5 of 5 stars to North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson
Book #2 in the Wingfeather Saga was no let down, though it’s not quite as light a story as #1. The plot surprised me multiple times all the way to the end. At a few points in the middle of the book I’ll admit I was irritated, but in good ways, because I wanted to know what’s going to happen? but also knew that certain events meant that answers were even farther away. Excited to start #3 soon.
4 of 5 stars to Roaring Lambs: A Gentle Plan to Radically Change Your World by Robert Briner
A friend recommended this book to me a few months ago and it really was worthwhile. It was first published in 1993, so there are more chapters that could be added now, but I appreciated Briner’s encouragement for Christians to get out of boycotting and grumbling and into screenwriting (for movies and TV) as well as into journalism and other writing endeavors, along with visual arts and higher education. The biggest weakness, in my opinion, is that Briner doesn’t root his exhortations in the deep soil of God’s sovereignty over all the world, such as a Kuyperian would do. And I disagree with Briner that all of this is the church’s job to manage, though the church should be equipping and encouraging Christian disciples to work, which, I agree with him, the church has not done well. As he said early in the book, “Almost nothing in my church or collegiate experiences presented possibilities for a dynamic, involved Christian life outside the professional ministry.” That’s a need that this book seeks to tackle.
4 of 5 stars to Men and Marriage by George Gilder
Men and Marriage is both perfectly obvious and eerily prophetic, especially since it was published in 1986. Because Gilder doesn’t work from the Bible’s revelation, he can’t celebrate fatherhood as a reflection of the Father, and he misses the purposeful and powerful call to men to be fruitful. Gilder sees marriage as a good thing for men (and women), but mostly as women tame the barbarians. Nevertheless he painstakingly shows how ugly and dangerous and sick societies get when they don’t promote and protect the bond of one man with one woman in marriage with kids to come and care for.
5 of 5 stars to The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
This is some next level temptation insight. I don’t like demons, but I do like snark, so there is a lot to enjoy, even to learn from snarky Uncle Screwtape. Lewis is really good at nailing slippery sinful inner inclinations to the wall, and in this book he does so while also making our spiritual enemies look silly.
5 of 5 stars to On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson
I’m sure there was a day when I would not have enjoyed this book at all. TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY! I thought the names were playful and many of the footnotes were fun (I’ve always wondered how to make booger gruel) and I care about what happens to the Igibys. I’d start rereading it tomorrow if there weren’t three more books in the Saga.
3 of 5 stars to Oedipus the King / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone by Sophocles
Sometimes in Greek tragedy you lose, and sometimes you lose big. Spoiler: Oedipus loses BIG.
5 of 5 stars to The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis
2019: I had to do it, I’m now giving 5 of 5 stars. I reread it because I’m talking about it at our upcoming Fiction Festival, and enjoyed it more than ever.
2018: (4 of 5 stars) There is one page in this book that is the worst. The rest of it creates the right kind of longing to fight, and if necessary die, for Aslan. There is a better home where we belong.
2010: Alright, again, I enjoyed the fiction. What is this world coming to?
Also, I choked up a couple times especially near the end.
3 of 5 stars to The Bacchae and Other Plays by Euripides
2015: We only read The Bacchae (not the “and Other Plays”) but I quite enjoyed it. My pleasure wasn’t in the idolatry, or the madness, or the savagery, but rather the opportunity to celebrate how the Triune God of the Bible is so much more glorious than Dionysius and how He provides true, everlasting joy. Our Lord gives rather than takes, He shares His glory rather than hoards it, He gives wine to gladden hearts rather than deaden hearts, and He forgives the repentant rather than punish all without mercy. This play also makes Lewis’ inclusion of Bacchus as a servant of Aslan in Prince Caspian no small coup.
2019: Read again for Omnibus Tenebras.
5 of 5 stars to You Who? Why You Matter and How to Deal with It by Rachel Jankovic
How could I not give 5 of 5 stars to a book dedicated to my wife?!
To Morgan, a faithful lighthouse on that higher rock.
It is, though, in light of the dedication, sort of ironic that Rachel has an entire chapter against personality tests, while Mo enjoys them, and I’d say uses the insights she gets from them with great wisdom and charity.
I think the review by my oldest daughter and by my friend, Leila, are also helpful.
Though I’m not a woman, and have never wanted to identify as a woman, I am married to one, am a dad to three young ladies, and help shepherd a flock with many females who definitely will benefit from this book.
3 of 5 stars to It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
I liked 37signals from the start. I’ve used Backpack and Highrise and Basecamp, now their primary product and the company’s name. This book had some quite reasonable recommendations for not letting work become god (my words, not theirs). For more, see my wife’s helpful review.