Television Show Review: Mad Men Season 4

Mad Men: Season 4 created by Matthew Weiner (Lionsgate Television, Weiner Bros., and American Movie Classics) Starring Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Ross, Vincent Karthieser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, and John Slatterly. “The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.” — George Eliot Self Help. Shelves upon shelves are dedicated to this topic in libraries and bookstores across America. Daytime talk shows hosted by professionals with large personalities and larger degrees find popularity by focusing on this subject. It is the magical panacea capable of granting health, wealth, and relational success. You make the difference in the world and you are weak if you request help. Is another offshoot of Chicken Soup for the Soul capable of curing the turpitude… Read More →

Book Review: The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (New York: HarperFlamengo, 1998. 560 pp) Born in 1955 in rural Kentucky, Barbara Kingsolver earned biology degrees from DePauw University and the University of Arizona. Beginning in 1985, Kingsolver began writing as a freelancer and author. Starting with The Bean Trees in 1988 and Lacuna functioning as the most recent bookend in 2009, Kingsolver’s works have been translated into more than two dozen languages and adopted into high school curriculum. Kingsolver contributes essays and reviews in many renowned newspapers and magazines. She has received numerous awards including, the national book award of South Africa, the James Beard Award, and the National Humanities Medal. Kingsolver lives on a farm in Southern Appalachia with her husband,… Read More →

Album Review: Barton Hollow

Barton Hollow by the Civil Wars (Sensibility Music, 2011. 40 minutes) An indie-folk duo composed of Joy Williams and John Paul White, the Nashville-based band, the Civil Wars, formed after the two met at a songwriters camp. Having found success previously as solo artists, Williams and White discovered an instant connection allowing them to release a live recording of their second gig as a free download titled,Live at Eddie’s Attic. Partnering with producer Charlie Peacock, the band started recording its first studio EP, Poison and Wine. The band first encountered national recognition when the song, “Poison and Wine,” from the debut EP played in its entirety over a climactic montage on Grey’s Anatomy. Barton Hollow is the band’s first release… Read More →

Book Review: Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart (New York: North Point Press, 2002. 208 pp) Known best for his work in sustainable architecture and design, William McDonough is a world leader in sustainable business practices. Winner of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the National Design Award, and the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, McDonough’s philosophies on sustainability find popularity amongst companies desiring to go green. Additionally, McDonough is the founder of William McDonough + Partners, an international architecture firm, and co-founder with this book’s co-author of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). Michal Braungart is a German chemist who, in addition to co-founding MBDC, founded EPEA International Umweltforschung GmbH. Braungart holds the… Read More →

Album Review: Mine Is Yours

Mine Is Yours by Cold War Kids (Interscope, 2011. 44 minutes) Based in Long Beach, California, Cold War Kids is an American indie rock band featuring Nathan Willett, Jonnie Russel, Matt Maust, and Matt Aveiro. Formed in 2004 at Biola University, the band released its first EPs in 2005. After signing with Downtown Records in 2006, Cold War Kids released Robbers & Cowards to critical acclaim. Mine Is Yours, the band’s latest effort was released on Interscope Records in 2011. Made for the Radio In Cold War Kids’ latest release, Mine Is Yours, a gritty, blues-based indie sound is replaced with catchy and accessible tunes. Employing Jacquire King (he has worked previously with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, and Modest… Read More →

Book Review: All the Pretty Horses

All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. 302 pp) Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in 1933. One of six children, Cormac’s family moved multiple times in his childhood as his father accepted different occupations. In 1951, McCarthy attended the University of Tennessee majoring in Liberal Arts. Midway through his studies, McCarthy served in the Air Force for four years. After his service, McCarthy returned to college writing his first short stories. In 1959 and 1960, he won the Ingram-Merrill Award for Creative Writing. Mccarthy’s first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965. Several years, grants, and fellowships later, McCarthy published Suttree, Blood Meridian, and All the Pretty Horses marking his rise… Read More →

Book Review: Ecological Intelligence

Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything, by Daniel Goleman (New York: Broadway Books, 2009. 288 pp) As a psychologist, Daniel Goleman writes and lectures to students and working professionals on brain and behavioral sciences. Born in California in 1946, Goleman split his time as an undergraduate between Amherst College and the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a B.A. from Amherst in anthropology. Through a scholarship from the Ford Foundation, Goleman attended the clinical psychology program at Harvard and pursued doctoral research on meditation as an intervention in stress arousal. Goleman’s post-doctoral grant from the Social Science Research Council later became his first book, The Meditative Mind. Taking a job with Psychology Today, Goleman became interested in full-time writing, publishing articles with The New York… Read More →

Book Review: Why Business Matters to God

Why Business Matters to God (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed) By Jeff Van Duzer (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2010. 206 pp) Jeff Van Duzer is the dean of Seattle Pacific University’s School of Business and Economics. Previously, he practiced law for more than 20 years with a large international law firm concentrating in commercial transactions and environmental law. Van Duzer received his J.D. from Yale Law School. He writes and speaks frequently in both church and professional settings. Separate Spheres, Like the Sun and Moon In most home, work, and church settings, a clear disconnect exists between Christianity and business. In general, the average Christian relegates his or her faith to the personal sphere. Beliefs and practices resulting… Read More →

Book Review: C

C: A Novel by Tom McCarthy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 320 pp) Tom McCarthy was born in London and raised in Greenwich. Educated at Dulwich College and New College, Oxford, McCarthy worked as a literary editor for Time Out. In 2005, his debut novel, Remainder, received critical acclaim. He has published numerous essays, articles, and stories in The Observer, The Times Literary Supplement, The London Review of Books, Artforum, and The New York Times. McCarthy’s latest novel, C, was nominated for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. Bugs! The thorax is an interesting part of an insect’s body; it connects the head to the abdomen and provides the insect with it sectionalized look. Each section of the body is… Read More →

Book Review: The Art of the Commonplace

The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry by Wendell Berry; edited by Norman Wirzba (Berkley: Counterpoint, 2002. 352 pp) Born in rural Kentucky, Wendell Berry is a farmer, critic, and prolific author. He has published many works in novels, essays, poems, and short stories genres. Berry received his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky before attending Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program. He obtained a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and taught English at New York University before taking a position on faculty at the University of Kentucky.  After a decade of teaching, Berry purchased a farm in the Kentucky countryside where he currently works and writes about the virtues of connecting with the land…. Read More →