Show Notes

Episode 42: Reading in a Time of Crisis

In light of the recent changes to all our lives, The Literary Life crew is breaking from the previously announced schedule to discuss the importance of stories in times of crisis. But first, we want you to know about a special gift from Cindy Rollins. You can download a PDF copy of her Handbook of Morning Time for free by visiting her shop here. You can also purchase the replays of the Re-Enchanting the World online conference at

Angelina talks about the impulse of humanity to turn to stories during time of upheaval and plague. Cindy points out the need we have for an ordered universe, and that this is one of the things good books provide. Together with Thomas, they discuss how important it is to find stories that reassure us that there is order and redemption to come. They also give some recommendations for personal reading as well as family read-alouds for these challenging times. Finally, our hosts give us an update with how they are doing with their own 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge lists.

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Commonplace Quotes:

An important part of a child’s education is storytelling, since good stories excite the imagination and strengthen the bond between parent and child.

St. John Chrysostom

It is in the essential nature of fashion to blind us to its meaning and the causes from which it springs.

Edwin Muir

Unless the writer has gone utterly out of his mind, his aim is still communication, and communications suggests talking inside community.

Flannery O’Connor

Sonnet 6

by William Shakespeare

Tir’d with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm’d in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall’d simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

Book List:

The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlock Glyer

Tolkien: Man and Myth by Joseph Pierce

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tokien

Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

The Kingfisher book of Tales from Russia by James Mayhew

Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen Taylor

Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John

The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis

Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vera Hodgson

Cider for Rosie by Laurie Lee

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

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