Necessarium & Satis convertuntur

Culling books and stumbled across this quote from John Donne’s Sermon No. 6: And, as it is true in religious duties, so is it in interpretation of matters of Religion, Necessarum & Satis convertuntur; when you have done that you ought to doe in your calling, you have done enough… In other words, do what’s needful,Continue reading “Necessarium & Satis convertuntur”

The services of a first-rate mind

I was at my in-laws’ recently, looking for some light vacation reading, and my mother-in-law loaned me A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley.  It’s a classic cozy English village mystery crossed with a Nancy Drew young investigator mystery by way of its heroine, the chemistry-obsessed tween Flavia de Luce. Red Herring is the thirdContinue reading “The services of a first-rate mind”

Fighting the evil of the present with the weapons of the past

When I was growing up, my father had a big book full of early comic book stories.  It had Superman, Batman, Namor, the Flash, a weird and wide assortment.  One that lodged itself firmly in my brain was Hawkman.  Not the space cop Hawkman, this was the original–a reincarnated Egyptian hero who “fights the evilContinue reading “Fighting the evil of the present with the weapons of the past”

The perfect world is a journey

With his passing, one could finally write a definitive retrospective on Sir Terry Pratchett.  This isn’t it.  I’ve read many of his books–I can’t say most–and in my opinion, the Tiffany Aching books were the pinnacle of his career, the finest combination of the humor, insight, and storytelling that you saw in all of hisContinue reading “The perfect world is a journey”

Self-involved, but genuinely out to give you a good time

The latest from legendary writer, Michael Moorcock, is a blend of biography and fantasy akin to Richard Bowes’s Dust Devil on a Quiet Street which I read last year. However, where Bowes’s semi-autobiographical novel is subtle and shot through with haunting darkness, Moorcock’s is broad and direct and more than a little rough-hewn. The windows intoContinue reading “Self-involved, but genuinely out to give you a good time”

Creatures of Light and Darkness

I recently read Roger Zelazny’s Creatures of Light and Darkness.  Apparently, he wrote it as an exercise, never intending to publish it.  He was convinced to do so by his editor and Samuel Delaney (hence the dedication). It is a book, I think, for Zelazny completists.  Too unconventional to appeal to typical readers and certainly notContinue reading “Creatures of Light and Darkness”