Interviews,  Show Notes

Episode 172: The Literary Life of Kiel Lemon

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts Angelina, Cindy and Thomas are joined by their podcast producer Kiel Lemon to chat about her own literary life. Kiel and her husband, along with their two children, live in West Virginia where they homeschool and enjoy the outdoors together whenever they can. After sharing commonplace quotes and how Angelina and Cindy met Kiel, they dig in to her background in reading. They also talk at some length about making use of audio books and speak to the concern parents have about audio versus physical books.

Kiel gives a shout out to her high school English teacher for giving her a good foundation in the classics and poetry. She also shares some of her early attempts to give herself a literary education in early adulthood, and Angelina asks Kiel why she was so drawn to old books. They also discuss the challenges of a dry time she went through when she wasn’t reading much at all and how to get out of a reading slump. Some other topics they touch on are disciplined versus whimsical reading, keeping multiple books at the same time, going through the AmblesideOnline curriculum with children, and more.

To find out more about Thomas’ summer class on G. K. Chesterton and sign up for that, go to To register for Cindy’s summer discipleship session, visit

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Commonplace Quotes:

Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed?…Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so that we may feel again their majesty and power?

Annie Dillard, from The Abundance: Narrative Essays New and Old

My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.

Jane Austen

A man living at the bottom of a well will think the sky is small.

Han Yu

Recent psychological research, together with a number of other contributory factors, has influenced us to emphasise–possibly to over-emphasise–the importance of the unconscious in determining our actions and opinions. Our confidence in such faculties as will and judgement has been undermined, and in collapsing has taken with it a good deal of our interest in ourselves as responsible individuals.

Dorothy L. Sayers, from Introductory Papers on Dante

The Land of Story-Books

by Robert Louis Stevenson

At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.

Now, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.

There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter’s camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.

These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.

I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.

So when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of Story-books.

Books Mentioned:

An American Childhood by Annie Dillard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Odyssey by Homer

Howards End by E. M. Forster

Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge

Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis

Kate Crackernuts” retold by Joseph Jacobs

Beowulf trans. by Burton Raffell

My Antonia by Willa Cather

Bess Streeter Aldrich

Gene Stratton-Porter

Poems That Touch the Heart ed. by A. L. Alexander

Black Plumes by Margery Allingham

To the Far Blue Mountains by Louis L’Amour

The Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoire by Louis L’Amour

Redwall Series by Brian Jacques

Continuing the Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

Kidnapped by Robert Lewis Stevenson

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