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...]