Clear Winter Nights

I do not read a lot of fiction. It’s not that I have anything against a good novel, but more that there is just so much I want to know and so many facts I want to learn, that time dedicated to story feels like it is taking me away from a more urgent pursuit. Or, to hear my wife tell it, I’m just a big snob. Regardless, all the experts say I need to read in a well-rounded way, …

Gilead

I had tried reading Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead at least three or four times, but without success, which is to say, without completing it. I would read twenty pages, or even eighty, and eventually put the book aside and forget to return to it. Gilead is wonderfully written, so it is not that I was trying to slog through dense or poorly-written text. Far from it! It is for good reason that this book received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. …

Evangellyfish

Is it satire or is it parody? Whatever it is, Douglas Wilson’s Evangellyfish must be unique in the Christian market. This is a book, a novel, first serialized online but now re-edited and formally published, that provides a scathing indictment of evangelicalism. It does it well. Of course if you know evangelicalism you know that it isn’t all that difficult to satirize. What you dream up as a hilarious punchline is the kind of thing you’ll see next month on …

Book Review – The Betrayal

I wonder what Calvin would have said, what he would have thought, if he could have peered five centuries into the future and seen how he would be honored on the five hundredth anniversary of his birth. Several new biographies; a long list of conferences; books discussing every aspect, every facet of his theology; a bobblehead; and now The Betrayal, a novel that recounts his life as historical fiction. The Betrayal, published by P&R Publishing, comes from the pen of …

Book Review – Inside Prince Caspian

Inside Narnia was one of the many books published in advance of the most recent movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. The book has proved a success, going through six printings since its release in 2005. In the book Devin Brown, a Lewis scholar and aficionado, offered a detailed look into the world of Narnia, digging far beyond the surface, and exploring this magical world. As I had just read The Lion, The Witch, …

Book Review – Inside Narnia

Inside Narnia was one of the many books published in advance of the recent movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. In this book Devin Brown, a Lewis scholar and aficionado, offers a detailed look into the world of Narnia, digging far beyond the surface, and exploring this magical world. Having just read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe with my children, I decided to read this as a commentary of sorts, to see …

Book Review – Germ

I do not read a lot of fiction. Of the titles I receive, I read only a small number since most do not interest me. Still, when a book looks as good as Germ looks (the cover is really catchy!), when the description mentions that the author’s previous book (Comes a Horseman) is being made into a major motion picture and when the current book had six Hollywood producers bidding on it before it was even completed, I thought it …

Book Review – Squat

“We live in a squat. We don’t know squat. We don’t have squat. We don’t do squat. We don’t give a squat. People say we’re not worth squat.” In the shadow of Wall Street’s wealth, homeless people with names like Squid, Saw, and Bonehead live in abandoned buildings known as “squats” where life is hand to mouth, where fear and violence fester. One of these people is Squid, an obsessive compulsive young man who has escaped normal society to live …

Hood

Having read fifty or sixty nonfiction books already this year, I began to crave some lighter, easier reading. And, in a case of great timing, an Advance Reader Copy of Stephen Lawhead’s Hood arrived in the mail just a few days ago. Lawhead, known for writing fantasy and historical fiction, has set his sights on the greatest of the English heroes, Robin Hood. But rather than simply retelling the oft-told story, he has re imagined Robin Hood and has attempted …

Book Review – River Rising

Because I review primarily non-fiction I find myself inequipped and lacking confidence in my ability to review fiction. Fiction, after all, is far more subjective than non-fiction. Where a book about doctrine is either right or wrong when measured by the standard of Scripture, a novel can appeal to one person and have no appeal to another. I prefer to deal with hard facts than the intangibles of fiction! Still, at times I enjoy reading fiction and find it a …