paul's corner

rss RSS

About Paul

Unique selections of books from our book buyer Paul Ingram. He compiles great lists of books on varying topics.

If you have any requests for recommendations, send Paul an email at

  • Paul's Corner: Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard

    Holy the Firm Annie Dillard

    The higher Christian churches--where, if anywhere, I belong--come at God with an unwarranted air of professionalism, with authority and pomp, as they knew what they were doing, as though people in themselves were an appropriate set of creatures to have dealings with God.  I often think of the set pieces of liturgy as certain words which people have addressed to God without their getting killed.  In the high churches they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a strand of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger.  If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked.  But in the low churches you expect it any minute.  This is the beginning of wisdom.

    -- from Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard


  • Paul's Corner: Wallace Stevens

    The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens Wallace Stevens


    Theses are the voices of the pastors calling
    In the names of St. Paul and of the halo-John
    And of other holy and learned men, among them

    Great choristers, propounders of hymns, trumpeters,
    Jerome and the scrupulous Francis and Sunday women,
    The nurses of the spirits innocence. 

    These are the voices of the pastors calling
    Much rough-end being to smooth Paradise,
    Spreading out fortress walls like fortress wings.

    Deep in their sound the stentor, Martin sings.
    Dark Juan looks outward through the mystic brow . . .
    Each Sexton has its sect.  The bells have none.

    These are the voices of the pastors calling
    And calling like the long echoes in long sleep,
    Generations of shepherds to generations of sheep.

    Each truth is a sect though no bells ring for it.
    And the bells belong to the sextons, after all,
    As they jangle and dangle and kick their feet.

    Wallace Stevens

  • Paul's Book Club - February 22nd at Prairie Lights

    Peace Like A River Leif Enger

    We're reading Peace Like A River by Leif Enger. Join Paul and fellow booklovers for a discussion on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. 7:00 pm at Prairie Lights.

    Young Reuben Land has little doubt that miracles happen all around us, suspecting that his own father is touched by God. When his older brother flees a controversial murder charge, Reuben, along with his older sister and father, set off on a journey that will take them to the Badlands and through a landscape more extraordinary than they could have anticipated. Enger's novel is at once a heroic quest and a haunting meditation on the possibility of magic in the everyday world.

    High School Janitor, Jeremiah Land, is fired by the cruel Superintendent in front of his son Rueben.  Like the Saint that he is he performs a healing.

    "Most boys, I am guessing, have never watched outright as their father was stripped of their livelihood, and I don't want to pound it too hard, but the cruelty of that moment still impresses me.  I left my milling classmates and headed for Dad, where he stood in rapt surprise facing Holden. I hadn't in mind to say anything and indeed I didn't; for as I approached Dad lifted his hand, sudden as a windshift, touched Holden's face and pulled away.  It was the oddest little slap you ever saw.  Holden quailed back a step, hunching defensively, but Dad turned and walked off; and the superintendent stood with his fingers strangely awonder over his chin, cheeks, and forehead.  Then I saw that his bedeviled complexion--that face set always at a rolling boil--had changed.  I saw instead skin of a healthy tan, a hale blush spread over his cheekbones that suddenly held definition; above his eyes the shine of constant seepage had vanished, and light lay at rest upon his brow."