“Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee finally available

Harper Lee's new novel

Harper Lee’s new novel

Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee has finally been released by the publisher and is on sale at Amazon, where it currently (as of this writing) holds the #1 Bestseller spot. Although a controversial ‘discovery’ by Ms. Lee’s attorney, the world is still anxious to scoop up this gem.

(See an earlier post about the controversy HERE)

image credit: Amazon.com

Chest Beating and the Decline of Culture

unsettling of americaI was recently reading a review of a work about author Wendell Berry and it described him as being a man who is concerned about “living in good faith, in our places and with our neighbors.”–Ellen F. Davis

Ms. Davis is right, Berry is a gracious man who writes about faith, responsibility, and the wonder of God’s creation.

Berry is a cultured common-man, a man who is more concerned with how to make the world a better place. However, it is an unfortunate truth that society has degraded culture. To say that one is cultured is no longer an aspiration to refined, reflective taste but rather a vulgar display of self. Chest-beating is in vogue. Humility is not.

Click HERE to find out more about Berry’s book, The Unsettling of America.

Download of A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God

The Pursuit of God

The Pursuit of God

For a few days, A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God, is available as a free Kindle download for a limited time. If the deal has expired, you can still download it at low cost.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get the free Kindle app for your phone, tablet, or computer at Amazon too.

Click HERE to see if the offer is still running.

Sometimes, sound can behave so strangely

singer

Photo Credit: Anthony Maragou

Have you ever considered the tonal sound of language as being an integral part to understanding that language? Dr. Diana Deutsch does work in the psychology of music, but what she has discovered about tone and pitch has a lot to do with the epistemology of language. Often we hear words spoken and we do not think much about it, so it passes in and out of our memory quite easily.

However, at other times, we hear words or a phrase in our mind over and over as though it was embedded there by some strange force. Have you ever gone through the day singing a song over and over in your head? That may be because it has a memorable sing-song quality to it or it has an unusually appealing sound, easy to remember because it fits into a rhythmic pattern in your mind. Language can behave similarly – and can have a sing-song cadence or musical attraction that loops continuously in our head. Some quotes are memorable, not just for the import of the message, but also because of the rhythmic appeal that lends itself to memorization. Think of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “The Bells,” or the urban staccato of Gwendolyn Brook’s “We Real Cool.”

By designing our communication with tone and pitch in mind we may be able to increase it’s recall. It is reported that someone once asked Charles Spurgeon, the esteemed and memorable English preacher of the 19th century, what made him so quotable. His response was that he read authors who were quotable! What Spurgeon may not have understood was that memorable speech has a certain form and sound, and by studying those speakers and writers he was able to replicate the qualities of memorable speech.

There is a reason our teachers wanted us to practice our speech before an audience and a singer tries out new songs on a small audience first. Words are best spoken, not written, and only when speaking can we hear the still small voice of the musical muse within each of us.

Listen to Radio Lab’s interview with Diana Deutsch and hear for yourself how sound sometimes behaves so strangely!

Photo Credit: Anthony Maragou

New Harper Lee Novel to be Released

To Kill a Mockingbird, Amazon.com

To Kill a Mockingbird, Amazon.com

To Kill a Mockingbird, Amazon.com[/caption]

Just saw online that a newly re-discovered Harper Lee novel will be released in July, 2015. According to online reports, it is titled “Go Set a Watchman” and is set 20 years after the ending of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” as Scout returns to fictional Maycomb, Alabama. Ms. Lee supposedly wrote this book first, then the famous “To Kill a Mockingbird” but this is considered a sequel due to the setting, not a prequel due to the timing of the writing.

Of course, some people are questioning the authenticity of Ms. Lee’s intent to release the book since she is known to be a virtual recluse and is reportedly in ill health.

In any case, her fans, including me, eagerly await publication of the book. Only time will tell if this new novel breaks the spell of To Kill a Mockingbird or opens up the story line to a whole new generation.

Links to Original Stories reporting the release:
AMID ‘MOCKINGBIRD’ SEQUEL BUZZ, WORRIES ABOUT LEE’S WISHES
Be Suspicious of the new Harper Lee Novel