Archives For Karen Swallow Prior



A Very Special Book Giveaway this week! 


Five Winners will receive a package of three superb recent books on reading:


Enter now to win this prize package (It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!) :
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Last night, I finished reading Karen Swallow Prior’s excellent new book:


On Reading Well:
Finding the Good Life
through Great Books
Karen Swallow Prior

Hardback: Brazos Press, 2018.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle


The book is excellent. I wholeheartedly agree with Prior’s description of reading as a practice that forms virtue in us.

My only regret was that I hadn’t read (or recently read) a number of the novels that she explores in the book


Read the
Book’s Introduction:

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)


On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books 

Karen Swallow Prior

*** WATCH the trailer video for this book…


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A New Heroine from the Eighteenth Century

A Feature Review of

Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
Karen Swallow Prior

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2014.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Dorothy Greco


According to author Karen Swallow Prior, “Hannah More might just be the most influential reformer you’ve never heard of.” But thanks to Prior’s 2014 biography titled Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist, that’s about to change. (Look for a movie version in the next three years!)


Hannah More was a writer, bridge builder, reformer, teacher, abolitionist, feminist (long before the term existed), animal welfare activist, and devoted follower of Christ. It would be impressive to list all of those accomplishments on a resume today; it’s simply remarkable for a woman who was born in 1745.

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Our Latest Book Giveaway…

We’re giving away FIVE copies of the new book

Fierce Convictions:
The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
Karen Swallow Prior

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2014
Read an excerpt of Fierce Convictions here


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Filtering Through the Good and the Bad
A Feature Review of

Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me

Karen Swallow Prior

Paperback: T.S. Poetry Press, 2012
Buy now:   [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Cody Stauffer.

Read Karen Swallow Prior’s new CHRISTIANITY TODAY essay
on Flannery O’Connor, Our Worst Christian Book Covers and MORE

I still remember the first book I read that I was not supposed to. A book stirred something of an uproar in my small, conservative Idaho town when our teacher started to read it to our 4th grade class. The parents, having literally judged the book by its cover, were certain it was not safe.  Depicted on the front was a half man, half horse with wings flying over a disembodied green head with red glowing eyes that had been encased in a blue sphere, which itself was hovering in a valley between dark, formidable peaks. OBVIOUSLY symbols of the occult or New Age thought! Then of course, there were three “witches”: Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which.

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The Wake Up CallThe Wake Up Call –
7 March 2013


Like the smell of strong coffee wafting down the hall, we offer a few book-related thoughts and stories to jumpstart your day…


*** Receive an email with The Wake Up Call (and daily ERB posts) in your inbox each morning! Sign up for The Daily Book Morsel


Kindle Deal of the Day:
The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word that Moved America by Richard Lischer
Now only $1.99 (for a limited time)!!!


“Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.”  –Thomas Aquinas, who died on this day in 1274
*** Books by Thomas Aquinas


Book News:

Thanks be to God for this new day, may it be full of beauty and grace!

The Wake Up Call image via WikiMedia Commons

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Karen Swallow PriorIn 2013, we are encouraging our readers to mix up their reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books, such as the ones we review here in the ERB.

Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books in 2013.

We’ve asked a number of noted writers to pick the classics that they often return to, and we will be running these lists as a weekly feature on our website through 2013.

This week’s post in the series is a list of classics by Karen Swallow Prior.

[ Read the first post in this series by Shane Claiborne … ]

Karen Swallow Prior, is professor of English at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She and her husband, Roy, serve as deacons in their church and keepers of their 100-year-old homestead, where they live with their horses and dogs — and, more recently, Karen’s mom and dad.  Karen is the author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me (TS Poetry Press, 2012).
[Read an Excerpt of Booked]

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Karen Swallow Prior - BOOKEDAn excerpt from

Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me

Karen Swallow Prior

Paperback: T.S. Poetry Press, 2012.
Buy now:
[ Amazon
[ Kindle ]



Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —

—Emily Dickinson


My fingers slid across smooth book spines, skimming the familiar titles lined up on the shelf, firmly and tightly, like little soldiers standing at attention. Soon I spotted the name of an old friend: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry. It had been many, many years since I’d read this book—the tale of a royal Arabian horse and the adventures he shared around the world with a Moroccan stable boy named Agba—and countless other horse stories by Henry. It had been nearly as many years, too, since I’d stood in this space, a nearly sacred place, the library of my childhood. Maybe it really was sacred, the reliquary of my soul.

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