Into the Book

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Literature/Philosophy


  1. Anse Bundren promised his wife he would take her back to her hometown of Jefferson before she died. Addie’s family burial ground was in Jefferson, and Anse promised to bury her there. So when Addie fell sick, and the doctor said she was near death, Anse began to pack up the family and prepare for the day-long ride to Jefferson. Then, the day before they were ready to leave, Addie died. Still, Anse had made a promise. So he loaded his wife and her newly-made coffin into the wagon, bundled up his grieving children, and departed for Jefferson.

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  2. Women Writers of the Early Church

    Much is made of the writings of the Early Church Fathers: St. Augustine, St. Athanasius, Origen. Yet, hardly any attention is paid to the female writers of the Patristic Period. Granted, there are far fewer female writings from that time. However, what few writings there are give great insight into the liturgy, theology, and courage of the Early Church. A Lost Tradition: Women Writers of the Early Church collects four writings written by women between 200 and 500 AD, and the result is wonderful.

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  3. “The medium is the message” –Marshall McLuhan.

    As a communication theorist, McLuhan believed that the presentation of an idea formed the idea as much as the content of the idea itself. Therefore, transferring an idea from written to verbal form does not just modify its presentation, but the very idea itself. Mennonite Pastor Shane Hipps takes this concept and applies it to the Church. Our culture has transformed from a typographical culture to a digital one. How are Christians to respond without compromising Christianity?

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  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. Imagine a good man. Not Jesus, for he was both human and divine in one. No, imagine just a really, really, really good person. What would that man be like? How would he interact with our world of selfishness, poverty, evil, and hatred? And, while we’re thinking, what if Jesus were just a good man? What difference would it make if he were only a perfect man, teaching wonderful morals, who then died? These are the questions Dostoevsky explores in The Idiot.

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  6. Gwynplaine is not your normal guy. Sure, he was a child slave who was abandoned by his owners when he was yet young. Sure, he adopted a dying infant when he had no family of his own. Sure, he now lives with a misanthrope playwright who would prefer to talk to his wolf than another human. That’s a little out of the ordinary. Still, what is really different, what everyone notices about him, is his face: a cruel, lasting trick of his owners, setting his face into an eternal laugh. Of course, his face sets a stark contrast with his life. He tries to make the best of it, but it’s not easy. The infant he adopted, lovingly named Dea, is now blind. The three of them (Gwynplaine, Dea, and the playwright, Ursus) barely scrape by on the cash they bring in from Ursus’ plays. Unfortunately, after suffering through a miserable life for twenty some years, Gwynplaine is facing an even more difficult issue: one of the heart. For all of his life, he has been in love with Dia. Now, against all odds, Gwynplaine discovers he is the son of a Lord. Rightful husband of beautiful Duchess Josiana (who also loves him), he is given the chance to use his newfound power to fight for the poor. Yet, to do all of that, he must give up Dea. A chance to do what is right, or a chance for love. The choice is no laughing matter.

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  7. There are those who say that television rots our brains. Neil Postman would disagree. Rather than rotting our brains, he would say, it removes the necessity to use them. Now, this isn’t some old crank arguing about kids not playing outside anymore, or that the violence on TV will make us murderous. No, Postman argues that the way television presents information is erasing our need to think. Books, he writes, are the solution. As a writer on a book review website, just allow me to adjust my monocle and I’ll tell you why.

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  8. A Memoir of the Craft

    If you’re looking for a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to becoming a better writer, Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is not the book for you. But that’s what I liked most about it. Rather than hitting us with a set of opinions as to why his writing has been so successful, and a 5-point plan to tap into those supposed ‘principles of best-selling writing’, King gives us a living example of excellent, transparent writing in the text of the book itself. (more…)

  9. When I was young, I dreamed of being something amazing when I grew up. I dreamed of being a super-powered crime-fighter, a ship-captain sailing the seven seas, even a teacher educating students on complicated subjects (because that would mean I was actually good at maths). As I grew older, my goals shifted to other things, finally settling to become a writer. Yet, for whatever reason, one thing that I never considered being was a prophet.

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  10. Everyone loves a story, and Mike Cosper is here to argue that stories are built into our psyche. His new book, The Stories We Tell is an attempt to recover the value behind storytelling, rather than just conceding the area to “a trashy modern culture. The Stories we Tell looks at common stories and movies in our culture to show how even secular TV and movies long for and echo the truth. Cosper asks the question, “Can we learn something from our insatiable addiction to stories?” Read on for more.

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Into the Book was born out of a crazy idea of a blog that'd provide book reviews for teens. There aren't very many book review websites out there exposing awesome, high-quality Christian literature, and there are even fewer that target teenagers. Since 2009, we've been providing high-quality book reviews to the world through our blog. Into the Book has grown around reviews since then, but it remains our oldest project.

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