Summer Book Briefs

I’m trying something slightly new and gimmicky with these seasonal book blurbs. For brevity’s sake, I’ll try to give my thoughts in 140 characters or fewer, Twitter style.

All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy (1992) // Well deserving of the National Book Award it won. Not as dark as some of his other books (e.g. No Country for Old Men), but still powerful.

Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer – Maureen Ogle (2007) // Unlike best selling American beers, this wasn’t as light as I anticipated. A detailed, engaging history of the American business of beer.

The Book of the Dun Cow – Walter Wangerin (2003) // Fantastic. Rich in symbolism, but not a strict allegory. Think Animal Farm meets Chaucer meets Lord of the Rings. Possibly my favorite of the year.

Christians are Hate-filled Hypocrites, and Other Lies You’ve Been Told – Bradley R.E. Wright (2010) // Helpful in debunking negative statistics bandied about carelessly by Christians and non Christians alike. Repetitive, but careful and witty.

The Dragon’s Tooth – N.D. Wilson (2011) // I wish this young adult title got half as much press as The Hunger Games. An intelligent page turner that’s loads of fun.

Hire on a Whim: Four Qualities that Make for Great Employees – Garrett Miller (2010) // Very helpful book by a good friend. We implemented his framework in the library to hire two great employees this summer.

The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap Between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness – Kevin DeYoung (2012) // In the running for best book of the year. Short, but so good. Full review here.

Jesus Loves the Little Children: Why We Baptize Children – Daniel Hyde (2012) // Succinct, clear introduction to infant baptism. Like his other books, it’s biblically and confessionally saturated, patient, and pastoral.

Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman (1855) // I had high expectations, but wasn’t as engrossed as I was hoping. Some brilliant moments, but some dull ones, too.

The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men – Richard Phillips (2009) // Enjoyable and challenging. Refreshing to read a non-Wilson book for men that was as good as Wilson, but different. Highly recommended.

A Shot of Faith (To the Head): Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists) – Mitch Stokes (2012) // Full review here. Good and meaty. I really enjoyed this, especially for its wit, depth, and accessibility. Part two on science was especially outstanding.

Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters – N.T. Wright (2011) // Well written and accessible. I’m grateful for a lifetime of teaching that made much of this book more a reminder than profoundly new.

What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage – Paul David Tripp (2010) // Insightful and earnest, though could have been 100 pages shorter. Tripp’s focus on grace, forgiveness, and selfishness was excellent.

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