Books from 2016

On January 1, 2017, in Books, Literature, by Derrick G. Jeter

Marilynne Robinson is a superb writer. She is also a collectors of books. She has put into words my own feelings about collecting and reading books. She wrote: Over the years I have collected so many books that, in aggregate, they can fairly be called a library. I don’t know what percentage of them I […]

Books from 2015

On January 1, 2016, in Books, Faith, Freedom, Future, God, Government, Heroes, History, Literature, Same-Sex Marriage, Theology, by Derrick G. Jeter

The best decorations are walls filled with love and laughter from treasured ones. The next best are walls filled with books you treasure. Anyone who has been in my home office knows I have plenty of books I treasure—over two thousand volumes . . . and growing. I’ve either read, plan to read, or have […]

The Making of an American Legend

On June 18, 2015, in Books, Culture, History, Literature, Movies, Texas, by Derrick G. Jeter

“That’ll be the day!” is one of the most iconic lines John Wayne ever uttered on screen. It comes from John Ford’s classic western, The Searchers—the 1955 film based on Alan LeMay’s novel of the same title. Shot in Monument Valley, one of the most unlikely representations of Texas one could find, the film is stunning […]

Books from 2014

On January 1, 2015, in Books, Culture, History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Theology, by Derrick G. Jeter

Books are one of the joys of life. And though it might be a bit of hyperbole, I heartily agree with Thomas Jefferson: “I cannot live without books.” I haven’t always been a reader, but I’m so grateful that I discovered them as a young adult. Now I’m trying to catch up for all the […]

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

On December 25, 2014, in Carols, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Faith, God, History, Jesus Christ, Literature, Peace, by Derrick G. Jeter

Few characters in literature are as nasty as Charles Dickens’s Ebenezer Scrooge . . . at least before his nightly visit of the three spirits of Christmas. Dickens described Scrooge as “a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone . . . a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from […]

“Letters and Life”: A Book Review

On July 2, 2014, in Books, Christian, Culture, Literature, Movies, Writing, by Derrick G. Jeter

The 2012 movie The Words begins with a cliché: young novelist struggles to find representation for his first novel. Every writer, young or old, who’s ever tried to get their work published has experienced this frustration and disappointment; each of them can show you a stack of rejection letters received over the years. But in […]

A Modern-Day Western Epic: Cormac McCarthy’s “The Border Trilogy”

On June 5, 2014, in America, Books, Literature, by Derrick G. Jeter

Home is never the same once left—both because of the leaving and the returning. This is a central theme in Cormac McCarthy’s trilogy of novels placed along the Mexican-American border. The three novels that make up The Border Trilogy all concern themselves with love and loss, heroes and villains, family and friends, old traditions and […]

“The Last Kind Words Saloon”: A Book Review

On May 25, 2014, in Books, Literature, Texas, by Derrick G. Jeter

Reading Larry McMurtry’s The Last Kind Words Saloon is a bit like looking at a Jackson Pollack painting. You’re fascinated by what you see, but you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking at. As one critic called McMurtry’s novel: “[It] is a dark postmodernist modernist comedy”—whatever that means. In interviews, McMurtry said the book is […]

“A Moveable Feast”: A Book Review

On February 22, 2014, in Books, Culture, Literature, Writing, by Derrick G. Jeter

“A movable feast,” that’s what Ernest Hemingway called Paris. “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man,” Hemingway wrote a friend in 1950, “then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Hemingway was one of the lucky […]

“The Three Musketeers”: A Book Review

On January 23, 2014, in Books, Literature, Movies, by Derrick G. Jeter

Alexandre Dumas is at his melodramatic best with The Three Musketeers. I suspect most people know the basic story—some twenty-five films since the early 1900s have been produced. Unlike many of the films, however, which are filled with swashbuckling action, the book is quite tame when it comes to sword play. It has its moments […]