"Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom?" –Marvin Martian

Honest covers

Thanks Justin. That’s hilarious stuff.


You be ordinary. I’ll be a world-famous theologian by 29.

(That was for you, Brian!)

Trigger Warning: Humor

Honest Book Covers, Evangelical Edition — check out the only comment.

Moby Dick became a classic in the early 20th century but in its time it was considered a weird, crazy fluke from Melville. In a way … Moby Dick is a classic because amidst all the Transcendentalist writing from the 19th century Melville’s work came to be recognized as anti-transcendentalist. People suck, they don’t necessarily have some divine goody-goody sweetness and light in them and we humans obsessively do idiotic things that destroy us while convincing ourselves it’s the only right and proper thing any human should do.

So even though I found myself wondering what the deal was as I plowed through “The Whiteness of the Whale” I ended up loving Moby Dick. But then I also loved Dostoevsky, Kafka and Conrad, too when I was into reading fiction in my teens and twenties.

Jesse, I would have preferred that cover. I was presented the book as an option for reading in middle school. I was the only boy to initially read it, mostly because the cover looked like a My Little Pony/Rainbow Brite fanfic mashup. I’ve reread it every few years ever since — check out the graphic-novel if you’re into that, they did the story justice. The same cannot be said of the TV Movie that’s on Netflix.

And speaking of movie adaptations, this version of The Little Prince looks promising.

L’Engle talk

Just thought I’d mention that L’Engle was a member of the church my family attended in New York, and that, not only did I meet her on several occasions, but I got to take part in a writing workshop that she hosted in her apartment.

Sadly, I took it for granted at the time, miserable high school kid that I was. I wish I’d committed myself to it more, now.

She was a nice person, though.

I feel sad for you people who never read L’Engle as a kid. She shaped my theological imagination in so many good ways. Same with Narnia.

One fantasy book I recommend (it’s a beast but worth it) is The Stone and the Flute. Really good.

Never read Moby Dick, but the title still makes me giggle. I am 12.

So we’re talking about reading fantasy authors? Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that I have a book out.

I, too, didn’t read L’Engle until I was an adult, because as a child it was one of the prime examples of an Evil Occult Book that would turn you into a satanist. I’m pretty sure this is 90% due to the cover:

But I managed to get through the book without becoming a satanist, and I agree that it’s amazing.

LeGuin is my absolute favorite author. My favorite book of hers, though is Always Coming Home, which is not one that I recommend you start with, since it’s difficult in several ways.

I’ve always wanted to read Moby Dick “because it’s a classic.” But every person I’ve heard describe it makes me want to leave it there on the shelf. How did something so apparently loathed become so well regarded?

I wouldn’t have missed the middle 300 pages of Moby Dick. (EDIT: by which I mean that if a kind editor had excised the middle 300 pages, I would not have missed them.) The beginning and the end have stayed with me.


I heard L’Engle speak once. Goodness how crazy she was. And ridiculous theology. But I do love, love, love her works. Especially Wrinkle.

I reread The Wizard of EarthSea just recently. It was only ok to me. But I would like to reread the entire trilogy.

I don’t think Moby Dick was worth it. But perhaps my brain is just too small for that kind of writing.