Lars Walker’s new novel

Imagine a time in not-too-distant America when only religions that pass government tolerance criteria are allowed, relegating Christianity to rebellious teenagers, graffiti-spraying street gangs, and mysterious hideouts in Minnesota.  (Islam, however, is grandfathered in, having established the Islamic state of Europe and threatening to invade Michigan.)  Everyone is happy, though, because if you are not, you have easy access to the Happy Ending Clinics, where euthanasia is also used to deal with people who are troublesome to the state by peacefully putting them to sleep.  This is the setting of Death’s Doors, the new novel by Lars Walker, who often frequents this blog.

In the story, a writer is researching a book on a religious group that is trying to restore the old Norse paganism.  The group, consisting of New Age vegans, Nordic Fascists, and Viking re-enactors, somehow manage to bring back an actual Viking from the 10th century.  Though he is bewildered by city lights, automobiles, and egalitarian society, he shows them, to their distress, what actual paganism is–or was–like.   Then we have wormholes, time travel, ancient lore, and a single father’s desperate efforts to reach his teenaged daughter.  And then things really get weird. [Read more...]

The Nobel Prize winners

After the jump, a complete list of the 2014 Nobel Prize winners.  Which do you find especially significant? [Read more...]

Novels every Christian should consider reading

I previously blogged about my contribution–a review of Huckleberry Finn–to a blog series that Justin Taylor is running on “novels every Christian should consider reading.”  I urge you to read the whole series, which includes different Christians’ take on classic novels like Tom Jones, entertaining reads like Patrick O’Brian’s sea sagas, and finds that I, for one, hadn’t heard of but am now anxious to read, like Mark Helprin’s Soldier of the Great War.

And now I turn the topic over to you.  What do you think are some novels every Christian should consider reading?

My take on “Huckleberry Finn”

Justin Taylor, the publisher at Crossway and a notable blogger, is running a series on “novels that every Christian should consider reading.”  He asked me to write about the great American novel that is Huckleberry Finn.  Mark Twain fan that I am, I was glad to do so. [Read more...]

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s annotated autobiography

I remember well our teacher reading to us fifth graders the novels of Laura Ingalls Wilders, which were based on the author’s childhood on the American frontier.  Her descriptions in The Long Winter of the blizzards, the isolation, and Pa surviving in a snow bank by eating oyster crackers still come to my mind whenever there’s a heavy snow.  The series of novels on her family’s moves all over the West are classics of children’s literature and masterful works of art by any standard.

Her autobiography, Pioneer Girl, which tells about  the actual experiences that the novels were based on, was published a few years ago.  In November, it is coming out in an annotated edition, which will spell out all of the connections to the novels, as well as specifying the differences between the novels and the reality.  The edition will also include a wealth of pictures and unpublished material from her diaries and notebooks. [Read more...]

Why they cancelled “Longmire”

One of my favorite TV shows has been Longmire, an extremely well-done mystery series centering around a modern-day sheriff on the high plains of Wyoming.  It’s critically-acclaimed and one of the A&E Networks’ top-rated shows.  So the network is cancelling it.  The reason why–even though it is said that we are in a new “Golden Age” of TV drama–tells us much about network TV.  And why TV funded by subscription rather than advertising, such as Netflix and HBO, is coming into its own. [Read more...]


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