Of Polar Bears, Subtle Blades, and Bared Souls

February 14th, 2016

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman My rating: 5 of 5 stars I read this series (or novel in 3 parts) for the first time when I was 30. Six years later, it is just as atom-splittingly astounding. I don’t know how anyone under the age of 25 can read this series and not become […]

Because Redesigning Album Art Is About More Than Procrastination

February 6th, 2016

It’s about productivity. I have a strange relationship with the music I play and store in iTunes. Working on a PhD has only increased this. What I haven’t mentioned yet, though, is the important role album art plays in my computer deskscape. Yes ‘deskscape’ because I spend more time in this screen environment than anywhere […]

Rowling as Storyteller-Not Novelist

January 9th, 2016

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling My rating: 4 of 5 stars I was surprised, finally sitting down with Rowling’s extra-textual contrbution to the Wizarding World (before Pottermore, that is), to discover an absolute gem. Though very short, just 5 tales plus notes, as an offering of wizarding world folktales ostensibly documented […]

What Happens When Doing A PhD Dramatically Shrinks Your Social And Work Spheres…

May 19th, 2014

On May 7, something I have been looking forward to for over a year finally happened. The exciting moment came quietly, sneakily, while I was working at my desk, but the months and months of anticipation beforehand included careful monitoring, betting, wishing, and waiting. So now I celebrate: The Day That A Song Finally Surpassed […]

On Dropping the ‘Mrs’ From Gaskell

April 19th, 2014

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell My rating: 3 of 5 stars I’ve been meaning to get to ‘Mary Barton’ for some time, mainly, because when Charlotte Bronte read it, she made changes to ‘Shirley’, which she was in the midst of writing, so that it did not cover too much of the same territory. I […]

The Daisy Chain or Trial by Tractarian Fiction

April 8th, 2014

The Daisy Chain, Or, Aspirations: A Family Chronicle by Charlotte Mary Yonge My rating: 2 of 5 stars I only got half way through, but that was both as far as I could handle and as far as I needed. My two reasons for finally sitting down with a Charlotte Yonge text were 1) she’s […]

The Search For Hagrid’s Hut or How Seven Muggles Accidentally Stumbled Onto Hogwarts Grounds

January 18th, 2014

  I’m not sure at what point last year I decided to research where in Scotland the scenes around Hagrid’s Hut from Prisoner of Azkaban were filmed or how I went about that research, but for about a year now, I’ve had an apple sticky note on my computer desktop saying “I want to visit […]

The Sadness of Reading an Old Book That Isn’t Old-Enough

September 11th, 2013

Womanspirit Rising: A Feminist Reader in Religion by Carol P. Christ My rating: 4 of 5 stars This text had been low on my Feminist Theology To-Reads simply because it was so often quoted since that I thought it might be redundant to read. But I kept feeling nudged to sit down with it on […]

A Much Anticipated Journey

December 2nd, 2012

In eleven days I’ll be sitting at the Cinema watching the New Line Cinema logo glimmer onscreen announcing the beginning of another magical (insufficient adjective) three years spent in Middle Earth with Peter Jackson at the helm. The only thing that could be better than seeing all three Hobbit films in Scotland would be seeing […]

Almost Ready To Start

September 21st, 2012

I won’t really be starting work till next week, but I started moving into my research office tonight. The Roundel is the research base for Divinity Postgrads (St Mary’s is the Divinity school within the University of St Andrews). The building dates from the 1500’s, and is named for the tower that juts out onto […]