Into the Book

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Review


  1. It’s an admission of failure that the task: “Write: Review for Do More Better” sat in my Wunderlist account for almost a week, each day being pushed back to a later deadline. It was almost like the book was mocking me: Here I am, a book on productivity, and you can’t even find the time to review me. That’s because Do More Better is not a quick fix for productivity and busyness — it’s a system. And systems take time. Also, I am a dense human being and don’t learn lessons quickly. (more…)

  2. What it is, how to train it, and loving those who differ

    As the subtitle might imply, Andy Naselli and J.D. Crowley’s Conscience is devoted to answering three questions: 1) What is the conscience? 2) How do I live my life based on what my conscience tells me? and 3) What do I do with people who disagree? In only about a hundred pages, this book unloads a whole lot of truth. Read on for more: (more…)

  3. Silence is the most well-known novel by Japanese writer Shūsaku Endō. As a Catholic, Endō tells the story of Portuguese missionaries, on a mission to Japan during the time of persecution. Fathers Rodrigues and Garrpe have gone to Japan to find out if Japanese Christians still exist, to convert new believers, and to learn what has happened to Father Ferreira, a well-known priest who is said to have apostastized and has disappeared. Endō’s novel attacks questions of faith, trust, and manages to show a deep personal conflict in the life of Father Rodrigues. Read on for more (some spoilers): (more…)

  4. When I first read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek nearly five years ago, I was struck by how Annie Dillard wrote about the natural world with such a powerful voice, seeing creeks as if they held the secret to life. Her trademark has always been a wonder at the natural world that catches you up in “seeing with a sense of urgency, as if when you blink the entire elaborate picture will have vanished” (Read my review of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek). Teaching a Stone to Talk is a book that doesn’t change her core focuses, yet feels incredibly different from Pilgrim. Read on for more: (more…)

  5. Anthony Marra’s first novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, is so full of twists that it’s a difficult story to pin down. How many other novelists have written a novel that is about wartime Chechnya, jumps through twenty years of time, and features seven or eight main characters? Not too many that I have seen. Marra’s strange blend of omniscient storytelling and chronological looseness plays with a beautiful writing style and makes A Constellation of Vital Phenomena one of the best books I have read this year. (more…)

  6. I picked up At the Back of the North Wind at Half Price Books for 3 reasons: 1) It’s George MacDonald 2) Andrew Peterson’s house is named after this book (North Wind Manor), and 3) the book is simply gorgeous in the Everyman’s Classics edition. Those are reasons of varying solidity, but here are my reasons for why you also should pick up this book. Read on for more: (more…)

  7. C.S. Lewis never ceases to amaze. Not only did the man write a well-known fantasy series, a superb (and under-appreciated) sci-fi trilogy, and multiple theological fiction books (Till We Have Faces, The Great Divorce), he also wrote some fantastic, straight-up theology. The Four Loves is everything you would expect from a Lewis book: it’s personal and warm, direct and unassuming even as it tackles huge topics and arguments, and even entertaining as Lewis walks us through human and divine love in his own trademark style. There’s a lot to, erm, love about this book. (more…)

  8. When he was nine-years-old, Matthew Gallatin experienced God. He grew up in a Christian family, so he always knew of God. However, it was on that day that he truly experienced God. The rest of his life would be spent figuring out how to respond to it.

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  9. “This looks like a good book. Maybe I’ll just read it to get some good stuff out of it, and skip writing a review, because I have so much to do.”
    Oh wait.
    Busyness is so prevalent and so accepted that our standard response to “How are you?” is a simple, “Oh, you know, pretty busy.” If my day isn’t full, perfectly executing a ten-point todo list in stunning fashion, then maybe I’m doing something wrong! These are a few of the reasons why DeYoung has written his book Crazy Busy. It’s a (mercifully) short book about busyness, and DeYoung manages to pack a great deal into it. (more…)

  10. Robert Heinlein’s Friday is a mixed bag of sci-fi tropes, missed opportunities, and casual vulgarity all sprinkled into a neat dystopian landscape filled with backstabbing, wars, and secrets. It’s a book that’s deeply conflicting: on the one hand, Heinlein has constructed a great, immersive world and asked some great questions of well-developed characters. On the other hand, there’s a lot that’s not worth reading and Heinlein often doesn’t answer his own questions. Friday is a circuitous book that winds around before finally resolving, and at the end of it all, I still can’t say if it was worth my time. Read on for more: (more…)