On The Brothers Karamazov: An Unfinished Review

A couple of months ago, I finished reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s profound book, The Brothers Karamazov. As the pages drew to a close, I wondered how the truth and the beauty of what I was reading might be translated. So I made some notes in my journal with the hopes of returning to these thoughts and expanding them…

Two Starting Points- Steinbeck and Kerouac

I discovered I did not know my own country. I, an American writer, writing about America, was working from memory, and the memory is at best a faulty, warpy reservoir. I had not heard the speech of America, smelled the grass and trees and sewage, seen its hills and water, its color and quality of…

Book Review- R.A. Dickey- Wherever I Wind Up

The day your coaches suggest you stop throwing your “real” pitches in favor of the silly, flighty knuckleball is a humbling day. I remember that day, as a freshman on the college baseball team, when my coach, a giant with a big heart named Chet, called me aside and effectively ended my pitching career. My…

Bonhoeffer’s Christ and a Call to Die

Christ must become present to us in preaching and in the sacraments just as in being the crucified one he has made peace with God and with humanity. The crucified Christ is our peace. He alone exercises the idols and the demons. The world trembles only before the cross, not before us. –Bonhoeffer Sixty-seven years…

Some Thoughts on The Hunger Games

A violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense…I couldn’t stop reading. –Steven King I comforted myself over and over again with Steven King’s words. If he thought a story about Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old girl fighting for survival in a winner-take-all battle was that good, I could proudly carry around a…

Crime and Punishment: The Terror of Being Loved

They sat side by side, both mournful and dejected, as though they had been cast up by the tempest alone on some deserted shore. He looked at Sonia and felt how great was her love for him, and strange to say he felt it suddenly burdensome and painful to be loved Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic novel…