Lee’s Homeschool Reading List (5)

A Princess of Mars  by Edgar Rice Burroughs

A Princess of Mars (1963) | A princess of mars, Edgar rice burroughs, John  carter of mars

(12 and up)

This was Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first published book, two years ahead of Tarzan of the Apes. In it, John Carter, who is immortal, is transported to Mars.

Chock-full of adventure, action, and weird exotic settings, A Princess of Mars is remarkable, almost astonishing, for its vision of collectivism. The Green Martians are a communal culture. There’s no private property, families have been abolished, the young are raised by the state… It’s really quite horrible. That Burroughs was able to see this in 1912 is something to marvel over. The Green Martians have taken “It takes a village” to its logical end: and it’s dreadful.

Two more books in Burroughs’ Martian series deserve mention.

Edgar Rice Burroughs THE MASTER MIND OF MARS #6 1969 Bob Abbett Great Cover  Art | eBay

In The Master Mind of Mars, a genius scientist gets rich and famous by transplanting old brains, belonging to the rich and powerful, into healthy young bodies. Hmm… Think that could ever happen here?

Synthetic Men Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs - AbeBooks

In Synthetic Men of Mars, the master mind, forbidden to do any more brain transplants, now has a project for growing human body parts in a culture medium. I daresay this seems more of a possibility now than it did in 1939. The project develops some deeply serious problems which no one expected. By “deeply serious” I mean catastrophic. To say nothing of the malformed pseudo-humans, called “hormads,” spontaneously generated by the culture media. They’re part of the problem.

Warning: You could very easily get hooked on these books. Serious Mainstream Literature they’re not. Great fun reads, they most surely are.

[Note: These covers go with the old Ballantine paperback editions of the 1960s, as found in my personal collection. There have been many editions and many different covers since. I just like these the best.]


Lee’s Homeschool Reading List (4)

Mass Market Paperback The Last Plantagenets by Thomas B. Costain (1983-01-03) Book

The Last Plantagenets by Thomas B. Costain (1963)

I first read this book when I was 14 years old. My mother read it first and had high praise for it: nothing she liked better than lively, well-written history.

This history is as colorful as it gets. The Wars of the Roses and Richard III; the Peasants’ Revolt; Henry VI sinking into lunacy; William Caxton setting up his printing press–they’re all here in glorious technicolor. And Costain isn’t afraid to admit it when his passions get involved. Nor is he afraid to dip into historical enigmas and controversies–did Richard III really murder his nephews?–weigh the evidence on either side, and try to find the truth.

Many young people think of history as a collection of boring and irrelevant trivia; but The Last Plantagenets is anything but that. It just might whet your appetite for more.

Recommended for ages 12 and up.

‘Puritan Board’ Reviews My Books (2020)

Amazon - Bell Mountain Series: Lee Duigon: 9781891375668: Books

These were very nice little reviews, and I was very glad to get them.


Meanwhile, all across the country, people are reading less and less. When I was in high school I began to wonder if they weren’t trying to discourage us from reading: it’s the only way I can explain assigning Silas Marner to American tenth-graders. We also had to read The Forsyte Saga. If that doesn’t put you off reading, you’re made of very stern stuff.

So, yeah, I’m trying to get some more of you to read my books. I mean, that’s why I wrote them, isn’t it?

And you can order them right here on this blog! Just click “Books” on the Home page and find out all about it.



‘A Cracked Criticism’ (2018)

Image result for images of agatha christie

How do you get to be a literary critic?

Here’s this guy named Wilson dishing out a left-handed compliment to Agatha Christie–on the cover of one of her books, no less.

A Cracked Criticism

Who are these “obviously greater writers” that couldn’t do what Agatha Christie did? I’m sorry to say it, but reading Henry James is a snooze-a-thon and Joyce Carol Oates never figured out how to finish a story. Just to drop two big names: I don’t read much Serious Mainstream Litterature.

Real classics don’t need literary critics to keep them alive. Ask any ten-year-old whose imagination was set on fire by Homer’s Odyssey.

‘Now a Major Motion Picture’ (Ugh)

Amazon.com: Now a Major Motion Picture: 0760789265402: McCarthy, Cory: Books

(I have a doctor’s appointment this morning, then the bank and the groceries, and I don’t know how I’m going to get my work done. But I think you’ll find this book review interesting.)

Young Adults fiction–so much of it is flip and clever on the outside, but foul and toxic on the inside. Like this, for instance.

A Book Review: “Now A Major Motion Picture”

Yes, this is another one of those books that doesn’t inspire much confidence in the publishing industry’s idea of “Young Adults fiction.” “Teens are so much cooler and way smarter than their parents!” Good grief, the horror. Imagine if that were true. Was this thing published by the teachers’ union? Step right up for your Critical Race Theory!

I liked the first five or six pages of this book, until I was able to see where the author was coming from, and to guess where she was headed. It wasn’t hard; I didn’t need a crystal ball.

What you need a crystal ball for is to find some current YA fiction that’s actually worth reading.

Book Review: ‘The Desecrators’

Amazon.com: The Desecrators: Defeating the Cancel Culture Mob and  Reclaiming One Nation Under God eBook : Schlapp, Matt, Hudson, Deal W.:  Books

We’re tired of being told to “reach across the aisle” and seek compromise with a Far Left that wants to wipe us out. In fact, they try to wipe out everything that we hold sacred.

They are “the desecrators.”


I do believe the Church should play a role in politics, but politics alone is not the answer. It’s so easy for politics to corrupt God’s people. And how likely are political actors to keep their promises?

Chalcedon has been preaching this for decades: We, God’s servants, are called to work for Christ’s Kingdom–with or without political support. None of this “go along to get along,” no more sacrificing the integrity of our message in return for “a place at the table.”

This book is strong on the politics, and even stronger on the authors’ personal experiences: but we’re going to need more than politics to beat back the heathen. Faith, courage, wisdom, prayer and God’s word… and plenty of hard work that’s been left undone for way too long.

Why ‘Transgender’? Read Rushdoony

I have a great deal of trouble understanding the current push for “transgender,” which strikes me as an outright revolt against reality. But today I read this, in R.J. Rushdoony’s The Foundations of Social Order:

“This hatred of roots and of certainty is basic to revolutionary activity. The revolutionist destroys things of value precisely because they have a value apart from him. Only what he decrees can stand. The revolutionist destroys roots, values, and laws because they speak of certainty, and he is at war with certainty. This is the basis of revolutionary destruction. It seems senseless to those who fail to realize that destruction is basic to revolutionary faith” (pgs. 17-18).

Reading Rushdoony is always enlightening. Ah! They destroy the family, marriage, social stability, individual responsibility, and so much else precisely because these things have value, great value–and still have value no matter what those persons say or do. Because their value comes from God Himself, and not from man. And that’s what we, as Christians, are up against. And always have been.

It seems new, but it’s never been anything but more of the same: the old, old heresies and errors, constantly dressed up in new clothes but never changing underneath. Satan never comes up with truly new ideas.


An Additional Word from Violet Crepuscular

4,698 Happy Hamster Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

She’s not yet done with us. Ms. Crepuscular wishes me to add this message to her public:

“I was going to write about Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s expedition to Hamster Island, but readers’ brusque and ungrateful response to my literary marvels totally distracted me and made me lose the thread of my plot!

“Well, readers, you’ve only cheated yourselves! How you would have been delighted and fascinated by a visit to Hamster Island! Where hamsters have gotten entirely out of hand! Where they dominate every other form of life–and exercise on the hamster wheel is a Mandate!”

She has left the door open, just a crack, for a vast outpouring of apologies and sympathy from readers wishing to appease her.

But there’s nobody out there but impossible-to-please malcontents.

Oh, That Public Education!

You-ology: A Puberty Guide for Every Body - Kindle edition by Hutchison,  Trish, Lowe, Kathryn, Holmes, Melisa. Children Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Ooh-ooh, here’s something that we really need! A new sex education textbook for kids aged 9-13, featuring “cute illustrations” and “diverse characters.” I mean, a book is goin’ nowhere if it hasn’t got “diverse characters”! And of course it’s chock-full of sex education, from those sages at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Only trouble is… who’s gonna be able to read it?

Take Baltimore’s public schools, for instance. (Take them far away?) A teacher has reported–and test results back her up–that 77% of Baltimore’s high school students can only read on an elementary level (https://gazette.com/news/77-of-students-at-baltimore-high-school-reading-at-elementary-levels-teacher-says/article_4b290ca7-1ac5-5138-85d1-9957678ec34f.html). And some, of course, can’t read at all.

School officials blame the Pandemic for their students being unable to read. Yeah, that’s probably it. We won’t even suggest that public schools waste vast amounts of time, money, and human resources teaching bilge like “sex education,” Critical Race Theory (you’re all racists!), and “transgender” drivel. Besides which–reading? You gotta be kiddin’. Reading isn’t Social Justice! Reading is… racist!

But how are they supposed to read this “You-ology” sex ed book? Good thing it’s got cute illustrations? And maybe 77% of them can’t read the hot, steaming porn they’ve got in the school library… but maybe Teacher could read it to them. Just before nap time.

Honk if you think public education should continue.

Lee’s Homeschool Reading List (3)

Go away, I'm reading Purrnest Hemingway." | Cat reading, Cat books, Cats

So… Mr. and Mrs. Bean want to make a trip to Europe, and they’re trusting their animals to run the farm while they’re away. Taking the responsibility seriously, Freddy the Pig and his friends decide they need to set up a farm animals’ bank… and then a farm animals’ republic.

And from that point on, things get very, very gnarly.

Freddy the Politician (Freddy the Pig): Brooks, Walter R., Wiese, Kurt: 9781468313727: Amazon.com: Books

Ages 12 and Up: Freddy the Politician, by Walter R. Brooks

Young children enjoy the Freddy books for the stories and the characters. We adults who read them enjoy the subtle humor.

I’d never read this one before. Written in 1939, we have a tale of electoral chicanery, voter manipulation, clever tricks played with the citizenship–hey! This is hitting way too close to home!

In light of some of the stress our country has been put through in just the past few years, Freddy the Politician might lend itself to fruitful discussions with teen-age readers. Really, this is not your typical Freddy book. Some of the mischief Brooks envisioned in 1939 seems to have taken some 80 years to come to fruition. Brooks’ fantasy is today’s headline nooze.

I haven’t yet finished reading this rather shocking book, so I can’t spoil it for you. Suffice it to say I have no idea at all how this is going to turn out! Mr. Brooks, you’re way ahead of me.