“… in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.”
~ C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism
2021 was, I must admit, a very difficult year. I just never felt like I could get ahead of my work, with to-do lists and unfulfilled requests and unfinished tasks on every desktop–physical, digital, and mental. When it comes to reading, 2021–like 2019–was a tonic year, where reading was a salve for the soul, an attempt at recovery and quiet while still feeling the drive forward. I spent many summer hours by campfires and in living room chairs with a book in my lap. Unfortunately, I also spent many hours of nighttime mental roaming trying to cure summer insomnia with a story or biography. Though much of my 2021 reading was “work” in one way or other, there was a lot of rest there, a good deal of play, and some degree of distraction.
- This year, I had a goal of reading 132 books for the year, an average of 11 books/month–a stretch, but not impossible
- This year, I was not that attentive to how long they were (I suspect they would average 310-320 pages/book)
- Among book reading, I aimed for:
- 2 C.S. Lewis or Lewis studies book/month
- 1 L.M. Montgomery book/month as part of a chronological reading of Montgomery’s fiction and letters
- 1 theological or devotional book each month
- 1 Black writer or author of colour/month
- 1 Shakespeare play/month
- Always be reading a pre-20th-century “classic” (beyond Shakespeare)
- Continue reading through the catalogues of J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin
- In this reading, I aimed for a 1:1 female:male ratio of authors–stretching myself beyond a 1:2 ratio that would much more naturally represent the kind of research and reading I do (a ratio I aimed for and hit in 2018 and 2019, and I came fairly close to 1:1 in 2020)
- To do that, I was going to read through all of N.K. Jemisin’s books that I could get a hold of (this goal switched in the spring)
- Read 75 articles, shorts stories, essays, or other short pieces
- Listen to or watch 10 lectures series or classes
These goals for this year were really about:
- reading for course prep in the Winter and Fall terms;
- extending my reading of L.M. Montgomery‘s catalogue and secondary sources for a major research project, for a research grant, for my 2022 conference paper, and for my work as producer and host of the MaudCast;
- reading a number of classical Western texts that I have never read or only read as a student;
- increasing the voices of my reading–which is very invested in white male authors that I love (Lewis, Tolkien, Shakespeare, the classics, and authors like Stephen King) to include more women voices and BIPOC authors (BIPOC is what we use in Canada for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour);
- enjoying books by reading what I wanted to read.
So, how did I do?
I did well in 2021, reading 138 books (my spreadsheet shows 139) and hitting most of my goals (but not all).
I can certainly see a pattern emerging, where a natural rhythm for me is not 154 books (as in 2019, my final PhD season), but 117-138 books per year. Indeed, the average is 128.4 books (whether tallied for the whole 7 years or leaving out high and low, 2019 and 2015, which is kind of cool, mathematically speaking).
Reading-wise, I have come to discover that I am lazier than I would wish. I yearn for that dynamic, all-engrossing ability I had as a young adult to simply immerse myself in a book! Do you remember that time of your life? Part of my goal for 2022 is to look for bedtime readings that enthrall me.
I have discovered that I tend to use the book list and page number count to spur me on. In 2021, I was up a bit in terms of books (138) and sheer page numbers (43,285), though, I saw a tiny drop in the size of books, down to 313 pages/book (from 315 last year). That is still more books than I aimed at, and though I have read fewer short pieces, overall it is still a strong year.
2021 was a much more focussed and goal-oriented year than 2020–where I realize I was making it up as I went along. I feel like I met most of my individual goals for 2021, with a couple of grand exceptions and one great switch.
Between teaching schedules and research projects, my reading was seasonal in 2020, as it usually is based on these patterns: Winter/Spring teaching session, a May-June research-focused writing period, summer projects and reading, and fall teaching.
- Reading and Teaching Reading: Following my Signum University “Vampires and Big Bad Wolves” course in Fall of 2020, in January I turned my reading focus to teaching “The Fantasy and Fiction of C.S. Lewis” at the King’s College (NYC)–along with my local Greek class, my local foundation-year course, and supervising thesis students. From C.S. Lewis’ catalogue, I read through the Ransom Cycle and Screwtape, The Great Divorce, Till We Have Faces, and the Four Loves broadcast.
- Research and Theological Reading: In early winter, I was doing the final draft of my paper “Befriending the Darkness: L.M. Montgomery’s Lived Theodicy in Anne’s House of Dreams” (published later in 2021, in November). In January, I read through a number of Montgomery books of the WWI period–for Anne’s House of Dreams is deeply invested in a WWI context–some Montgomery studies, and some theodicies–particularly Mark S.M. Scott’s Pathways in Theodicy and N.T. Wright’s Evil and the Justice of God.
- Thinking Theologically and Literarily about Race: This reading worked well with the new edition of Miroslav Volf’s (for me) life-changing Exclusion & Embrace, Willie James Jennings’ The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas’ The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games, which I reread in June, and Toni Morrison’s powerful lecture series-née-book Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (and also my first review of 2021).
- SFF Reading: I also began a read-through of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings that I finished in the summer–and paired with some Tolkien studies books and essays. Early winter included some leftovers from the previous year–continuing Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and finishing Harry Potter–and enjoying some fantasy and SciFi fun books (which was a big part of my year).
- The Shakespeare Challenge: Of Shakespeare in this first season of the challenge, I read The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and The Taming of the Shrew.
- Finding the Classics: Other classics include Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World, The Brothers Grimm, Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, Jane Austen‘s Northanger Abbey, and James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough.
- Other L.M. Montgomery Reading: I also read some of L.M. Montgomery’s work in the 1920s, with a focus on her poetry and letters–partly because I was being interviewed for a podcast on The Blue Castle.
- Research Reading: In this intense period of research, I read a number of things for two spring presentations on C.S. Lewis, including The Discarded Image, The Personal Heresy, An Experiment in Criticism, A Grief Observed, Christian Reflections, and God in the Dock. For another project, I read much of his early work, including “The Quest of Bleheris,” Spirits in Bondage, and Dymer (along with the Splendour in the Dark volume, which I review here).
- The Year of Ursula K. Le Guin: In May, I began reading Ursula K. Le Guin, starting with the Hainish Cycle, going roughly chronological (which, by the way, was lovely).
- L.M. Montgomery: I continued L.M. Montgomery reading with the focus on poetry and short stories.
- The Shakespeare Challenge: I read Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Othello.
- Finding the Classics: I continued with Homer–as well as Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad and some writing by Auerbach.
- SFF Reading: I read Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow for a video podcast discussion, but haven’t had the courage to read the sequel yet. Unusual for me, I only read one Stephen King book, The Institute, a Christmas gift.
- The Year of Ursula K. Le Guin: My summer reading continued the Le Guin project, and I finished the Hainish Cycle in September.
- C.S. Lewis Reading: It was a quiet Lewis summer, but I read the Marvel Comics adaptation of The Screwtape Letters–as well as the Watchmen graphic novel. I also read The Abolition of Man with Michael Ward’s helpful guide, After Humanity.
- The Shakespeare Challenge: For Shakespeare, I read King Lear and Twelfth Night, before losing Shakespeare in fall reading prep.
- SFF Reading: And I read Frank Herbert’s Dune and most of Dune Messiah this summer–preparing for the film (which I loved). I also finished my 2021 LOTR reading.
- Finding the Classics: I intensified my classics reading with Gilgamesh, the Iliad, Lysistrata, Plato’s Symposium, Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, Virgil, The Aeneid (including some of Lewis’ translations), Ovid’s Metamorphoses, as well as bits and pieces from the ancient Mediterranean world. Atwood’s adaptation of Homer was not the only one I read, but I read and blogged about Madeline Miller’s Song of Achilles (see here and here).
- The Year of Ursula K. Le Guin: In the fall, I began teaching an Ursula K. Le Guin class at Signum, and so completed her Hainish Cycle, read her other science fiction novels (The Lathe of Heaven is brilliant), and then read through the entire Earthsea Cycle (including the short stories) and her YA trilogy, Annal of the Western Shore.
- The Shakespeare Challenge: Finishing my Shakespearean year a little short, I read Richard II and Henry IV Part 1.
- Finding the Classics: In terms of classic authors, I read Beowulf, The Inferno and Paradiso, The Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and, unfortunately, Machiavelli.
- L.M. Montgomery Reading: I read Montgomery’s Emily trilogy in September as part of my presentation and discussion in a roundtable on Emily of New Moon (which might be my favourite work of Montgomery’s). This fall, I also read a couple of Montgomery-inspired books, Melanie J. Fishbane’s novel Maud and Julie A. Sellers’ chapbook Kindred Verse (which closed my year on Goodreads).
- Blogging the Hugos: A big part of my fall reading was for my “Blogging the Hugos” series, which meant reading 10 novels this year, including N.K. Jemisin (which I blogged about here and here), Martha Wells; murderbot novel (which won the novel Hugo), Mary Robinette Kowal’s latest Lady Astronaut novel, Rebecca Roanhorse (who perhaps deserved a win), Tamsyn Muir creepy Locked Tomb sequel, and Susanna Clarke. In 2021, I read Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel and Piranesi.
- The Nightmare Alley Series: I finished the year reading William Lyndsay Gresham’s carny horror novel, Nightmare Alley in preparation for the “Nightmare Alley Series”–add read a number of short pieces connected to Gresham’s work.
The missed goals included my Shakespeare reading. I only managed to read 10 Shakespeare plays–plus one biography by Peter Ackroyd, as well as some individual lectures of interest. Really, it was my fall reading that threw me off, which connects to the second missed goal and the “great switch.” I intended to read N.K. Jemisin’s catalogue. However, I joined an Ursula K. Le Guin book club in the spring, and then taught the course in the fall. I ended up reading 22 Le Guin books (mostly novels)–including rereading two of them. My Jemisin reading was set aside–though I did read her 2021 Hugo-nominated The City We Became (and blogged about it here and here), and half the stories in How Long ‘Til Black Future Month. As a result, however, I missed reading one BIPOC author a month (I read 8 books by BIPOC authors, I believe).
Besides teaching for reading and research–including reading Lewis (18 books, and 1 read twice) and Montgomery (17 books, and 1 read twice)–my other big reading challenge this year was a late idea. I read through all the Hugo nominees, including Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin, Harrow The Ninth and its companion Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Network Effect by Martha Wells, The Relentless Moon and 2 other Lady Astronaut books by Mary Robinette Kowal, and Susanna Clarke’s beautiful and evocative Piranesi. This also encouraged me to read, for the first time, Clarke’s Regency-era fantasy, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. While I did not love every feature of these Hugo-nominated books, they are global-class writers–and Piranesi was such an astounding work of fiction that I am reading it for a second time, this time with a rich audio reading by Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Throughout the year I had a few projects and some nice unintended consequences:
- For only the second year, science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy are the largest category–and this time by a long shot. I blame Le Guin.
- Actually, this was a light year for C.S. Lewis reading in terms of Lewis studies, but fairly similar to the previous year. Intriguingly, I did not reread Narnia in 2021–though I am deep within Edmund’s nighttime forced march right now.
- Once again, I increased my reading of Montgomery’s books (supplemented by a number of studies).
- Though I only did 10 of the 12 Shakespeare plays I intended, this is my biggest year ever for the “classics” category, with 16 non-Shakespeare books (and quite a few short pieces).
- Although I did read one theological or devotional book a month, I intended to be a bit more intentional about that than I was (half my theology reads are in other categories).
- Other than Tolkien, it was a light Inklings year–and even then, I had wanted to do more of the Legendarium. I still have Barfield’s Poetic Diction at my elbow for a re-read.
- It clear wasn’t a self-help year! There is one book that fits that category, plus a Shakespeare biography, 2 literary studies, and 2 literary histories (all these being books that don’t fit in other categories).
Here’s a pretty version of the same thing:
My final goal was to achieve a 1:2 ratio of women and men 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). As I was extending more deeply into Montgomery studies, and reading through the catalogues of Ursula K. Le Guin, N.K. Jemisin, Octavia Butler, Marilynne Robinson, J.K. Rowling, Flannery O’Connor, and Anne Rice, I was confident I would surpass that ratio this year. Indeed, I set a goal of gender parity. And I met that goal … and then in the last month I tilted much further toward women writers. In 2021, I flipped my female:male ratio, so this year 53% of the books I read had women authors, and 47% had male authors. Including my reading as a whole, it was 52% women to 48% men.
The Goodreads app is kind of limited, though you can check out my 2021 infographic. They have a thousand possibilities for creating infographics including gender, language, geography, genre, and popularity, yet they choose not to give us that power. So, in my limited way, this year I also tracked books by era. As I have upped my classic reading, you can see that reflected in my analysis. , with some mixed results. Last year, almost 3/4 of my book reading was from titles since WWII–despite studying figures that were active in the “modernist” period. This year, that has dropped to 62%. Intriguingly, my reading falls into 4 fairly neat batches:
- 28% of my reading is before WWI
- 17% of books I read were published in the WWI to WWII period (the second 30-years war)
- 30% of my book reading is of titles published after WWII and before the end of the century
- And about the same proportion of 21st-century volumes (32%)
Comparing my 2021 and 2020 charts shows a much more even distribution.
What does 2022 look like?
Next year, I am setting my reading goal for 132 books, once again. It is a difficult level to reach and feels right to me. I am in the midst of a number of small books right now, so perhaps the average word length will drop from 315 in 2020 and 313 in 2021 down to about 310 pages/book. For my book-reading goals, it is sort of an echo of 2021:
- 2 C.S. Lewis or Lewis studies book/month (I am teaching two C.S. Lewis courses this winter, including a new Narnia course on leadership, communication, and culture)
- 1 L.M. Montgomery book/month as part of a quasi-chronological reading of Montgomery’s novels, poetry, nonfiction, short stories, and letters
- 1 theological or devotional book each month (which can include work in other categories)
- 1 BIPOC author/month (from any category)
- 1 Shakespeare play/month, including finishing the History Cycle (2 series of 4 plays); I’m also teaching The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth
- Always be reading a pre-20th-century “classic” (beyond Shakespeare)–especially in this winter season
- Read through all of N.K. Jemisin’s books that I can get a hold of
- I am tempted to keep reading through Octavia Butler’s work, who I missed in 2021
- Continue reading through J.R.R. Tolkien, including The Fall of Sauron (which I didn’t finish last year) and a couple of other Middle-earth collections
- Finish the major parts of the Ursula K. Le Guin, including Lavinia and Language of the Night (and I may read some of the realistic fiction, which I don’t know well)
- I believe that I will reread the Hugo-nominated novels this year … I just don’t know if I can blog about them again
- I also intend to keep up with the Mythopoeic Award for Inklings Scholarship shortlisted books
I am not certain if I will achieve a 1:1 female:male ratio of authors. Now that I have met and exceeded that goal, I feel comfortable with how I am finding books. I am reaching for comfort books this coming year–especially for nighttime reading, catching up on a couple of graphic novels, and being open to more contemporary Canadian literature. Two of those three categories are more male-dominated. A lot of 2022 will depend on my choice of a major research project to begin July 1st, which will no doubt tilt the year. I also have no idea what I am teaching this coming fall. I will still aim for a rough parity of authors–which is really what happened in 2020 and 2021.
I also have the goal to read 72 articles, shorts stories, essays, or other short pieces (down from 75) and listen to or watch 6 lectures series or classes (down from 10).
Until next year, check out my brand new “discoveries” section in the 2021 infographic write-up. And here is my old-fashioned reading excel sheet list. I wish I was infographically-inclined, but I do like lists! Thanks to all of you novelists, poets, critics, bloggers, historians, reviewers, and editorialists who fill my year with great reading!
|1||Jan 01||Anne Rice, The Tale of the Body Thief (1992)|
|2||Jan 02||Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1992)|
|3||Jan 04||Selections from Rachel Dodge, The Anne of Green Gables Devotional (2019)|
|4||Jan 11||Ernest Cline, Ready Player Two (2020)|
|5||Jan 12||L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island (1915)|
|6||Jan 15||L.M. Montgomery, personal notes from “Fiction Writers on Fiction Writing: Advice, Opinions and a Statement of Their Own Working Methodsby More Than One Hundred Authors” (1923)|
|7||Jan 15||Shakespeare, The Tempest (1611)|
|8||Jan 18||L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams (1917)|
|9||Jan 18||J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)|
|10||Jan 18||L.M. Montgomery, “Green Gables Letters” to Mr. Weber (1905-09)|
|11||Jan 21||N.T. Wright, Evil and the Justice of God (2006)|
|12||Jan 25||Melanie J. Fishbane, “’My Pen Shall Heal, Not Hurt’: Writing as Therapy in Rilla of Ingleside andThe Blythes Are Quoted” (2015)|
|13||Jan 25||Mark S.M. Scott, Pathways in Theodicy: An Introduction to the Problem of Evil (2015)|
|14||Jan 27||L.M. Montgomery, The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career (1917)|
|15||Jan 28||Jennifer H. Litster, “The Scotsman, the Scribe, and the Spyglass: Going Back with L.M. Montgomery to Prince Edward Island” (2018)|
|16||Jan 28||Carole Gerson, “L.M. Montgomery and the Conflictedness of a Woman Writer” (2008)|
|17||Jan 28||Jennifer H. Litster, selections from The Scottish Context of L.M. Montgomery (2000)|
|18||Jan 31||Selections from Perry Bacon Jr., Nate Silver, Éric Grenier, Nathaniel Rakich, Geoffrey Skelley, Laura Bronner, Julia Wolfe, Maggie Koerth, Stewart Goetz, Christopher A. Snyder, Maya Angelou, Paul F. Ford, Hildi Froese Tiessen & Paul Gerard Tiessen, Meredith Conroy, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Anna Wiederkehr, Alexander Panetta, Mark S. M. Scott, Maggie Koerth and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux|
|19||Feb 01||Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (1596)|
|20||Feb 01||J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)|
|21||Feb 03||Margaret Steffler, “’Being a Christian’ and a Presbyterian
in Leaskdale” (2015)
|22||Feb 03||Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World (1666)|
|23||Feb 08||Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (2010)|
|24||Feb 11||The Brothers Grimm, Household Tales (1812)|
|25||Feb 13||C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves broadcast (1958)|
|26||Feb 14||Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House (1959)|
|27||Feb 19||Tony Dekker, “Planet Narnia: A Book Review” (2010)|
|28||Feb 19||L.M. Montgomery, Mary Henley Rubio, Elizabeth Waterston, The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery, Volume III: 1921-1929 (1921-29; 1988; 2014)|
|29||Feb 23||Shakespeare, Hamlet (1599-1601)|
|31||Feb 27||C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (1944-45)|
|32||Feb 28||Selections from Perry Bacon, Jr., Geoffrey Skelley, Jenny Litster, Julia Azari, Josh Hermsmeyer, Deirdra Dawson, Jane Chance, Tom Holland, Ralph Wood, Alison Millbank, Stephen Yandell, Christopher Garbowski, Amy Amendt-Raduege, Rita Bode, Dani Inkpen, Jess Zimmerman, Elizabeth Iwunwa, Subby Szterszky, C. Christopher Smith,|
|33||Mar 03||Jane Chance, Tolkien, Self and Other: “This Queer Creature” (2016)|
|34||Mar 04||Joe Ricke, “The Archangel Fragment: Identifying and Interpreting C. S. Lewis’s ‘Cryptic Note’” (2020)|
|35||Mar 09||Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)|
|36||Mar 11||C.S. Lewis, Dymer (1922-6)|
|37||Mar 11||L.M. Montgomery, Among the Shadows (1992)|
|38||Mar 15||L.M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle (1926)|
|39||Mar 18||Peter Ackroyd, Shakespeare: The Biography (2005)|
|40||Mar 20||L.M. Montgomery, Benjamin Lefebvre (ed.), A World of Songs: Selected Poems, 1894-1921 (2019)|
|41||Mar 23||C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet (1937)|
|42||Mar 25||Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (1593)|
|43||Mar 26||L.M. Montgomery, The Watchman & Other Poems (1916)|
|44||Mar 26||J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)|
|45||Mar 27||Meik Wiking et al., The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well (2016)|
|46||Mar 31||Selections from C.S. Lewis, Perry Bacon Jr., Mary Beth Cavert, Devin Brown, David Downing, Diana Glyer, George Puttenham, Phyllis Tickle, Zoë McLaren, Bonnie Tulloch, Laura Schmidt, Nate Silver, Robert C. Stroud, Katelyn Knox, Karen Kelsky, Carly Cantor, Neil Lewis Jr., Tim & Ann Evans, Bobby Ross, Jr., Scot McKnight, Geoffrey Skelley,|
|47||Apr 01||C.S. Lewis, Perelandra (1942-43)|
|48||Apr 03||C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Proposes a Toast, and Other Pieces (1941-59; 1965)|
|49||Apr 06||Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1817)|
|50||Apr 09||C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength (1943)|
|51||Apr 11||Nalo Hopkinson, Midnight Robber (2000)|
|52||Apr 19||Matt Haig, The Midnight Library (2020)|
|53||Apr 21||Miroslav Volf, Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation, revised and updated, plus “Gender” chapter from 1st edition (1996; 2019)|
|54||Apr 23||Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2004)|
|55||Apr 25||James George Frazer, The Golden Bough (1922)|
|56||Apr 27||Jim Stockton and Benjamin J.B. Lipscomb, “The Anscombe-Lewis Debate: New Archival Sources Considered” (2021), w. new material from Elizabeth Anscombe and Ludwig Wittgenstein|
|57||Apr 27||C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces (1954)|
|58||Apr 30||Jennifer Cognard-Black, “Lip Service” (2008)|
|59||Apr 30||Selections from John Stackhouse, Jr., Jennifer Neyhart, Suzanne Bray, Bruce R. Johnson, James P. Helfers, Gale Watkins, Joel Heck, Stephen Beard, Crystal Hurd, Sarah Waters, Nathaniel Rakich, Perry Bacon, Jr., Steve Mollmann, Dale Nelson, Brian Melton, Devin Brown, Sandra Richter, Kris Swank, David Bratman, Melody Green|
|60||May 03||Sandra L. Richter, Stewards of Eden: What Scripture Says about the Environment and Why It Matters (2020|
|61||May 06||C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1964, 1930s-50s Lectures)|
|62||May 11||C.S. Lewis, “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” (1959)|
|63||May 13||Ursula K. Le Guin, “Inventing a Universe is a Complicated Business” (2016)|
|64||May 14||Alan C. Duncan, with Joanna Duncan and Rupert Stutchbury, Gilbert & Jack: What C.S. Lewis Found Reading G.K. Chesterton (2020)|
|65||May 16||Ursula K. Le Guin, Rocannon’s World (1966)|
|66||May 18||J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers (1954)|
|67||May 19||John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth (2005)|
|68||May 20||C.S. Lewis and E.M.W. Tillyard, The Personal Heresy (1933-39)|
|69||May 21||Heather Walton, selections from Writing Methods in Theological Reflection (2014)|
|70||May 22||Stephen King, The Institute (2019)|
|71||May 24||Heather Walton, “Introduction” to Literature, Theology and Feminism (2014)|
|72||May 24||Ursula K. Le Guin, Planet of Exile (1966)|
|73||May 25||L.M. Montgomery and Rea Wilmshurst, Along the Shore: Tales by the Sea (1897-1935; 1989)|
|74||May 26||C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism (1960-61)|
|75||May 28||C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (1960-61)|
|76||May 28||C.S. Lewis, Christian Reflections (1939-1963; 1967)|
|77||May 30||Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow (1996)|
|78||May 31||Selections by L.M. Montgomery, C.S. Lewis, Russell Perkin, Northrop Frye, Heather Walton, M.D. Aeschliman, Éric Grenier, Dan Hamilton, Gabriel Connor Salter, Steve Hayes, Priscilla Tolkien, Michael J. Gorman, Sam Joeckel, Dawn Llewellyn, Elaine Graham, Pete Ward, Lauren Umstead, Mineko Honda, James P. Helfers, Jerry Root, Verlyn Flieger, Walter Hooper, David J. Leigh, Gi!bert Meilaender, Jeff Wright, Dan DeWitt, Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull|
|79||Jun 01||L.M. Montgomery; John Ferns and Kevin McCabe, eds., Poetry of Lucy Maud Montgomery (1893-1933; 1987)|
|80||Jun 02||Michael J. Gorman, “Reading Paul Missionally” (2017)|
|81||Jun 03||Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions (1967)|
|82||Jun 04||C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (1940-1963; 1971)|
|83||Jun 07||L.M. Montgomery, Rainbow Valley (1919)|
|84||Jun 07||Don King, “Introduction to The Quest of Bleheris” (Sehnsucht, 2020)|
|85||Jun 07||Norbert Feinendegen, selections his philosophical work on C.S. Lewis (2021)|
|86||Jun 08||Katharine Sas and Curtis Weyant, “’Ever-Defeated Never Altogether Subdued’: Fighting the Long Defeat in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Whedon’s Angel” (2020)|
|87||Jun 08||Shakespeare, As You Like It (1599)|
|88||Jun 08||Tom Shippey, “Fighting the Long Defeat: Philology in Tolkien’s Life and Fiction” (2002)|
|89||Jun 08||Robert Morrison, The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern (2019)|
|90||Jun 08||C.S. Lewis, The Quest of Bleheris, with notes by Don King (1916; 2020)|
|91||Jun 09||C.S. Lewis, Spirits in Bondage, with an introduction by Gordon Greenhill (1919; 2017)|
|92||Jun 13||L.M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside (1921)|
|93||Jun 14||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)|
|94||Jun 14||Shakespeare, Othello (1603)|
|95||Jun 16||Edward Said, “Introduction to the Fiftieth-Anniversary Edition of Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature by Erich Auerbach” (1996)|
|96||Jun 16||Homer, The Odyssey, translated by Stanley Lombardo, introduction by Sheila Murnaghan (8th c. BCE: 2000)|
|97||Jun 17||Erich Auerbach, “Odysseus’ Scar” ch. 1 of Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1930s-40s)|
|98||Jun 17||Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad (2005)|
|99||Jun 23||Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, PhD, The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games (2020)|
|100||Jun 28||Jennifer Cognard-Black, Becoming a Great Essayist (2016)|
|101||Jun 30||Jerry Root, David Downing, C.S. Lewis, Miho Nonaka, Jeffry C. Davis, Mark Lewis, Splendour in the Dark: C.S. Lewis’s Dymer in His Life and Work (1922-26; 2020)|
|102||Jun 30||Clyde S. Kilby, “Preface” to The Screwtape Letters (1940-42; 1982)|
|103||Jun 30||Selections by L.M. Montgomery, C.S. Lewis, Letitia Henville, Louis Markos, S.L. Jensen, Julianne Johnson, Jacob E. Meyer, Rachel M. Roller, J.D. Wunderly, Maya Maley, Daniel Z. Hsieh, Evangeline M. Prior, Marco Giugni, Mary M. Balkun and Susan C. Imbarrato, Jessica Eise, Pat Thomson, Peter Webster, Janet Salmons, T.S. Eliot, Karise Gililland, Dale Nelson|
|104||Jul 01||L.M. Montgomery, The Golden Road (1913)|
|105||Jul 02||Ursula K. Le Guin, “Winter’s King” (1969)|
|106||Jul 04||C.S. Lewis, Charles Hall (Adapter), Pat Redding (Illustrator), John Kalisz (Illustrator), The Screwtape Letters: Christian Classic Series, Marvel Comics (1941; 1994)|
|107||Jul 05||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World Is Forest (1972)|
|108||Jul 08||Crystal Hurd, “An Imaginative Tale from the Father of C.S. Lewis” (2020)|
|109||Jul 08||Selections from L.M. Montgomery’s journals, poetry, and novels (1898-1923)|
|110||Jul 12||Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen (1987; 2014; 2020)|
|111||Jul 12||Madeline Miller, Song of Achilles (2011)|
|112||Jul 13||Maximilian Hart, “The Other Word: Truth and Lies in Le Guin’s Old Speech” (2021)|
|113||Jul 15||L.M. Montgomery, Further Chronicles of Avonlea (1904-14; 1920)|
|114||Jul 19||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed (1974)|
|115||Jul 20||Shakespeare, King Lear (1605)|
|116||Jul 24||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wind’s Twelve Quarters (1964-75)|
|117||Jul 26||Anonymous, Gilgamesh: A New English Version (18th c. BCE; 2013)|
|118||Jul 26||Anonymous, “The Great Hymn to the Aten” and “Enuma Elish” (c. 1350 BCE and 18th c. BCE)|
|119||Jul 26||Maximilian Hart, “Draconic Diction: Truth and Lies in
Le Guin’s Old Speech” (2021)
|120||Jul 28||Louise Bernice Halfe, Sky Dancer, Bear Bones and Feathers (1994)|
|121||Jul 28||C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1943)|
|122||Jul 30||Ursula K. Le Guin, A Fisherman of the Inland Sea (1994)|
|123||Jul 31||Selections from C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Hélène Cixous, Monika Hilder, Melanie Fishbane, Ursula K. Le Guin, Stephen King, Daniel P. Jaeckle, Charlotte Spivack, Umberto Eco, Elizabeth Epperly, Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston, Harold Bloom, Rebecca Rosenblum, William B. Yeats, Paul Huebener|
|124||Aug 01||Anonymous, “C.S. Lewis: Don vs. Devil” (1947)|
|125||Aug 01||Homer, Iliad (8th c. BCE)|
|126||Aug 02||Ian Brown, “Virtual churches, real prayers: How COVID-19 is changing the holy seasons” (2021)|
|127||Aug 05||Aristophanes, Lysistrata, translated by Jack Lindsay, Sarah Ruden, Alex Struik, et al. (411 BCE)|
|128||Aug 06||Plato, Symposium, translated by Tom Griffith, some notes by Jane O’Grady, Tom Griffith (385-370 BCE)|
|129||Aug 06||Hesiod, selections from Theogony and Work and Days (c. 700 BCE)|
|130||Aug 06||L.M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon (1923)|
|131||Aug 09||Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (1601)|
|132||Aug 10||J.R.R. Tolkien, Return of the King (1955)|
|133||Aug 11||C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1943)|
|134||Aug 14||Michael Ward, After Humanity: A Guide to C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man (2021)|
|135||Aug 17||Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, translated by Rolfe Humphries (mid-1st c. BCE)|
|136||Aug 17||Frank Herbert, Dune (1965)|
|137||Aug 18||Albert J. Lewis, “The Story of a Half Sovereign,” with notes by Crystal Hurd (1890; 2020)|
|138||Aug 20||Ursula K. Le Guin, Four Ways to Forgiveness (1995)|
|139||Aug 24||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Birthday of the World and Other Stories (2002)|
|140||Aug 29||Selections from Sørina Higgins’ modernist study (2021)|
|141||Aug 30||Virgil, The Aeneid (trans. Fagles; 29-19 BCE)|
|142||Aug 31||Selections from C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Monika Hilder, Elizabeth Epperly, Jennifer H. Litster, Benjamin Lefebvre, Elizabeth Waterston, A. Wylie Mahon, Dale Nelson, G. Connor Salter, Daniel Whyte IV|
|143||Sep 01||Ovid, Metamorphoses, with an introduction and translation by David Raeburn (8 CE)|
|144||Sep 01||Lord Dunsany, ” A Dreamer’s Tale: Poltarnees, Beholder of Ocean” (1910)|
|145||Sep 01||Ursula K. Le Guin, “A Citizen of Mondath” (1973)|
|146||Sep 01||Ursula K. Le Guin, “World-Making” (1981)|
|147||Sep 01||Ursula K. Le Guin, “Imaginary Countries” (1976)|
|148||Sep 07||Anne Rice, Memnoch the Devil (1995)|
|149||Sep 08||Ray Bradbury, “The Naming of Names, or Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed” (1949)|
|150||Sep 08||Cordwainer Smith, “Alpha Ralpha Boulevard” (1961)|
|151||Sep 09||Anonymous, Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney (8th-11th c. CE)|
|152||Sep 09||Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (3rd ed., 1982; 2007)|
|153||Sep 13||Ursula K. Le Guin, “Semley’s Necklace” (1964)|
|154||Sep 13||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Telling (2000)|
|155||Sep 19||L.M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon (1923)|
|156||Sep 21||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World Is Forest (1972)|
|157||Sep 22||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)|
|158||Sep 23||L.M. Montgomery, Emily Climbs (1925)|
|159||Sep 25||L.M. Montgomery, Emily’s Quest (1927)|
|160||Sep 27||Ursula K. Le Guin, “Vaster Than Empires and More Slow” (1971)|
|161||Sep 28||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (1971)|
|162||Sep 29||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed (1974)|
|163||Sep 30||Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah (1969)|
|164||Sep 30||Selections from C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Ursula K. Le Guin, Steve Hayes, Daniel Whyte IV, Jason Smith, Meredith B. McGuire, Anne S. Brown and David D. Hall, Mary McCartin Wearn, Mary Rubio, Catherine Reid, Elizabeth Epperly, Benjamin Lefebvre, Irene Gammel, David D. Hall, Jennifer H. Litster, Andrea McKenzie, Vernon Ramesar, Sam Reimer & Rick Hiemstra, Jane Urquhart, Stephen Winter, Carl McColman, Tom Hillman, David Russell Mosley, Ted Lewis, Samuel Gerald Collins, Andrew Marvell, Charlie W. Starr, Steve Hayes, Yvonne Aburrow, William O’Flaherty, Tyler Huckabee|
|165||Oct 01||Various, Medieval Reading Pack (Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Chaucer, Langland, “Dream of the Rood”, Anselm, etc., 11th-14th c.)|
|166||Oct 05||Dante, Hell, trans. Robert Pinsky, foreword by John Freccero, notes by Nicole Pinsky (1308-1320; 1996)|
|167||Oct 06||Philip K. Dick, “Exhibit Piece” (1954)|
|168||Oct 06||C.S. Lewis, “Dante’s Similes” (1940)|
|169||Oct 06||C.S. Lewis, “Imagery in the Last Eleven Cantos of Dante’s Comedy” (1948)|
|170||Oct 06||Dante, The Divine Comedy 3: Paradise, translation, notes, and introduction by Dorothy L. Sayers and Barbara Reynolds (1220; 1962)|
|171||Oct 11||Martha Wells, Network Effect (2020)|
|172||Oct 12||Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)|
|173||Oct 13||Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Word of Unbinding” (1964)|
|174||Oct 13||Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Rule of Names” (1964)|
|175||Oct 16||Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, trans. Burton Raffel; intro. John Miles Foley (1387-1400; 2008)|
|176||Oct 18||Mary Robinette Kowal, The Calculating Stars (2018)|
|177||Oct 19||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan (1971)|
|178||Oct 26||Mary Robinette Kowal, The Fated Sky (2018)|
|179||Oct 27||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore (1972)|
|180||Oct 29||Jonathon Lookadoo, “A Preview of the Inklings? A Note on the Early Correspondence of C.S. Lewis and Arthur Greeves” (2018)|
|181||Oct 29||Janet Brennan Croft, “The Purest Response of Fantastika to the World Storm,” Introduction to Baptism of Fire: The Birth of the Modern British Fantastic in World War (2015)|
|182||Oct 31||Selections from C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Joy Davidman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Walter Hooper, Mark S.M. Scott, Jennifer Rogers, Oronzo Cilli, Benjamin Lefebvre, Jane Goodall, Daniel Whyte IV, Katelyn Knox, Jonathan Poletti, Victoria S. Allen, MariJean Wegert, Michael Travers, Jane Hipolito, Colin Manlove, David C. Downing, John Haigh, Joel Heck, James W. Menzies, Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson, Daniel Sutton, Rachel McLay & Howard Ramos, Mary Rubio, William B. Bynum, Elizabeth Millie Joy, Julie M. Dugger, Andrew Cuneo, Don W. King, Stephen Logan, Andrew Krostrom, Brian Melton, Courtney Ellis|
|183||Nov 01||Ursula K. Le Guin, Tehanu (1990)|
|184||Nov 02||Ursula K. Le Guin, “Children, Women, Men, and Dragons” (1992)|
|185||Nov 03||John M. Bowers, Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer (2019)|
|186||Nov 04||Mary Robinette Kowal, The Relentless Moon (2020)|
|187||Nov 07||Ursula K. Le Guin, Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore 1, 2004)|
|188||Nov 09||Ursula K. Le Guin, The Other Wind (2001)|
|189||Nov 10||Ursula K. Le Guin, “Firelight” (2018)|
|190||Nov 10||Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Daughter of Odren” (2014)|
|191||Nov 10||Ursula K. Le Guin, Tales from Earthsea (2001)|
|192||Nov 12||Ursula K. Le Guin, Voices (Annals of the Western Shore 2, 2006)|
|193||Nov 17||Ursula K. Le Guin, Powers (Annals of the Western Shore 3, 2007)|
|194||Nov 18||Mark Williams Roche, Selections from Why Choose the Liberal Arts? (2010)|
|195||Nov 21||Melanie J. Fishbane, Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery (2017)|
|196||Nov 22||The Pearl Poet, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (trans. Simon Armitage; late 15th c.; 2007)|
|197||Nov 23||Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (1973)|
|198||Nov 24||Kris Swank, “Ursula K. Le Guin: World-builder” (with a lecture by Robert Steed, Signum University, 2021)|
|199||Nov 24||Rebecca Roanhorse, Black Sun (2020)|
|200||Nov 30||Selections from C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Ursula K. Le Guin, Chaucer, Jonathan McGee, Christopher Benson, Juan Siliezar, Fairouz Gaballa, Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson, Mary Rubio, Elizabeth Bishop|
|201||Dec 01||N.K. Jemisin, The City We Became (2020)|
|202||Dec 04||Tamsyn Muir, Gideon The Ninth (2019)|
|203||Dec 11||Tamsyn Muir, Harrow The Ninth (2020)|
|204||Dec 14||Susanna Clarke, Piranesi (2020)|
|205||Dec 14||Shakespeare, Richard II (1595)|
|206||Dec 16||Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. W.K. Marriott (1532)|
|207||Dec 26||Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 (1596-97)|
|208||Dec 28||Julie A. Sellers, Kindred Verse: Poems Inspired by Anne of Green Gables (2021)|
|209||Dec 31||C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (1940-42)|
|210||Dec 31||William Lyndsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley (1946)|
|211||Dec 31||Selections from C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Ursula K. Le Guin, James Deutsch, Robert Browning, James Smoker, Andrea MacKenzie, Benjamin Lefebvre, Malcolm Guite, G. Connor Salter, John Stanifer, Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, David Llewellyn Dodds, Joy Davidman, Abigail Santamaria, Don W. King, Alan M. Wald, William Lindsay Gresham, Liz Rosenberg|