How the Internet is Killing the Book Review

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Now that I own a Kindle, my ever-raging thirst for new reading material can be assuaged with a few finger swipes. Because I have wide-ranging taste and am relatively choosy about which books earn the swipe, I rarely regret a purchase. But last week I regretted not only buying a particular book, but also the [Read More...]

Writing Letters for Lent

One of the best books I’ve read over the past couple of years, of any kind, was the beautiful, moving, and hard sort-of-spiritual memoir, Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship in Letters by Amy Andrews and Jessica Griffith. Amy and Jess started writing to one another during Lent 2005, when Amy was preparing to convert to Catholicism [Read More...]

Books to Read and Give: My 2013 Favorites

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As many of you know, I fell on the ice a couple of weeks ago, and ended up with broken ribs and a few other injuries. So instead of spending the first weeks of December baking, shopping, and decorating while keeping up with my usual housekeeping and writing work, I’ve been spending many hours parked [Read More...]

“We can just love them”: Adoptive Parents on Their Kids with Special Needs

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In honor of National Adoption Month, I’m featuring below an excerpt from Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter by Jennifer Grant. Love You More tells the story of how Jen and her husband David adopted their fourth child, Mia, from Guatemala. The book also does an excellent job of addressing questions, concerns, and myths [Read More...]

A Story About the Abundance, and Absence, of Memory and Faith

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Walker has written a story about Alzheimer’s, yes, and about her mother, and about her. But fundamentally, it is a story about memory and faith—about times when they surround and buoy us, and times when they evade our reach. [Read more...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] I Wrote a Book. Want One?

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I will confess something that will be not at all surprising to most of you, especially those who write blogs of your own: My Friday “Snapshots from Oak Ridge” feature is absolutely self-serving. I wanted some regular Friday feature that would be quick and easy, because posting regularly, even if every post isn’t read by [Read More...]

“Wonder” and the Paradoxes of Living with a Disability

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R.J. Palacio’s young adult novel Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a boy with a severe facial deformity who goes to school for the first time in fifth grade. He confronts fear and bullies, but also makes friends—even with some of the very same kids who initially teased him. I thought it was a beautiful story, for [Read More...]

The Only Really Honest Ones? Addiction and Grace in “Sober Mercies”

I recently reviewed Heather Kopp’s memoir, Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk for the Englewood Review of Books. My review begins: In a recent interview, popular blogger, author, and recovering alcoholic and bulimic Glennon Melton said this: I think addicts are the only really honest ones. Life is hard, and everyone thinks [Read More...]


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