Yes, the pope is right in quoting St. Paul. “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel!” But it better be the gospel and not just another confusing mixture with law. The church has no right and no call to flex its authoritative muscle if it is not going […]

Unknown relatives
On the family history side of the site, I have scanned a family album full of photos I cannot identify – by time, person, or location. The only picture I know for sure is one of the Rocky River, Ohio, bridge. By process of elimination, I assume the album is […]

Mystery family album

Some observations on the books I read in 2014: Not much fiction. Only 8 out of 26 were novels. Not much in general. Two books a month? I need to push myself a little more. Audio books comprised a quarter of what I consumed, despite the fact I have a […]

2014 in review – my Goodreads book list

The Dog of the South by Charles Portis My rating: 5 of 5 stars Charles Portis’ The Dog of the South has something in common with Don Quixote. Several of its main characters are driven to some extent mad by reading. The narrator, Ray Midge, has read too many (“four […]

Book Review: The Dog of the South

Power, Politics, and the Missouri Synod: A Conflict That Changed American Christianity by James C. Burkee My rating: 3 of 5 stars This isn’t quite the book I was looking for. I wanted an overview of the Missouri Synod spilt and Seminex. This book was a detailed – almost painfully […]

Power, Politics and the Missouri Synod

I have posted five letters written by my great-great uncle during the Civil War. The letters were written by Francis A. Pettibone, who apparently lived in the Solon, Ohio, area before the war. After the war he married and settled near Ashtabula, where he practiced law. His son Edwin married […]

Civil War letters posted

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon My rating: 5 of 5 stars TA is a novel about endings and beginnings: the end of vinyl records and the independent record store; the end of midwifing; the end of funk and prog rock. And perhaps, more hopefully, the end of racism (Barack Obama […]

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden by Mark Bowden My rating: 4 of 5 stars Aside from a lengthy digression about the evolution of Obama’s foreign policy views, this book moves quickly and tells the story well. The Finish seems to complete a kind of trilogy that began […]

Mark Bowden on modern warfare