April 2018: A Preview

Hello, everyone—

Well, winter is officially gone and spring has arrived! I love seeing creation come alive with the rejuvenating spirit of the season. It’s so pretty, and the beauty of it all calls for celebration…with books, as per the writer’s way of festivity. I read four in March.

  • No Pressure Mr. President!: The Power of True Belief in a Time of Crisis by Eric Metaxas (Nonfiction)
  • 100 Best-Loved Poems edited by Philip Smith (Poetry)
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Fiction)
  • Letters from War by Mark Schultz (Fiction)

Orient Express, I might add, served as my introduction to Agatha Christie, and it served well, though I do disagree very much with Poirot’s decision at the end of the novel. He’s still the sweet, doddering, eccentric Belgian, I guess, and I had a lot of fun watching two film versions of Orient shortly following my reading of the book: Kenneth Branagh’s 2017 rendition and Albert Finney’s 1974 movie. I hope to read The Mysterious Affair at Styles sometime this month:)

Anyways, April is here, which means one-fourth of 2018 has passed already. Unfortunately, I haven’t really gotten around to continuing my novella about Hamlet and Ophelia, previously mentioned here. Maybe that should be one of my goals for this month. But I have been hammering my nonfiction writing, most of which is for Defy Augury. Here’s the (temporary) article plan for April 2018:

  • How Does Christ Describe His Soul? Every time Christ describes some aspect of Himself in the Bible, I am always excited. Of all the occasions on which our Messiah presented Himself to us, though, my favorites are the times when He describes His soul. I can’t wait to take a closer look at this!
  • The Intertwining of God and Suffering I stumbled across this topic while I was reading Job 2 last month, and from the start it struck me as a subject about which to write a blog post.
  • Psalm 22 and the Crucifixion I originally had planned for this to be published the Saturday before Easter, but Academia stepped in my way before I could write. At least Bible studies are applicable at any and all times of year!
  • Biblical vs. Oriental Justice One of my favorite things about Murder on the Orient Express is the questions it raises about vengeance, justice, and love. I believe Christie’s portrayal of those themes was the reason the book is both so well-loved and so soul-wrenching. It’s definitely worth diving into.
  • Literary Wisdom: Father Brown Mysteries With delving into Father Brown came an overwhelming revival of my love for the mystery genre. G.K. Chesterton always does an excellent job of integrating the spiritual realm into his consequently convicting detective stories.

Also, I read some beautiful blog posts this month. I know I love it when a fellow blogger recommends my writing, so I’ll do my best to do so here. Below are the top five blog posts I’ve read in March:

  • “Run to Him in the Storm” by Rachel Evans | This is the first article in Moriah Simonowich’s guest post series at Delighting in Him. Rachel’s style is beautiful and her words sharpened with experience and conviction.
  • “Book Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie” by Grace | This month was marked by my introduction to the Queen of Mystery, so to have a solid recommendation of one of her books was awesome:)
  • “Chesterton on Shakespeare” by Dale Ahlquist | I’ve been frequenting the American Chesterton Society website a lot lately—not only because I am currently finishing a good-sized paper on G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, but because I believe Chesterton deserves to be shared with far more people than the ones who know him at present. I’d recommend the whole site, really, but I especially enjoyed this lecture on Shakespeare. (Most of it I agree with—except Hamlet IS the best of the Bard’s dramas:)
  • “We’re Free to Celebrate Because of the Cross” by Faye Lentine | I read this the day before I got published on theReb, and I absolutely loved it. Always a lovely and refreshing reminder we need to soak in, especially around Resurrection Sunday.
  • “Why Christians Should Care about the Arts” by Grace | I know I already posted a blog post from Grace, but THIS…this is a message preached too little and rebuked too much. Please give it a read.


That’s all for this month’s preview. I hope you have a lovely April—enjoy the springtime!


~Sarah Merly

April 3, 2018

Isaiah 53