Don’t You Carry Nothing That Might Be a Load: 2016 best-of

Let's do this. Previous years can be found here.I already did my top 10 books and my opinion there has not changed.Possibly my favorite review of my novel is Kate Havard's: "A Paleocon, An Otherkin, And a Saint Walk Into a Bar." (Buy the book here yo.)Best movies seen for the first time: The FitsDaisiesRoger and Meugh I can't leave it off, I enjoyed Little Sister so, so much and can't bear to bump The Elephant Man so you're getting a top six.The Elephant ManThe … [Read more...]

I Think of You and Let It Go: Best Books I Read in 2016

Realized everybody's doing best-of-books in time for Christmas buying. I'll do a complete best-of post at the end of the year, but I'll be spending the rest of December gnawing through Alan Moore's vast, fascinating Jerusalem (review forthcoming), so I can be pretty sure this is my best-books list for the year. Fiction and lesser kinds of book mix here freely. Counting down, basically in order of how much they affected me personally:10. Charles Williams, Descent into Hell.9. Jessica … [Read more...]

Back When I Was in Obedience School: 2015 Best-Of

As usual I will wander between "best" and "favorite" as I see fit. Don't question me!Best books read for the first time (nonfiction): Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish. No contest.Wesley Hill, Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian. I reviewed it here and riffed on its relevance for married couples here.Ethan Watters, Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche.Susan L. Einbeinder, Beautiful Death: Jewish Poetry and Martyrdom … [Read more...]

If this is paradise, I wish I had a lawnmower: Best-of 2014

I know we've got a few more days of 2014, but I'm sick and I'm wallowing. Nothing but true crime and schlocky suspense/horror for me until the New Year. So let's do this thing! As always I will wander freely and without warning between "best" and "favorite."Best books read (nonfiction): Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Meditation on Fathers, Brothers, And Sons. I read this because Wesley Hill loves it so much. What should I read next year, Wes? ...My psychology doesn't always … [Read more...]

A Couple Best-Of Lists from Wesley Hill and Helen Andrews

Hill: ...I write often about the consolations of friendship, hospitality, and Christian community, but sometimes I wonder if I’m too sanguine, writing as if these were easily attainable and capable of straightforward engineering. These three books, in very different ways, puncture my naivety. more!Andrews: ...Any culture that bestows fame on fiery young radicals will see some of them punished with remorse in old age, but there are surprisingly few role models for writers who find t … [Read more...]

Unequally Yoked Best Books of 2014 List

Hey, I'm in this! But also:Boxers and Saints - Gene Luen Yang This book is two books.  Yang wrote paired graphic novels, set during China’s Boxer Rebellion.  One follows a young boy who joins the Boxers, the other a young girl who converts to Christianity.  You can read either story in isolation, but they’re meant to be read together — the two protagonists come into conflict.  I got this as a Christmas present and read both books in one sitting (with a fair amount of crying). and more! … [Read more...]

Seasons Change With Their Scenery: Best-of 2013

An annual tradition. Here's the one from last year; here are the previous ones. As always, "best" is an unstable mix of "my personal favorites" and "stuff I actually think has exceptional quality." I'll defend anything listed in this post with my teeth, but I don't want to fight you about whether Life and Fate is really "better" than A House for Mr Biswas....Best books read for the first time (non-fiction): Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson, Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner … [Read more...]