (1963)
69 Mar 08 CSL, “We Have No ‘Right to Happiness'” (1963)
70 Mar 08 Walter Hooper, Preface to God in the Dock (1970)
71 Mar 08 CSL, The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume lll: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963, ed. Walter Hooper (2008)
72 Mar 08 Sørina Higgins, “The Development of Sehnsucht in the Letters of C.S. Lewis” (2016)
73 Mar 08 Paul Tankard, “C.S. Lewis’ Brush with Television” (2011)
74 Mar 08 CSL interview with Wayland Young (1962)
75 Mar 10 Harold Bloom, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages (1994)
76 Mar 12 Jonathan Lunde, Following Jesus, the Servant King: A Biblical Theology of Covenantal Discipleship (2010)
77 Mar 16 The Dalai Lama, Prologue & Chs. 1-2 of The Universe in a Single Atom (2005)
78 Mar 16 Douglas Gresham, Lenten Lands (1988)
79 Mar 17 Ron Dart, “T.S. Eliot and C.S. Lewis: Discord and Concord” (2008)
80 Mar 21 George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind (1851)
81 Mar 30 Patience Fetherston, “CSL on Rationalism (Unpublished Notes)” (1988)
82 Mar 31 Thomas Cahill, Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe (2006)
83 Mar 31 Charlie Starr, “Perelandra: Faith vs. Sight” and part of ch. 3-4 of The Triple Enigma (2002)
84 Mar 31 William Morris, The Well at the World’s End: Volume 1 (1896)
85 Apr 07 Monika B. Hilder, The Feminine Ethos in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia (2012)
86 Apr 07 Chrétien de Troyes, Erec & Enide (c. 1170)
87 Apr 13 Chrétien de Troyes, Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart (c. 1177-81)
88 Apr 17 Chrétien de Troyes, Yvain, the Knight of the Lion (c. 1177-81)
89 Apr 19 Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times (1998)
90 Apr 19 Plato, “Euthyphru” (Late 5th c. BCE)
91 Apr 24 David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (1996)
92 Apr 27 Plato, The Symposium (Late 5th c. BCE)
93 May 02 Armand Nicholi, The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life (2002)
94 May 03 J.R.R. Tolkien,”On Fairy-Stories” (1947)
95 May 05 CSL, The Four Loves broadcast (1958)
96 May 09 William Morris, The Well at the World’s End: Volume 2 (1896)
97 May 12 Myron C. Kauk, Song of Solomon: A Defense of the Three Character Interpretation (2010)
98 May 13 Richard S. Hess, “Introduction” of Song of Songs (2005)
99 May 14 Ariel & Chana Bloch, The Song of Songs: The World’s First Great Love Poem (1995)
100 May 17 Plato, The Symposium (Late 5th c. BCE)
101 May 18 CSL, The Allegory of Love (1936)
102 May 20 Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1597)
103 May 23 CSL, “Courtly Love” in The Allegory of Love (1936)
104 May 24 William Levitan, ed., Abelard & Heloise (12th c.; 2007)
105 May 25 Terry Pratchett, Maskerade (1995)
106 May 29 Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1597)
107 May 30 CSL, Out of the Silent Planet (1937)
108 May 30 Dante, Divine Comedy (1308-20)
109 May 30 CSL, The Dark Tower (1940s)
110 May 31 Roger White, “C.S. Lewis’ Poem ‘Nearly They Stood’: A Variorum & Research Notes,” (Apr 2009)
111 May 31 Diane Simpson, “C.S. Lewis’s handwriting analysed,” (2008)
112 May 31 Alison Flood, “Unseen C.S. Lewis letter defines his notion of joy,” (2014)
113 May 31 Matthew Lee Anderson, “When the Story Stops Telling Itself: A New Letter from C.S. Lewis” (2013)
114 May 31 Ryder W. Miller, From Narnia to A Space Odyssey: The War of Ideas Between Arthur C. Clarke and C.S. Lewis (2003).
115 May 31 Jennifer Swift, “ ‘A More Fundamental Reality than Sex’: C.S. Lewis and the Hierarchy of Gender” (2008)
116 Jun 01 Joe R. Christopher and Joan K. Ostling, C. S. Lewis: An Annotated Checklist of Writings (1974)
117 Jun 01 CSL, The Screwtape Letters (1941)
118 Jun 01 Susan Lowenberg, C.S. Lewis: A Reference Guide: 1972-1988 (1993)
119 Jun 01 John Wormsley, An Annotated Bibliography of the Criticism of C.S. Lewis’ Fiction from 1981-1991 (1992)
120 Jun 06 Douglas Lee Semark, C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy: Metaphysical Theology in Science Fiction/Fantasy (1979)
121 Jun 07 Jacobo E. Hoff, The Idea of God and the Spirituality of C.S. Lewis (1969)
122 Jun 08 W.H. Lewis, The Lewis Papers (1916; 1928-30)
123 Jun 08 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774)
124 Jun 09 Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice (1812)
125 Jun 11 CSL, Perelandra (1943)
126 Jun 12 CSL, An Experiment in Criticism (1961)
127 Jun 14 Charles Huttar, “The Screwtape Letters as Epistolary Fiction” (2016)
128 Jun 19 Chaim Potok, My Name is Asher Lev (1972)
129 Jun 21 CSL, That Hideous Strength (1945)
130 Jun 21 CSL, “Bulverism” (1941)
131 Jun 23 CSL, “The Grand Miracle” (1945)
132 Jun 25 CSL, Till We Have Faces (1954)
133 Jun 28 Ann Jervis, At the Heart of the Gospel: Suffering in the Earliest Christian Message (2007)
134 Jun 30 Ian C. Storey, “The Classical Sub-text to Till We Have Faces (2007)
135 Jul 03 Stephen King, The Body (1982)
136 Jul 04 Ann M. Martin, A Corner of the Universe (2002)
137 Jul 05 Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia (1977)
138 Jul 09 John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth (2005)
139 Jul 10 G.K. Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown (1910)
140 Jul 12 Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1886)
141 Jul 13 Roald Dahl, The BFG (1982)
142 Jul 14 Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist (1988)
143 Jul 15 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (1939)
144 Jul 16 Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel (2010)
145 Jul 19 Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay (1996)
146 Jul 19 Monika B. Hilder, The Gender Dance: Ironic Subversion in C. S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy(2013)
147 Jul 21 Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1811)
148 Jul 25 Chris R. Armstrong, Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians (2016)
149 Jul 28 Annie Dillard, An American Childhood (1987)
150 Jul 30 CSL, The Quest of Bleheris (1916)
151 Aug 02 Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (1986)
152 Aug 05 Michael Lewis, The Monk: A Romance (1795)
153 Aug 18 Diana Pavlac Glyer, Bandersnatch: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings (2016)
154 Aug 21 Terry Pratchett, Hogfather (1996)
155 Aug 25 Mary Shelley, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)
156 Aug 26 CSL, The Quest of Bleheris (1916)
157 Aug 26 William Empson, “Professor Lewis on Linguistics” (1960)
158 Aug 26 Lyle W. Dorsett, “Researching C.S. Lewis” (1990)
159 Aug 26 Stephen Logan, “Literary Theorist” (2010)
160 Aug 26 John F. Fleming, “Literary Critic” (2010)
161 Aug 27 Terence P. Logan, Review of An Experiment in Criticism (1966)
162 Aug 27 George Watson, “Introduction” to Critical Essays on C.S. Lewis (1992)
163 Aug 27 William Empson, “Milton’s God” (1961)
164 Aug 27 CSL, An Experiment in Criticism (1961)
165 Aug 28 Andrew Atherstone, Travel Through Oxford: City of Saints, Scholars and Dreaming Spires (2008)
166 Aug 28 Hsiu-Chin Chou, theory sections of The problem of faith and the self: the interplay between literary art, apologetics and hermeneutics in C.S. Lewis’s religious narratives (2008)
167 Aug 28 Various readings in CSL papers
168 Aug 28 J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla (1872)
169 Aug 30 Peter Ackroyd, Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors (2012)
170 Aug 30 Anna Fisk, Sex, Sin, and Our Selves: Encounters in Feminist Theology and Contemporary Women’s Literature (2014)
171 Aug 30 Carolyn Weber, Surprised by Oxford (2011)
172 Aug 31 Natalie K. Watson, selections of Feminist Theology (2003).
173 Sep 01 Estelle Freedman, The Modern Scholar: Feminism and the Future of Women (2004)
174 Sep 01 Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth (1909, 1962)
175 Sep 03 CSL, The Quest of Bleheris (1916)
176 Sep 03 Dawn Llewellyn, “Talking in Waves: A Generational and Secular Metaphor” (2015)
177 Sep 04 William Oxtoby et al., “About Religion” (2014)
178 Sep 05 Charlie Starr, parts of Light (2012)
179 Sep 05 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
180 Sep 06 CSL, A Grief Observed (1960)
181 Sep 06 Marcella Maria Althaus-Reid & Lisa Isherwood, “Christology” in Controversies in Feminist Theology (2007)
182 Sep 08 Stanley Hauerwas, The Cross-Shattered Christ (2005)
183 Sep 10 Mark Godin, “Sexing the Author: Can a Man Write Feminist Theology?” (2009)
184 Sep 12 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Christabel” (1797-1800; 1816)
185 Sep 13 John Polidori, “The Vampyre” (1819)
186 Sep 13 Anne McCaffrey, Dragonsong (1976)
187 Sep 13 Oxtoby et all, “The Ancient World” (2014)
188 Sep 14 A.J.A. Waldock, “The Poet and the Theme” in Paradise Lost and Its Critics (1947)
189 Sep 14 CSL, An Experiment in Criticism (1961)
190 Sep 15 Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)
191 Sep 15 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1999)
192 Sep 15 George MacDonald, The Light Princess and Other Fairy Stories (1864)
193 Sep 22 Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire (1976)
194 Sep 29 Richard Matheson, I Am Legend and Other Stories (1954)
195 Oct 01 Charlaine Harris, Dead Until Dark (2001)
196 Oct 01 Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (early 15th c.)
197 Oct 01 George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons Series III (1867)
198 Oct 10 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
199 Oct 10 Marilynne Robinson, The Givenness of Things (2015)
200 Oct 10 CSL, “The Grand Miracle” (1945)
201 Oct 15 Andrew Lazo, “Correcting the Chronology: Some Implications of ‘Early Prose Joy’” (2012)
202 Oct 15 Andrew Lazo, “‘Early Prose Joy’: A Brief Introduction (2013)
203 Oct 17 CSL, Early Prose Joy (1931)
204 Oct 21 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
205 Oct 22 J.R.R. Tolkien,”On Fairy-Stories” (1947)
206 Oct 26 Jason Lepojärvi, “What Exactly is “Charity”? A Reinterpretation of C. S. Lewis’s The Four Loves” (2016)
207 Oct 29 Joseph Pearce, C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church (2004)
208 Oct 29 Francesca Lia Block, The Rose and the Beast (2000)
209 Oct 30 Phyllis A. Tickle & Jon M. Sweeney, The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church (2014)
210 Oct 31 Roald Dahl, Revolting Rhymes (1982)
211 Oct 31 Catherine Storr, Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf (1974)
212 Nov 03 Various, Great Vampire Stories: 30 Classic Victorian Tales of Vampires (19th c.)
213 Nov 04 The Bible (English Standard Version, 2001)
214 Nov 07 CSL, Out of the Silent Planet (1937)
215 Nov 12 Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights (1847)
216 Nov 12 Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (1979)
217 Nov 13 René Girard, Sacrifice (2011)
218 Nov 17 Dimitra Fimi, Folkloric Transformations (2016)
219 Nov 18 CSL, Perelandra (1943)
220 Nov 23 Matthew Vines, God and the Gay Christian (2014)
221 Nov 23 Courtney Petrucci, “Abolishing Man: Breaking and Recovering the Chain of Being in C.S. Lewis’s Ransom Cycle” (2016)
222 Nov 24 Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2011)
223 Nov 26 CSL, That Hideous Strength (1945)
224 Nov 27 Jessica Shaver Renshaw, New Every Morning (2006)
225 Nov 30 Lyle Dorsett, Spiritual Formation in C.S. Lewis’ Life (2003)
226 Dec 01 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (1937)
227 Dec 02 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
228 Dec 08 John Garth, “When JRR Tolkien bet CS Lewis: the wager that gave birth to The Lord of the Rings” (2016)
229 Dec 10 Pseudo-Dionysius, “Mystical Theology” (5th-6th c.)
230 Dec 10 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
231 Dec 10 Ross Douthat, “Settling into a Decadent Decline” (2014)
232 Dec 16 George Musacchio, “C.S. Lewis’s Unpublished Letter in Old English” (1926; 2015)
233 Dec 16 Walter Hooper, “Introduction” and “Preface” to Image and Imagination (2013)
234 Dec 16 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
235 Dec 18 Watchman Nee, Normal Christian Life (1957)
236 Dec 19 Crystal Hurd, “The Pudaita Pie: Reflections on Albert Lewis” (2015)
237 Dec 19 C.S Lewis & W.H. Lewis, “Pudaita Pie: An Anthology” (1920s)
238 Dec 20 David Lake, “Variant Texts of That Hideous Strength” (1989)
239 Dec 21 Charles Wheelan, Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data (2012)
240 Dec 21 Alister McGrath, If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life (2015)
241 Dec 21 Michael Ward, “The Theological Imagination of C.S. Lewis” (2010)
242 Dec 22 CSL, “Myth Became Fact” (1944)
243 Dec 22 Alister McGrath, “The Most Reluctant Convert” in C.S. Lewis: A Life (2013)
244 Dec 24 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (1798)
245 Dec 25 Ransom Riggs, Hollow City (2015)
246 Dec 26 Os Guiness, “The Evangelical Moment”
247 Dec 29 John Bowen, The Spirituality of Narnia: The Deeper Magic of C.S. Lewis (2007)


About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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15 Responses to 2016: A Year of Reading

  1. Jennifer says:

    Where can I find “The Theology of C.S. Lewis” by E.L. Allen? I googled it but wasn’t having much luck. Also, I love all your charts and graphs! I may have to try to make some of my own for my nerdier reading post!


  2. Joe R. Christopher says:

    I see that you read my and Ostling’s secondary bibliography. Impressive!

    I also noted your reading of Chretien de Troyes. This past fall (I won’t go into the reasons) I read all twelve of Marie de France’s Breton lais for the first time. All of them in Dorothy Gilbert’s translation. (I had read two of them earlier by other translators.) Far shorter than what you were reading, but intriguing in some of the same ways. One Arthurian story among them, and also a single poem about Tristram and Yseut (called only “the Queen” in the lai). Curious enough Guinevere is also called just “the queen” in Marie’s Arthurian poem. (Marie does not connect Tristram to the Arthurian world.) Perhaps I should add that Gilbert uses Guinevere’s name in her translation, but the name is not in the original. Of course, in Chretien’s poem about Lancelot and Guinevere–“The Knight of the Cart” (or just “Lancelot”)–the poet does not use Guinevere’s name, except once in the 7134 lines (in the 1043-1206 section) and in Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” with its Arthurian setting, again one has just references to “the queen.” (I hope I’m right about this–I read Chretien’s poem in W. W. Comfort’s translation.) Chaucer, I feel intuitively, was following the models of Chretien and Marie, but I wonder at these two earlier examples. Since Marie sometimes gave the names of her other heroines, it was not a sexist avoidance. Was it a matter of avoiding the naming of a woman of high rank?

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, on your annotated bibliography, this comes up as an “article” on my spreadsheet as I only went through 60 pages or so. It was a helpful piece of work.
      I have not read Marie, and read Chretien (also by Comfort) in preparing for a class where I was going through bits of CS Lewis’ Allegory of Love–and partly to catch the breadth of Chretien’s career in order to fill the shift that happened in that end of the century.
      I had not caught the naming thing. I think when I was reading, Malory was echoing in my ear and so Guinevere was always, ever present. It is a poor way to read, but true of how we often do read. I’ve never thought of who the Queen in the Wife of Bath was. I have never heard of the avoidance of a name due to rank, but we do get a lot of titles in this period: madame (my lady), midon (my lord or lady), syr, etc.


  3. L.A. Smith says:

    Handing you the high five of respect, Brenton. Although reading is one of the things I love to do most, I seem to struggle these days to find time to do as much as I want, and my life is not nearly as busy as yours. So thanks for the inspiration, and here’s to more words read in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow this is amazing Brenton! You are so dedicated, and it is inspiring to see you how committed you are to your reading journey! So happy for you!


  5. orthodoxmom3 says:

    Amazing! And yes, inspiring!


  6. Pingback: Approaching “The Silmarillion” for the First Time | A Pilgrim in Narnia

  7. Pingback: Five Words We Should Banish from our Vocabulary, Or Preventing Verbicide with C.S. Lewis | A Pilgrim in Narnia

  8. hatrack4 says:

    I love it! My wife calls it ‘my craziness’, but in 2016, my first year of full retirement (sort of), I read 153.5 books, 52,848 pages. This does not include some of my devotional readings. I’m glad to know there are others that maintain book lists and stats. This year, my goal is to scale back to devote time to writing blogs (first posting two weeks ago). Thanks, now I can tell my wife that there are others out there.


  9. This is really a fine piece of Work! Good Job!


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