Teaser Tuesday: Heretics and Heroes

Exam week is here; time to test my students’ knowledge of the last eighteen weeks.

Boethius’ Wheel may bring my students low (I sincerely hope not), but it has brought me Fortune, with the  Wheel of Time turning to

Teaser TuesdayJust in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.


In regards to last week’s question regarding the ethics of gaming the Goodreads Challenge, I decided to keep reading at my normal pace and then adjust my reading challenge just before it ends on 1 January.

I’m currently reading Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World, part of Thomas Cahill’s “Hinges of History” series. I’ve heard good things about Cahill’s series, particularly How the Irish Saved Civilization, but this is the first of his books I’ve actually read.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 310:

In the seventeenth century we come upon 
extraordinary examples of believers who 
have internalized their faith so personally 
and deeply that it has lost all comradeship 
with the combative religious assertions of 
the partisans who waged the Thirty Years' War.
In these later figures there is also no verbal
indirection, no hiddenness. Their faith is boldly
stated, yet utterly lacking in aggression.

Heretics and Heroes cover

This particular excerpt interests me as I just finished teaching the German Wars of Religion and the overarching effects of the Peace of Westphalia. I can hardly wait to read the 309 pages leading up to it.

In Retrospect

Station Eleven earned 4 stars. I found the characters somewhat flat and the driving plot a tad underwhelming; however, the cardinal sin was the lack of books. For a novel based on the survival of Shakespeare post-apocalypse, almost nothing is said of libraries and the written word (aside from the eponymous Station Eleven – a comic book existing only in the novel [for now] – and some allusions to a vampire series I haven’t read). Instead, people moan about the lack of electricity and, therefore, the internet. Come on people, libraries still exist! Plagues don’t kill books! I mean, maybe people burned the books for fuel, but nowhere did I see this mentioned. Anyway, there had to be people who’d rather die that burn human knowledge. So, why did it still get four stars? I gave it four stars because I felt it accurately portrayed what the world post-apocalypse would be like: largely boring with brief periods of intense excitement. And, despite it’s faults, I really liked it. So there.

Coming Soon

My library continues to surprise me. I returned V for Vendetta, The Buried Giant, and Station Eleven; when I checked the New Arrivals shelf, I found a copy of The Relic Master, a work of historical fiction by Christopher Buckley featuring one of my favorite Northern Renaissance artists, Albrecht Dürer, and a plot to forge a relic for his patron – a relic known to us as the Shroud of Turin.



What have you been reading?



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8 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday: Heretics and Heroes

  1. This book sounds really good. So much upheaval was going on during the Renaissance – art was math, science, warfare as well as beauty (but only assigned beauty) WIll check it out.
    Have you read Madam Tussaud by Moran? She was a wax artist/sculptress and museum business owner who lived through those unsettled times – and tried to find patrons as support, but stay alive. Read it while back. Fiction but lots of history of Paris.
    Jingle on!

    Liked by 1 person

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