2018: A Year of Reading: The Nerd Bit

“With such wishes for the New Year as still seem possible” ~ C.S. Lewis to his father from the trenches in France during WWI

“Is there any point in wishing each other a happy New Year? Well, yes, I suppose there is–a hell of a point!” ~ C.S. Lewis to his brother at the close of 1939 as WWII began its first winter

As a PhD student it is my “job” to read and write about what I read. It has been a very difficult time for me, and so I’ve included two of Lewis’ only New Year’s greetings in letters, and both understated to the point of eeriness. Despite the struggle, it was a banner year for both reading and writing. As I spoke about in my Christmas post, 2017 and 2018 were excellent for bringing my years of research into final form, and I expect to be defending my thesis later in 2019.

I had a few goals for 2018:

  • Reduce my reading to 100 books, but read longer books more focussed on my work (averaging 320 pages/book)
  • Read 120 articles, shorts stories, essays, or other short pieces (not in collections)
  • Listen to or watch 10 lectures series or classes
  • Achieve a 1:3 female:male ratio of authors

My goals this year were really about:

  • thickening up my reading and focussing it to match my thesis needs (particularly secondary sources on C.S. Lewis)
  • reading for course prep (which overlaps with my PhD program)
  • complete the main bulk of L.M. Montgomery’s fiction catalogue and deepen my knowledge of Montgomery scholarship

So, how did I do?

Once again, I did not manage to reduce my reading, actually increasing it to 44,000 pages and 133 books. Here’s hoping for 2019! I did, however, manage to thicken it by increasing my word length to an average of 333 pages/book.

And I met my Lewis and Montgomery goals as I read well to support my work in other areas. As I predicted, my reading was seasonal:

  • Winter: Because I was precepting a course called Literature, Film, and Technoculture with Signum University, my winter and part of the spring were dominated by SciFi, including Joan Slonczewski, Octavia Butler‘s Xenogenesis trilogy and Bloodchild, David Lindsay‘s evocative and terrible Arcturus, Margaret Atwood‘s Maddaddam trilogy, as well as work by Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Charles Stross, J.G. Ballard, and William Gibson. I had a great winter of reading.
  • Spring and Early Summer: The spring saw a severe shift to L.M. Montgomery’s fiction and C.S. Lewis’ teenage work, as well as some of their shared early influences like Tennyson, Bunyan, and Charlotte Brontë.
  • Late Summer and Fall: Although I indulged in Stephen King‘s Dark Tower cycle throughout latter-2018, otherwise the summer was all about C.S. Lewis, especially his secondary material (as you can see in my list of short pieces). As the fall moved on, my reading thickened out with more theological work, literary critical work, and a curriculum of feminist reading that continues into 2019. And, of course, I reread much of Harry Potter, and read some Virginia Woolf, Owen Barfield, Jorge Luis Borges, James Blish, and Winnie-the-Pooh.

Throughout the year I had a few other projects:

  • Slow progress on my chronological Discworld reading with 7 books (and I finished #35 Wintersmith on New Year’s Day 2019)
  • 14 Stephen King books, most connected to the Dark Tower cycle, but including his nonfiction Danse Macabre and some poetry and background material that was influential (like Robert Browning, T.S. Eliot, J.R.R. Tolkien, and H.P. Lovecraft)
  • 16 L.M. Montgomery books, plus a lot of scholarship on her
  • Beyond theology, feminism, and literary criticism, I tackled some big background reads, like G.J. Meyer’s treatment of WWI, A World Undone, Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, Alison Weir’s The Life of Elizabeth I, Barbara Black’s A Room of His Own, and James Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson, which took me forever to read.

The genre chart shows that although my “work” is difficult, it does include a lot of fun. I could have broken down the SF&F category into science fiction and fantasy, but it shows that this kind of reading is about 1/3 of my year. Adding modern lit and classics and fiction is a little more than half my reading. I read a lot less of the Inklings this year, and feminism is a section I split off from nonfiction last year (which is mostly history and literary criticism). The theology section looked small to me. That’s partly because I read fewer devotional books, and most of the theology I read is under the C.S. Lewis category.

Here’s a pretty version of the same thing:

My last goal is to achieve a 1:3 female:male ratio of authors. This is tough to do when your primary author is male (C.S. Lewis), his primary partners are male (Tolkien and the Inklings), and my field has been largely male (theology). I wanted to increase my feminine voices in a few ways this year, and my reading organically diversified in others:

  • Adding L.M. Montgomery to my research field certainly helped, as 1/8 books I read this year were by or about her, plus quite a number of articles and short stories.
  • For my work in C.S. Lewis’ spirituality I have been reading through a number of feminist authors, which continues into 2019.
  • My Technoculture class with Chad Andrews was not as male-dominated as a classical SF class might be, with quite a number of interesting women authors.
  • Though I read more Stephen King and Terry Pratchett, my interest in J.K. Rowling and Margaret Atwood balances things off.
  • Some of the strongest research in C.S. Lewis in the last generation has been by women, particularly in PhD research, and I have been conscious of women’s work in this field.

As a whole, rather than a 1:3 ratio (25%), 37% of my books in 2018 were by women, as well as 1/3 of my overall reading. I don’t know if I can manage a 1:2 ratio in 2019, but it is worth a try.

The Goodreads app is kind of limited, though you can check out my 2018 infographic. They have a thousand possibilities for creating infographics, yet they can’t figure out how to give us that power. Until then, I’ll stick with the classic excel sheet list attached below. I wish I was infographically-inclined, but I do like lists! Here is my list of reading form 2018. “CSL” below means “C.S. Lewis.” I’ve linked some of the blog posts that connect with the things I’ve read. Are any of these books or papers yours? If so, feel free to link my list. If you have your own year-end list or best-of blog, make sure you link it in the comments.

# Date Book
1 Jan 01 CSL, Till We Have Faces (1954)
2 Jan 02 Brian Grazer, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (2015)
3 Jan 04 Andy Weir, The Martian (2011)
4 Jan 09 Michael D.C. Drout, “From Here to Infinity: An Exploration of Science Fiction Literature” (2006)
5 Jan 12 CSL, selection of Till We Have Faces (1954)
6 Jan 13 Greg Bear, Terry Bisson, David Brin, John W. Campbell, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, Judith Merrill, Frederik Pohl, Eric Frank Russell, The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of the 20th Century (1900s)
7 Jan 15 Joan Slonczewski, A Door Into Ocean (1987)
8 Jan 16 Pamela Zoline, “The Heat Death of the Universe” (1967)
9 Jan 18 Debra Benita Shaw, selection from Technoculture: The Key Concepts (2008)
10 Jan 18 Michael Ward, William O’Flaherty, and Holly Ordway, “The Narnia Code” (2012)
11 Jan 20 Various “The Day the Earth Stood Still: A Radio Play” (1950)
12 Jan 22 Harry Bates, “Farewell to the Master (1940)
13 Jan 23 Michael Ward, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis (2008)
14 Jan 24 George Tomkyns Chesney, The Battle of Dorking: Reminiscences of a Volunteer (1871)
15 Jan 24 Neil Gaiman, “The Problem of Susan” (2004)
16 Jan 25 Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon (1959)
17 Jan 29 William Gibson, “The Gernsback Continuum” (1981)
18 Jan 29 Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, selection from A Short History of Film (2008)
19 Jan 31 Karel Čapek, R.U.R. and the Insect Play (1920-21)
20 Feb 02 J.G. Ballard, “The Concentration City” (1957)
21 Feb 03 William Gibson, Burning Chrome (1977-85)
22 Feb 05 David Lindsay, A Voyage to Arcturus (1920)
23 Feb 05 Gregory M. Anderson, “Lewis, Lost Letters, and Love” in Sehnsucht (2017)
24 Feb 05 Charles A. Huttar, “A Plea for Reasonable Discourse about Lewis’s Views on Evolution” (2017)
25 Feb 05 Reggie Weems, “Universalism Denied: C.S. Lewis’ Unpublished Letters to Alan Fairhurst” (2017)
26 Feb 07 Charlie W. Starr, “‘Villainous Handwriting’: A Chronological Study of C.S. Lewis’s Script” (2016)
27 Feb 09 Brian Aldiss, “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long” (1969)
28 Feb 09 Charles Ross, “Arthuriana and the Limits of C.S. Lewis’ Ariosto Marginalia” (2011)
29 Feb 09 Albert Borgmann, “The Lure of Technology” (Laing Lectures, 2011)
30 Feb 10 Raccoona Sheldon, “The Screwfly Solution” (1977)
31 Feb 10 Leslie F. Stone, “The Conquest of Gola” (1931)
32 Feb 13 H.P. Lovecraft, The Necronomicon (1930)
33 Feb 14 Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers (1959)
34 Feb 14 Ethan Campbell, “Wood-Woses: Tolkien’s Wild Men and the Green Knight” (2018)
35 Feb 17 Joel Heck, “Mary Neylan: From Progressive to Christian” (2018)
36 Feb 17 CSL, The Problem of Pain (1939)
37 Feb 21 George M. Marsden, C. S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity“: A Biography (2016)
38 Feb 23 J.G. Ballard, The Best Short Stories (1900s)
39 Feb 25 Octavia E. Butler, Dawn (1987)
40 Feb 26 CSL, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (1963)
41 Feb 27 George MacDonald, “The Golden Key” (1867)
42 Feb 28 Stephen King, The Tommyknockers (1987)
43 Mar 01 CSL, Spirits in Bondage (1919)
44 Mar 03 James T. Como, “The Screwtape Letters: A Description of the Manuscript in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library” (1980)
45 Mar 03 Charlie W. Starr, selections from Light: C.S. Lewis’s First and Final Short Story (2012)
46 Mar 07 Charles Huttar, “Filling the Gaps in History” (2018)
47 Mar 08 The Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy, “The Soviet Strategic Threat from Space” (1983)
48 Mar 08 Judith Merrill, “That Only a Mother” (1948)
49 Mar 08 George MacDonald, Phantastes (1858)
50 Mar 13 Margaret Atwood, Oryx & Crake (2004)
51 Mar 14 J. Cameron Moore, “Chesterton, Arthur, and Enchanting England” (2018)
52 Mar 15 CSL, selections from Collected Letters I (1916)
53 Mar 15 Octavia E. Butler, Adulthood Rites (1988)
54 Mar 15 Margaret Atwood, “Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth” (2008)
55 Mar 16 Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
56 Mar 21 Pat Cadigan, “Pretty Boy Crossover” (1986)
57 Mar 21 G.J. Meyer, A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918 (2006)
58 Mar 22 Octavia E. Butler, Bloodchild and Other Stories (1980s-90s)
59 Mar 22 Bruce Sterling, Preface to Mirrorshades (1986)
60 Mar 23 William Gibson, “Burning Chrome” (1982)
61 Mar 28 Charles Stross, Accelerando (2005)
62 Mar 30 L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars (1936)
63 Mar 31 Owen Barfield, History in English Words (1926)
64 Apr 04 L.M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon (1923)
65 Apr 05 Chad Andrews, “Literature, Film, and Technoculture” (2018)
66 Apr 05 Octavia E. Butler, Imago (1989)
67 Apr 11 Frances Gies, Joseph Gies, Life in a Medieval City (1969)
68 Apr 11 Jane Urquhart, Extraordinary Canadians: L.M. Montgomery (2009)
69 Apr 12 Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice (2001)
70 Apr 13 Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (2007)
71 Apr 15 L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside (1939)
72 Apr 19 L.M. Montgomery, Rainbow Valley (1919)
73 Apr 19 Algernon Blackwood, The Complete John Silence Stories (1908)
74 Apr 25 L.M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside (1921)
75 Apr 26 L.M. Montgomery, The Alpine Path (1917)
76 Apr 26 William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1612)
77 Apr 30 William Morris, The Well at the World’s End (1896)
78 Apr 30 Jonathan Himes, “World’s End Imagery: How William Morris and C.S. Lewis Imagined the Medieval North” (2003)
79 May 02 Charlotte Brontë, The Professor (1857)
80 May 03 Alfred Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King (1832-1885)
81 May 04 Terry Pratchett, Night Watch (2002)
82 May 10 Arthur Holder, “Introduction” to Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality (2005)
83 May 10 Sandra M. Schneiders, “Approaches to the Study of Christian Spirituality” (2005)
84 May 11 Terry Pratchett, Wee Free Men (2003)
85 May 13 William Morris, The Wood Beyond the World (1894)
86 May 14 Terry Pratchett, “Death and What Comes After” (2002)
87 May 16 Ann F. Howey, “Secular or Spiritual: Rereading Anne of Green Gables” (2013)
88 May 16 Monika B. Hilder, “’That Unholy Tendency to Laughter’: L. M. Montgomery’s Iconoclastic Affirmation of Faith in Anne of Green Gables” (2004)
89 May 16 Julia Rae Golding Page, selections from Kindred to the Spirit: A Christian Perspective on the Imagination as Portrayed in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Series (1999)
90 May 17 CSL, Surprised by Joy (1954)
91 May 18 L.M. Montgomery, The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery: Volume I: 1889-1910 (1984)
92 May 18 John R. Sorfleet, ed., L.M. Montgomery: An Assessment (1967)
93 May 18 Mary Henley Rubio, “L.M. Montgomery: Scottish-Presbyterian Agency in Canadian Culture” (1999)
94 May 18 Irene Gammel, “The Eros of Childhood and Early Adolescence in Girl Series: L.M. Montgomery’s Emily Trilogy” (1999)
95 May 18 Helen Siourbas, “L. M. Montgomery: Canon or Cultural Capital?” (1999)
96 May 18 Virginia A.S. Careless, selections from “L.M. Montgomery and Everybody Else” (1999)
97 May 19 John R. Sorfleet, “From Pagan to Christian: The Symbolic Journey of Anne of Green Gables” (2003)
98 May 20 L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (1908)
99 May 20 Deirdre Kessler, “L.M. Montgomery and the Creation of Prince Edward Island” (1999)
100 May 20 Kristie Blair, “The Mood of the Golden Age: Paganism, Ecotheology and the Wild Woods in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne and Emily Series” (2016)
101 May 22 Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, The Fragrance of Sweet-Grass: L.M. Montgomery’s Heroines and the Pursuit of Romance (1992; 2014)
102 May 23 L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea (1910)
103 May 23 George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards (Regent College Class, 2003)
104 May 28 L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island (1915)
105 May 29 Alison Weir, The Life of Elizabeth I (1996)
106 May 30 CSL, The Quest of Bleheris (1916)
107 May 30 Michael Ward, reviews of Narnian books (2005)
108 May 30 CSL, “Letter XIIa of Letters to Malcolm” (1963; 2017)
109 May 30 Norbert Feinendegen, “Letters to Malcolm: The Lost Chapter” (2017)
110 Jun 01 Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment (2003)
111 Jun 05 Arthur Greeves’ Diary Entries (1917-18, 1922)
112 Jun 06 L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams (1917)
113 Jun 07 L.M. Montgomery, Chronicles of Avonlea (1912)
114 Jun 07 L.M. Montgomery, Rainbow Valley (1919)
115 Jun 09 Charles Huttar, “The Playful Deity in C.S. Lewis’s Creation Poem” (2017)
116 Jun 09 Joel D. Heck and Christopher Marsh, “Discovering ‘A Christmas Sermon for Pagans'” (2017)
117 Jun 09 J. Patrick Pazdziora and Joshua C. Richards, “Balder, Adonis, Bacchus, Aslan: Frazer and Sacrament in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian” (2017)
118 Jun 11 CSL, “Myth Became Fact” (1944)
119 Jun 11 CSL, “The Grand Miracle” (1945)
120 Jun 11 CSL, “Religion without Dogma?” (1946)
121 Jun 11 CSL, “On Obstinacy in Belief” (1953)
122 Jun 12 CSL, “Miracles” (1942)
123 Jun 12 CSL, “Answers to Questions on Christianity” (1944)
124 Jun 17 L.M. Montgomery, The Blythes are Quoted (2009)
125 Jun 19 Stephen King, The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower II; 1987)
126 Jun 26 John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678)
128 Jun 27 Robert Browning, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” (1855)
129 Jun 27 Stephen King, Dead Zone (1979)
130 Jun 28 T.S. Eliot, “The Waste-Land” (1922)
131 Jul 01 Devin Brown, A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C.S. Lewis (2013)
132 Jul 01 Stephen King, The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower III; 1991)
133 Jul 02 Donald T. Williams, selections from Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C.S. Lewis (2016)
134 Jul 02 Steven Paul Mueller, selections from “Christology in the Writings of C.S. Lewis: a Lutheran’s Evaluation” (1997)
135 Jul 03 CSL, selections from Broadcast Talks (1942) and Mere Christianity, including Kathleen Norris’ foreword (1952; 1990)
135 Jul 03 CSL, selections from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1949)
137 Jul 06 Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky (2004)
138 Jul 09 CSL, “Meditation in a Toolshed” (1945)
139 Jul 10 Sr. John Sheila Galligan, selections from “Slow-Paced We Come”: Conversion in the Writings of C.S. Lewis (1985)
140 Jul 10 Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)
141 Jul 11 James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)
142 Jul 12 John Lawlor, C.S. Lewis: Memories and Reflections (1998)
143 Jul 12 CSL, “On Stories” (1940; 1947)
144 Jul 13 Andrew Lazo “An Introduction to C.S. Lewis’s ‘Early Prose Joy,’” (2013) and some parts of “Early Prose Joy” (1930-31)
145 Jul 20 CSL, Christian Reflections (1939-63)
146 Jul 24 Alister McGrath, selections from Lunch with C.S. Lewis (2014)
147 Jul 25 L.M. Montgomery, selections of Emily of New Moon (1923)
148 Jul 27 CSL, God in the Dock (1939-63; 1970)
149 Jul 31 Terry Pratchett, Going Postal (2004)
150 Aug 01 Stephen King, The Talisman (1984)
151 Aug 03 Stephen King, Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower IV; 1997)
152 Aug 04 Stephen King, “The Little Sisters of Eluria” (The Dark Tower; 1998)
153 Aug 07 CSL, The Discarded Image (1934-54; 1964)
154 Aug 07 CSL, selections from Mere Christianity (1952)
155 Aug 09 Joe Rigney, Lewis on the Christian Life: Becoming Truly Human in the Presence of God (2018)
156 Aug 12 Stephen King, The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower; 2012)
157 Aug 14 David C. Downing, Into the Region of Awe (2005)
158 Aug 14 L.M. Montgomery, Emily Climbs (1925)
159 Aug 16 Alan C. Duncan, selections of “Reading Gilbert with Jack” (2018)
160 Aug 20 Selections from scholarly work by John Bowen, Devin Brown, John Beversluis, Clyde Kilby, David Downing, Kathryn Lindskoog
161 Aug 21 H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature (1927)
162 Aug 21 William Griffen, C.S. Lewis: Spirituality for Mere Christians (1998)
163 Aug 22 Will Vaus, The Hidden Story of Narnia: A Book-by-Book Guide to C.S. Lewis’ Spiritual Themes (2010)
164 Aug 23 Paul Fiddes, “On Theology” (2010)
165 Aug 25 L.M. Montgomery, Emily’s Quest (1927)
166 Aug 29 Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot (1975)
167 Sep 03 J.R.R. Tolkien, Letters (1981)
168 Sep 04 Stephen King, Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower V; 2003)
169 Sep 06 Selections from scholarly work by Doris Myers, Monika Hilder, Adam Barkman, Alister McGrath, Devin Brown, David Downing, George Sayer, Michael Ward, A.N. Wilson, Paul Fiddes, Will Vaus, Alan Jacobs
170 Sep 08 Terry Pratchett, Thud! (2005)
171 Sep 08 John R.W. Stott, The Cross of Christ (1986; 2006)
172 Sep 10 Donald T. Williams, Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C.S. Lewis (2016)
173 Sep 12 Rosemary Bradbury, selections from Cross Theology: The Classical Theologia Crucis and Karl Barth’s Modern Theology of the Cross (2012)
174 Sep 13 Ernest Hemingway, “Today is Friday” from Men Without Women (1927)
175 Sep 17 Charles Taylor, ch. 20 of A Secular Age (2007)
176 Sep 18 Gary Gutting, Foucault: A Very Short Introduction (2005)
177 Sep 18 Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author” (1967)
178 Sep 18 Michel Foucault, “What is an Author?” (1969)
179 Sep 18 Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven (2014)
180 Sep 18 Selections of Jean Vanier, Ann Jervis, Margaret Miles, St. Athanasius, Sallie McFague
181 Sep 22 Fr. Anthony Ciorra, The History of Christian Spirituality (2017)
182 Sep 23 Philip Sidney, “An Apology for Poetry” (1579-1595)
183 Sep 23 Percy Bysshe Shelley, “A Defence of Poetry” (1840)
184 Sep 23 Stephen King, Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower VI; 2004)
185 Sep 25 St. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine (397-426)
186 Sep 25 Frederick Buechner, Now and Then (1983)
187 Sep 26 Stephen Yandell, “Medieval Models of Loss in Till We Have Faces” (2008)
188 Sep 26 Selections from Doris Myers, John Bowen, Devin Brown, David Downing, Will Vaus, C.S. Lewis, Kathryn Lindskoog, Kyoko Yuasa, Walter Hooper, Peter Schackel, William Luther White, Jonathon Lookadoo
189 Sep 26 Charles A. Huttar, “C.S. Lewis’s Narnia and the ‘Grand Design'” (1977)
190 Sep 30 Jonathan Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (1997)
191 Oct 01 Rebecca Stead, Liar and Spy (2012)
192 Oct 04 Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Fictions (1998)
193 Oct 06 Stephen King, Insomnia (1994)
194 Oct 09 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
195 Oct 12 Stephen King, Danse Macabre (1980; 2010)
196 Oct 12 W.K. Wimsatt, Jr. and Monroe C. Beardsley, “The Intentional Fallacy” (1954)
197 Oct 12 Cleanth Brooks, selection from “The Well Wrought Urn” (1947)
198 Oct 13 Carl Becker, “What are Historical Facts?” (1955)
199 Oct 13 David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery, Introduction to Theorizing the History of the Book (2005)
200 Oct 13 H. Aram Veeser, Introduction to New Historicism (1989)
201 Oct 13 Raymond Williams, “Dominant, Residual, and Emergent” in Marxism and Literature (1977)
202 Oct 13 Selections from Kalistos Ware, Donald Williams, Daniela Vasiliu, Peter J. Schakel, Salwa Khoddam, Mona Dunckel, C.S. Lewis, Bruce Edwards, George MacDonald
203 Oct 14 Michael J. Gorman, Cruciformity: Paul’s Narrative Spirituality of the Cross (2001)
204 Oct 15 A.A. Milne, The Collected Stories of Winnie-the-Pooh (2006)
205 Oct 15 Selections from Richard Brett Campbell, Zahra Karimpour, Kirstin A. Mills, David Sandner, Mervyn Nicholson, Sanford Schwartz, Monika Hilder
206 Oct 21 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
207 Oct 21 James Blish, They Shall Have Stars (1957)
208 Oct 28 Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929)
209 Oct 30 Colin Manlove, “‘Caught Up into the Larger Pattern”: Images and Narrative Structures in C.S. Lewis’s Fiction” (1991)
210 Oct 30 Claire Connors, Literary Theory: A Beginner’s Guide (2010)
211 Nov 01 Tom Shippey, “Fighting the Long Defeat: Philology in Tolkien’s Life and Fiction” (2007)
212 Nov 01 Amber Dunai, “The Process of Salvation in Pearl and The Great Divorce” (2018)
213 Nov 01 Peter Schakel, selections from Reason and Imagination in CSL: A Study of TWHF (1984)
214 Nov 03 Michael Ward, “Christology, Cosmology, and CSL” (2018)
215 Nov 03 Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: Conversations in Spiritual Theology (2003)
216 Nov 04 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
217 Nov 04 Owen Barfield, Night Operation (1975)
218 Nov 05 Leonard Neidorf, “R.D. Fulk and the Progress of Philology” (2016)
219 Nov 05 Charles Williams, “The English Poetic Mind” (1932)
220 Nov 05 Calvert Watkins, “What is Philology?” (1990)
221 Nov 05 William Wordsworth, The Prelude (1799-1850)
222 Nov 07 Douglas Loney, “Immortal Horrors and Everlasting Splendours” (1990)
223 Nov 07 David Baggett, Jerry L. Walls, Gary Habermas, et al, C.S. Lewis as Philosopher: Truth, Goodness and Beauty (2008)
224 Nov 07 Adam Mattern, “The Incarnated Image: Otherworlds, Heaven, Evolutionism, and Lewis” (2018)
225 Nov 09 Selections from Mora Donaldson, Michael Ward, Charles Huttar, Doris Myers, Chad Walsh, Joel Heck, Monika Hilder, David Downing
227 Nov 09 Signum University Faculty, “Introduction to Theory, Research, and Writing” (2017)
228 Nov 10 Hsiu-Chin Chou, The problem of faith and the self: the interplay between literary art, apologetics and hermeneutics in C.S. Lewis’s religious narratives (2008)
229 Nov 12 Paul Fry, “Eng 300: Introduction to the Theory of Literature” class at Yale University (2007)
230 Nov 12 Shakespeare, King Henry V (1599)
231 Nov 13 CSL, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1949)
232 Nov 13 J.R.R. Tolkien, “On Fairy-stories” (1947)
233 Nov 14 Selections from David Russell Mosley, John Haigh, Sharin Schroeder, Allen Robertson, Edward Zogby, Steven Elmore, Sanford Schwartz, David Downing, Jared Lobdell, Chad Walsh
234 Nov 15 CSL, Of This and Other Worlds (1982)
235 Nov 15 Barbara J. Black, A Room of His Own: A Literary-Cultural Study of Victorian Clubland (2012)
236 Nov 16 Selections from Doris Myers, Sr. Galligan, Joe Rigney, Alister McGrath, Hsiu-Chin Chou
237 Nov 19 Kathryn Lindskoog, selections of C.S. Lewis: Mere Christian (1973; 1981)
238 Nov 19 Jeremy Rios, “The Anthropology of Pedagogy in Owen Barfield, C.S. Lewis, and Martin Buber: Owen Barfield in Contemporary Contexts: Exploring His Thought and Influence” (2018)
239 Nov 20 Stephanie L. Derrick, The Fame of C. S. Lewis: A Controversialist’s Reception in Britain & America (2018)
240 Nov 21 Selections from William Gray, Arend Smilde, Crystal Hurd, James Prothero, Bruce Johnson, Matthew Dickerson, Sørina Higgins, Hsiu-Chin Chou, Margaret Barbara Hiley, Salway Khoddam, Phyllis Carey, Paul Holmer, Clyde Kilby
241 Nov 21 Aaron Cassidy, “To Risk Being Taken In: C.S Lewis on Self-Transcendence Through Surrender” (2015)
242 Nov 21 Sam Joeckel, “The Spirit of Comedy in The Chronicles of Narnia” (2008)
243 Nov 21 Peter Schakel, selections from Is Your Lord Large Enough? (2008)
244 Nov 23 Gerard Manley Hopkins, Katherine Brégi, ed.,  Complete Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (2013)
245 Nov 28 William Luther White, selections from The Image of Man in C.S. Lewis (1969)
246 Nov 28 CSL, The Four Loves (1959)
247 Nov 29 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (1999)
248 Nov 29 CSL, “The Weight of Glory” (1941)
249 Nov 29 CSL, “Two Ways of the Self” (1940)
250 Dec 01 Alister McGrath, C.S. Lewis: A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet (2013)
251 Dec 01 CSL, “Christian Apologetics” (1945)
252 Dec 04 CSL, “Transposition” (1962)
253 Dec 06 Selections from Murray Knowles, Kirsten Malmkjær, Chris Jensen, Devin Brown, W.W. Meissner, Stewart Goetz, Kyoko Yuasa, Andrew Wheat, David A. Horner, Sr. Sheila Galligan, Gilbert Meilaender, Louis Swingrover, Kathryn Lindskoog
254 Dec 06 Joe Rigney, selections of Lewis on the Christian Life: Becoming Truly Human in the Presence of God (2018)
255 Dec 06 J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001)
256 Dec 07 Margaret Walters, Feminism: A Very Short Introduction (2005)
257 Dec 09 Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis (1999)
258 Dec 12 Adam Mattern, “Otherworlds in Orbit: C.S. Lewis’s Development of Sehnsucht through Medievalized Science Fiction” (2018)
259 Dec 13 Kira Cochrane, All the Rebel Women: The Rise of the Fourth Wave of Feminism (2014)
260 Dec 14 William Gray, C.S. Lewis (1998)
261 Dec 14 Selections from Wesley Kort, Kath Filmer, David Holbrook, Victor Reppert, Thomas Howard, Sam Leith, Peter Kreeft, C.S. Lewis
262 Dec 14 Ann Loades, “On Gender” (2010)
263 Dec 14 Judith Wolfe, “On Power” (2010)
264 Dec 14 Stanley Hauerwas, “On Violence” (2010)
265 Dec 14 Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women (2013)
266 Dec 17 Selections from Sam Leith, A.N. Wilson, Kath Filmer, Wesley Kort, William Gray, Philip Pullman
267 Dec 17 A’Shellarien Anthony, Finding Me: A Woman’s Theology of Self Identification (2012)
268 Dec 18 Duke J. Pesta, “C.S. Lewis’s Lost Othello Manuscript” (2001)
269 Dec 18 Marcella Maria Althaus-Reid and Lisa Isherwood, “Christology” in Controversies in Feminist Theology (2007)
270 Dec 19 Selections from Sallie McFague, Susan A. Ross, Anne Lamott, Sarah Bessey, Margaret D. Kamitsuka, Marcella Maria Althaus-Reid, Lisa Isherwood, Elizabeth Stuart, Phyllis Trible, Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Marva Dawn, Elizabeth Gerhardt
271 Dec 19 Chad Walsh, The Literary Legacy of C.S. Lewis (1979)
272 Dec 20 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
273 Dec 20 Mary Daly, “The Looking Glass Society” (1971)
274 Dec 22 L. Ann Jervis, Jesse R. LeFebvre, Brad Gooch
275 Dec 26 Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
276 Dec 26 Alan F. Johnson, ed., How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals (2010)
277 Dec 31 Anna Fisk, Sex, Sin, and Our Selves: Encounters in Feminist Theology and Contemporary Women’s Literature (2014)

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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24 Responses to 2018: A Year of Reading: The Nerd Bit

  1. Jennifer says:

    Wow! Very impressive! I really want to start tracking the shorter essays and journal articles I read as well. And I want to focus in on the Lewis scholarship I am interested in, PhD or no PhD program… Your post gives me more ideas and inspiration for going forward!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is good to track essays, but I do find it a bit tiresome. So on big reading days or days where I’m going back to older work and doing some spot rereading, I tend to clump them together. The most useful thing is thinking about, “when did I read that piece/person?” Then I go back to it.
      My spreadsheet also has a “notes” section where I link in reviews or videos or lectures or other resources that connect. I don’t track the media (print, epub, audio) because, perversely, I never forget that. I forget the names of my good friends on a regular basis, but will always remember that someone named Jane gave me the CDs of “The Four Loves” lectures in the spring of 2012, that I listened to them in my 2006 Pontiac G6 traveling from Michigan to Indiana, and that I copied them into iTunes later. I remember (visually) most of my books, and miss them when I loan them out. Annoying gift, really.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yewtree says:

    I really appreciate the fact that you are increasing the number of women authors you are reading. I’m surprised that you say theology is a male-dominated field — but then when I was reading theology, it was mostly feminist and queer theology.


  3. Dorothea says:

    Great recap of the yearly reading, Brenton. I was especially impressed by the daily breakdown and now I have to ask: when do you, with a family and a teaching position, have time to read a full book in one day? Like, when do you do your actual reading because I’d like to take a leaf out of your book (pun doesn’t work as well as I’d like, but okay) and am trying to figure out how to read more myself.


    • Hi Dorothea, 2018 was a bit special as I did a lot less teaching and much more reading and writing. It is my job, so I read throughout the day, in the evening, and at bedtime. About 1/3 of those are audiobooks, which fills my exercise or walking time, and then we are down to about a book and a half a week, so not too bad!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dorothea says:

        ah! audio books are a tip. Do you find you can listen to any book? Or does it have to be a particular one? But yes, that (1.5 books a week) does seem reasonable. I am going to try it.


        • No, not really. My favourite audiobook readings are:
          -classics, well-produced (but I do listen to free librivox books sometimes)
          -rereading a book
          -books that are very verbal, like those that began as a lecture series
          I am an audible member, and use ChristianAudio.com, which gives away 1 free book a month and has a $7.49 sale twice a year.
          Good luck!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Dorothea says:

            thanks for the tips and the luck! Hope you have another great year of reading and good luck with finishing the dissertation!

            Liked by 1 person

          • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

            LibriVox always has a link to the text online, so you can read along, double-check, etc., and that probably works for lots of out-of-copyright works, too – listening to Alexander Scourby’s complete War and Peace led me to go looking online – and discovering he was reading the Maudes’ translation, from its being transcribed at Project Gutenberg.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Mind-boggling! I can’t imagine ever being this orderly… But, good wishes into the future, withal!


  5. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Possibly appropriate, here, is to commend (yet again) Charles Williams’s The New Christian Year, conveniently available online:


    You can jump in anywhere, and follow the year around – I’m only 8 days behind, counting from 1 January, though if one thinks of the beginning of Advent…

    This website has the additional advantage of being able to browse the authors included…


  6. Whoa! From the Robertson Library world I’d like to officially say, “Well Done!”… I’m ashamed to say I’ve read only a tiny fraction of what you have read this year. But mostly because the majority of what I have been reading has been in Hebrew which slows me down considerably. But I vow to read more in English… starting with “Once Upon a River” (Diane Setterfield), “The Orkney Scroll” (Lyn Hamilton), and “Jerusalem: Chronicles of the Holy City” (Guy Delisle). Here’s to a year of fantasy, “faction” and literary frivolities!


    • My Hebrew was never really good enough for picking up a text and reading it. My NT Greek is close, though. A few hours of re-remembering words might be needed, but all this original language work takes time!
      I doubt our UPEI library is terribly strong in Hebrew, is it? It would be nice to have a Hebrew class again at UPEI.
      שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם‎


  7. dalejamesnelson says:

    Robert Southey, Poet Laureate, 28 Nov. 1828, letter to a friend — what would be his core library of English books?

    “…Shakespeare, Chaucer, Spenser, and Milton; Lord Clarendon [history]; Jackson, Jeremy Taylor, and South; Isaac Walton, Sidney’s Arcadia, Fuller’s Church History, and Sir Thomas Browne; and what a wealthy and well-stored mind would that man have, what an inexhaustible reservoir…”

    I’m not sure what he has in mind re: Jackson and South. As regards Walton, I wonder if he has the Compleat Angler in mind (only?) or also the Lives (of Donne, Herbert, &c.). Remember Lewis’s reference to Walton’s Lives early in That Hideous Strength.

    Happily, most of these are readily available in inexpensive book form, and, no doubt, for free on archive.org and/or Project Gutenberg, etc.

    The Southey letter is from a book CSL’s brother owned and which CSL read and enjoyed in 1940 as the Battle of Britain was beginning.

    Dale Nelson


  8. L.A. Smith says:

    Wow. Hats off to you. I am boggled by how much you are able to read. I find I have to fight for my own reading time. I will admit that probably the biggest thing that has cut down my reading is social media. I am trying to be more mindful on Facebook and Instagram but it really does take a conscious effort to STOP scrolling. I need to work on that more! I mean, what do I get more out of, anyway? A book, or more posts on things I really don’t have much interest in? Seems a no-brainer, but there I am, scroll, scroll….ugh. I think I have found my New Year’s resolution!


    • Thanks Lisa! I do pay to read, in a sense. It took me five years to get to the point where I had the space to read. It isn’t that I spend a lot of time on social media, but I am distracted as a reader and writer. I would like to fix that this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You read selections of me?


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