‘Teach Us to Want’ Teaches Us to Pray

Review of Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, & the Life of Faith by Jen Pollock MichelBased on the title, the jacket blurb, the promotional materials, the opening chapter, and the final paragraphs of the book, Teach Us to Want is a book about the role of desire in the life of a Christian. The foreword describes it as 'a practical theology of desire.' Michel, like many Christians, once labored under the misapprehension that the Christian life is diametrically and fundamentally opposed … [Read more...]

It Never Hurts to Help: Life Lessons from Eek! The Cat

Review of Eek! The Cat, Created by Savage Steve HollandThanks to the miracle of Youtube and the unerring good taste of my husband, I've recently been introduced to a delightful little animated gem by the name of Eek! The Cat (later known as Eek! Stravaganza). From 1992 to 1997, while my brother and I were up to our eyeballs in Looney Tunes re-runs on ABC, this Canadian cartoon was airing on Fox. Don't get me wrong—I cherish my memories of Saturday mornings with Bugs and Daffy. But I'm sorry t … [Read more...]

Feeling ‘Restless’? There’s an App for That

Review of Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie AllenEver feel like something's missing? Like maybe, just maybe you were made for more? If so, you're not alone. Jennie Allen knows how you feel, and she wrote Restless to address those feelings. In the first section, Allen extols the merits of following your dreams (though she is quick to point out that first and foremost our dream should be to bring glory to God's name, and that only when we are 'all in' with Him can we dream … [Read more...]

Alexis’s Best Reads of 2013

It's that time again—when everyone and their mom is posting 'best of 2013' lists. And since I'm no Arty the Smarty (at least not on this issue), I'll join the club. Here are the best books I read in 2013 (most of which were not actually published in 2013). I've included a few re-reads, but by and large these books were all new to me in the past year.[Side note: 2013 was the year of the road trip, so a decent chunk of these were more listened to than read; I've tried to indicate the audiobook … [Read more...]

The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Heckling

Review of NBC's The Sound of Music Live, Directed by Beth McCarthy-MillerLast Thursday night, millions of Americans tuned their TV sets to NBC to witness a classical Broadway musical being broadcast live for the first time in almost half a century. The Sound of Music Live netted monster ratings—the best NBC has had in years. Twitter exploded. Pretty much every news and entertainment site has weighed in on the merits (and demerits) of the production. It was nothing short of a pop culture p … [Read more...]

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room: Advent and the Incarnation

Review of Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas, edited by Nancy Guthrie, and Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation, by Joel R. Beeke and William BoekesteinConfession: I am a Christmas addict. And I don't mean that in a highbrow religious sense; I love those bits of Christmas that are so often derided as 'crass' and 'commercial'. I love everything about it—gifts, decorations, cookies, cartoon 'specials', and Christmas movies, whether c … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis and the Feverish Passion of ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’

Review of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García MárquezThis summer, determined to finally make a dent in my 'to read' list, I finally took the plunge into Nobel prize winner Gabriel García Márquez's classic South American romance, Love in the Time of Cholera.[SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE ON OUT]García Márquez tells the story of the young poet Florentino Ariza, who falls in love with the lovely (and even younger) Fermina Daza. The two begin a passionate correspondence, despite the v … [Read more...]

I Have Confidence in Me! (But should I?)

Review of A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises by Renee SwopeFor her whole life, Renee Swope has struggled with self-confidence. Now, as a radio co-host for the well-respected Proverbs 31 Ministries, she is sharing her struggle—and the lessons she's learned along the way. So how do you overcome flagging self-confidence? According to Swope, the answer may not be easy, but it is relatively simple: believe the promises of God. In her bo … [Read more...]

Redbox Review: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is nothing special

Review of Much Ado About Nothing, Directed by Joss WhedonAs a longtime fan of both Joss Whedon and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (most notably the 1993 film starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh), I was delighted to hear that the genius behind Mutant Enemy would be producing his very own adaptation of this beloved play. The history of the film only adds to the charm: After years of hosting Shakespeare readings at his home, Whedon finally decided to try his hand at filming the … [Read more...]

‘Death by Living’ Is All Dressed Up with No Place to Go

Review of Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent by N.D. WilsonFrom author N.D. Wilson—he of Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl and an assortment of children’s fiction series—comes Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent, billed as ‘an astoundingly unique book.’ And it certainly is something out of the ordinary, at least based on my interaction with it. I find myself in rather an unusual position: I suspect this book is better than I think it is.I confess that I am handicapped by my styli … [Read more...]