The Nightstand

Read Not the Times. Read the Eternities: A Review of Reading...

When our own churches are divided and bubbled up in their own media worlds, unable to agree on basic “facts” related to current events, you know its time to take a more theological approach to this thing we call the “news.” Bilbro’s rich reflection is a fine place to start; let it be read and discussed widely in the families, churches, and neighborhoods that offer us real and lasting alternatives to the silos that so often distract us.

Paul Kingsnorth and the Truer Path of Worship

A short review cannot do justice to the range of reasons visitors to the Porch should read Kingsnorth’s three novels, so I’ll begin simply by saying: Read them. These are thought-provoking, challenging, and linguistically creative novels.

I’m Over the American Homer

I’m not canceling Whitman. But my own enthusiasm for his poetry is waning. The poet whose daring versification and daring lifestyle were once seen as the epitome of counter-culture has come to seem to me all too mainstream, the very voice of an age of superficial egotism.

The Paradox of American Places

Daniel Elazar was emphatic that a “renewed sense of localism” was essential to America’s future. For Americans, this means renewed intentionality about our local communities, not merely living in one place for a sustained period of time.

Hemingway, All Too Human

The new things we learn about Ernest Hemingway in this documentary not only make him more interesting; they make his writing more remarkable.

A Testament to Friendship

Canadian author and broadcaster, David Cayley, who conducted two lengthy radio interviews-turned-books with Illich (in 1988 and 2000) and had a decades-long friendship with him, has written a gripping and unconventional biography of this deeply unconventional man.

Larry McMurtry: Myth Killer, Myth Keeper

Whether he takes us to the Texas frontier or to 1970s Houston, his prose never gets in the way of his story. He moves ahead with the precision and simplicity of one of the McMurtry boys telling a story on the front porch of the family ranch house in Archer County, Texas.

Larry McMurtry and Wendell Berry at the Dairy Queen

McMurtry couldn’t quite set the Bowie knife to the scalp of the Western like Cormac McCarthy did the same year, maybe because he knew those people weren’t grotesque caricatures; they were people he’d known and loved. And when he died last week, he was probably the last person in Archer City who had any connection to those people at all.

Communitarianism, Left and Right

Populism can in fact be seen as being precisely a reassertion of democracy against the anti-democratic tendencies of managerial, technocratic elites.

When Innovation Runs Out: The Vindication of Maintenance

The Innovation Delusion goes a long way toward demystifying and destigmatizing the ordinary yet essential work of maintenance.