4Q13 Book Briefs

These are the books I read from October through December, 2013. My next list of quarterly reading is available by clicking here.

Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies – Marilyn Chandler McEntyre (2009); Print // I picked this up on recommendation from a Sandra McCracken concert. McEntyre is a curator of words, and this was a joy to read. She argues for the utility, potency, and urgency of words and the preservation of language. An even more important warning cry given the current dominance of texting and social media.

Catch 22 – Joseph Heller (1961); Print // After merely skimming the Cliff’s Notes in high school, I’m glad I finally read this modern classic. Well-written with a strong sense of irony and wordplay while presenting gut-wrenching character studies of soldiers in World War II. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who’s Lived It – Matthew Berry (2013); Print // I had such high hopes for this book as a fantasy sports fanatic, but it fell far short. Funny at times and irreverent more often, it is basically the author’s egotistical autobiography interspersed among fantasy sports anecdotes submitted by his fans from around the country.

In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life – Sinclair Ferguson (2007); Kindle // Okay. A collection of Tabletalk and other similar columns that seemed disjointed and only loosely related. If read as separate entities, each chapter is decent on its own merits.

The Mind of the Maker – Dorothy Sayers (1941); Print // Recommended by and borrowed from a friend much smarter than I. Dense and beautifully argued treatment of the artist/writer as analogical to the Trinity. Sayers presents the best earthly analogy of the Trinity I’ve ever come across, as it runs circles around the Bible camp analogies of an egg or the states of water.

Right Ho, Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse (1922); Kindle // Romping good time, as Wodehouse always is. I’ve been making more of a concerted effort to incorporate “Right ho” into my regular vocabulary since reading this one.

Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert – Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (2012); Kindle // Read for discussion group. Intensely personal, Butterfield recounts her “train wreck” conversion not for accolade’s or publicity’s sake, but for God’s glory. Really good in that regard, though strongly worded chapters on exclusive psalmody and homeschooling (though not bad) seemed out of place.

Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation – Joel Beeke & William Boekestein (2013); Print // Well done short devotional on the meaning of Christ’s incarnation and its myriad implications. Soaked in Scripture, and it especially evidences the authors’ mastery of the Psalms and their ultimate fulfillment in Christ.

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