Book Review Archive

Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son: A Roundup

I don’t know about you, but I spent all of last week glued to Twitter, following the manhunt in Boston, the explosion in West Texas and the earthquake in China. I knew the Pulitzers had been announced (and that this year’s board had avoided last year’s misstep in the Fiction category) but until this

Reviews in the Wild: The Use and Abuse of Literature

Why read literature? Why read literature about literature? Does literature have value only as it shows good vs. evil, or is it amoral? And do technological developments in publishing influence the ways we consider such questions?

Book Review: The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark Zondervan, 2009 265 pages (paperback) Amazon.com Powells.com I often ask my students if they are afraid of questions.  At first, no one is willing to admit to a fear of questions.  After all, shouldn’t everyone be willing to test the veracity of any belief?  It usually

Book Review: The Rise of Christian Beliefs

The Rise of Christian Beliefs: The Thought World of Early Christians by Heikki Räisänen Fortress, 2010 432 pages (paperback) Available Amazon.com When I’m teaching a class on ancient Christianity, I spend a significant amount of time covering the culture and context out of which Christian beliefs developed.  What did the Greeks contribute to the

Book Review: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions by Dan Ariely Harper, 2008 280 pages (hardcover) Available Amazon.com We are not as smart as we think we are.  And as independent as we may think we are, we make decisions that are both irrational and predictable, even quantifiable.  In his New York Times

Faith and questions: A lesson from Kate DiCamillo’s work

One of my recent projects is that of “deep-reading” (i.e., reading all of) Kate DiCamillo’s work.  It has been a helpful and enjoyable practice, particularly as I think through my own writing projects.  I like the way her mind works and the themes that make it into her writing.  Authors are not always immediately

Book Review: Speaking of Faith

[NOTE: This review was originally posted on another blog of mine.  As I find it this book to be continually informing my worldview, I decided to include it here as well, but with a little editing.] Speaking of Faith by Krista Tippett Viking (2007) 238 pages (paperback/hardcover) Available Amazon “All truth is God’s truth,”

Book Review: Why Evolution is True

Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne Penguin, 2009 282 pages (paperback) Available Amazon.com Science and religion have had a love-hate relationship.  Like your average sitcom, the “will they?/won’t they? get together for good” question remains unresolved, and so we keep tuning in hoping that this week it will finally happen.
In search of belief changing ideas