One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? by Dave Brunn
I grew up in churches where the official opinion is that using any Bible translation other than the KJV or the NKJV makes you a sketchy liberal, with the fairly recent development that if you REALLY MUST have something more modern, the ESV can be tolerated.
Not everyone attending those churches believes that. But it’s around, and it’s an attitude I find increasingly frustrating, as a variety of factors have turned me into a Bible translations nerd who reads and uses and loves all sorts. And the biggest factor was a college class where I learned a lot about how translation actually works.
I am no expert. And certainly do not have the skillset to be in the field myself. But I now find Bible translation theory fascinating and pick up books on it periodically. This is one I think would be accessible to someone unfamiliar with the subject. Dave Bunn explains terms instead of assuming his readers already know what he’s talking about. He does include a lot of charts of how different translations render words, which could get tedious, but you can skim a few entries and get the general idea.
His premise is that functionally, word-for-word and dynamic equivalent translations aren’t as different as many claim, that even the most literal translations make the same kinds of changes dynamic equivalent translations do; the difference is more in the frequency than in the kinds of changes. He’s not out to claim any certain translation makes the right call 100% of the time, but to give people who are unfamiliar with the process some practical understanding of how it works. And to point out ways having so many translations is a huge blessing the English-speaking world should appreciate.
The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma by Angela Ackerman and Becca Publisi
I ordered this book on the strength of the title alone for a friend’s birthday. But once it arrived I had to read it myself. I was so careful to keep it in good shape. And then, in a very Me problem, I managed to spill a glass of water all over it. Conveniently, we’re good enough friends that I decided I could explain the situation to her and ask if she wanted a fresh copy or the water-damaged one. She opted for the water damage. And after I’d given her the book and she knew what it was, we concluded that the book itself had appropriately been through some trauma.
This whole anecdote probably says a lot about our friendship.
ANYway. If you write and you want to put your characters Through Some Stuff, this is a useful resource. The authors cover all sorts of potential problems, as evidenced by the cover there. Each entry is a two-page spread listing examples, character traits that might develop from the trauma, potential paths toward healing, etc. It’s not intended to provide all the information you need, but to spark inspiration. At the beginning they also offer some general advice about how to traumatize characters well, as well as a kind reminder that some subjects might be difficult to read and write about, especially if you’ve experienced them, and to consider yourself before starting. I found that thoughtful.
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
I don’t remember ever reading this book in my childhood. This was an oversight. But it meant I got to experience it now. It is a Delight. I love the humor. I love the Capitalized Important Words. I love the setup of a dad telling stories to his small son. It’s all lovely.
I did watch Winnie-the-Pooh shows as a kid, and I was surprised by how many stories and direct quotes I recognized from those. Props to how well they adapted stuff.
So yeah, if you also never read Winnie-the-Pooh in your childhood, I recommend picking it up. It lives up to the hype.
Sheepish (Wolf Under Cover) by Helen Yoon
In this picture book, a wolf sets out to win the trust of a flock of sheep in order to eat them. He makes himself a sheep costume and thinks he’s all sneaky as he eats with the sheep and works with them and plays with them, but they are clearly aware of what’s going on and frightened – at first. But then! The wolf accidentally makes friends.
He flees in horror. Goes home and reads books about vegetarianism (and pork).
Then there’s a knock at the door. And the sheep have all shown up in wolf costumes to bring him back.
It’s so cute! And a lot of fun. I love the wolf’s wagging tail in the illustrations.
The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic by J.R.R. Tolkien, adapted by Chuck Dixon, illustrated by David Wenzel
This graphic novel version of The Hobbit was a Christmas present from a friend. It’s great! The illustrations capture the atmosphere and the characters well. The landscapes are beautiful. The story is not rewritten at all; the words all come directly from The Hobbit, just somewhat abridged in places to fit the different format. But minimally abridged; my only real complaint is that since there’s so much story, the text is quite small. If you enjoy graphic novels, this is a good one to pick up.
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