‘When Is a Good Book Not So Good?’ (2015)

Not all the books that I enjoy reading would I recommend. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is one of them.

When is a Good Book not so Good?

I admit it: I don’t turn away from cheap thrills. I don’t gorge on them any more than I’d eat a whole package of chocolate chip cookies at a sitting. If it’s going to unsettle your faith, or get you hung up on alien ideas that no Christian should have room for… then it’s best to stay away. Don’t court temptation.

Scary books won’t hurt me. I know of other things that can, so I avoid them.

Plus! This book makes for an interesting study of popular culture in what was once a Christian nation. Our America is following Britain down the tubes: we need to wake up to the danger, slam on the breaks, turn around, and go the other way. Fast!

Another ‘Bell Mountain’ Illustration


Here’s another drawing for Bell Mountain by 9-year-old Kerolyn in Brazil. It’s a scene from Book No. 2, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar–Obst and Uduqu giving King Ryons a much-needed bath.

I like the idea of illustrating my young readers’ books with pictures drawn by children! I don’t think it’s been done before, and I wonder why not? I’d love to see more pictures done by young readers themselves, all around the world. Hey, is this way cool, or what?

I wonder if I can get a picture of the Baluchitherium in The Thunder King (Book 3) emerging from the river with King Ryons on its back, scattering the Thunder King’s army just as it’s about to take the city of Obann.

Another Bell Mountain Picture

Screenshot 2022-09-09 at 09-15-04 AOL Mail - Message View

This drawing is by Kathleen’s sister, Kerolyn, who’s only nine years old. It shows Ellayne and Jack drinking tea with Hesket the Tinker, who turns out to be a very nasty villain. Kathleen and Kerolyn live in Brazil. These are very accomplished kids!

A book for young readers… illustrated by children. Why hasn’t anybody done that before? I’d love to see that for Bell Mountain.

Girls, hang on to those drawings! Who knows? We may be able to put them in the books someday.

‘Another Big Piece of the Story’ (2016)

See related image detail

Good lord! Was it really seven years ago, that I was writing The Silver Trumpet? How many years ahead will it be, the next time I wake up in the morning?

Another Big Piece of the Story

The people of Obann dread the sea. They don’t even like to look at it from the safety of the shore. And I didn’t know why. I never sat down to hash it out. I waited for God to make it clear to me.

Which He did!

I’m not the only writer who’s had this experience. We’ll all tell you–it’s positively great when it happens.

‘So You Want Your Teen to Be Reading… This?’ (2015)

This was a “Kids’ Daily Deal” on amazon.com a few years ago, and supposedly a New York Times Best-seller.

So You Want Your Teen to be Reading… This?

Hey, let’s glamorize serial killers! They’re not all bad! There’ve gotta be some good ones, right?

And so we drift imperceptibly into situational ethics–which is a euphemism for no ethics, no moral standards, at all. Real standards don’t change from moment to moment, according to whatever’s most convenient.

There are a lot of people warning us that we’re in danger of breaking our civilization.

We should listen.

Lee’s Homeschool Reading List (6)

That Hideous Strength (Literature) - TV Tropes

That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis (12 and Up–all the way up!)

This book blows my mind. Written in 1943, it only grows more applicable–and more alarming!–with each passing year.

Some of it will slide past you if you’re only 12 years old; but you won’t be 12 forever. There’s always more to this book, every time you read it. I’m 73 now and still learning from it–currently re-reading it, and still picking up tidbits I didn’t get the last time.

This is a story of Scientific Progress as performed by the Devil, featuring a sophisticated young married couple who have a lot of growing up to do but are very, very far from knowing it. Their desire to conform, to be with it, to hang out with the really cool people, almost kills them.

Science, higher education, government, bureaucracy, the whole academic world–Lewis just plain fricassees them all. He takes no prisoners.

His vision scares the daylights out of me. How did he see so clearly, so far into the future? There’s much in here to remind one of George Orwell’s 1984; only of course That Hideous Strength is a fantasy featuring a resurrected Merlin.

There is a bit of twaddle at the end; but maybe after another ten years I’ll find some merit in it. But 99% of the book is pure rocket fuel.

Disney Does It Again (Grooming Children for Sex)

Baymax Or Bust - Disney To "Soon" Have Huggable Robots | Futurism

It’s got a computer in it, so you know it’s gotta be great

Oh, boy! There’s a new Dizzy Studios superhero movie coming out–Baymax, featuring an inflatable computerized robot superhero [barf bag, anyone?], pitched to an audience of children as young as two years old…

And featuring “men” who supposedly menstruate. Take that, families! Investigator Chris Rufo saw leaked footage, and spilled the beans (https://twitter.com/courtneymilan/status/1542141246944296961).

Well! We can’t have that! Quick, someone find us an oracle! Got one? It’s… a self-published romance writer? That’s our oracle?

Well, anyway, she says “It’s not the ‘idea’ that men can have periods: it’s a fact.” So there! The oracle has spoken! It’s a fact!

The movie also features “the Transgender flag” and so-called “men” shopping for maxi-pads.

What is our society supposed to get out of this?

Why does anyone but a Far Left wacko patronize Disney movies?

Time to Start Typing

Busy Writer Stock Illustrations – 86 Busy Writer Stock Illustrations,  Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

My allergies having abated to the point where I can go back to work, I’ve got seven chapters of a new book to type up and send to my editor, Susan. Ozias, Prince in Peril–I hope you like the title.

It’s not easy, shifting gears, when you’ve just been reading and covering the dark and dreary nooze of this dark and dreary age. Ozias lived in such a time, but God put him there for a reason. I pray my description of his life and work will inspire sane and decent people to put their trust in God and do their best.

Even as David did, and Joshua, Moses, Peter and Paul, and all the other heroes we encounter in the Scriptures.

A Picture of ‘Bell Mountain’

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Here are Jack and Ellayne before they set off to climb Bell Mountain, drawn by our friend Katheleen in Brazil. There’s another drawing from her sister, Kerolyn, which I’ll post tomorrow.

Girls, I love these drawings of yours! And I’m so happy that you love my books.

As you can see, there is no flippin’ picture here: WordPress has defeated and embarrassed me again. Sorry! Why I hate technology, etc….

P.S.–If you want to see these pictures, Katheleen has posted links to them in her comment below.

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.]