Book Review: Real Marriage

Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012. 236 pp) Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. He was named one of the “25 Most Influential Pastors of the Past 25 Years” by Preaching Magazine. He received a B.A. in Speech Communication from Washington State University, and holds an M.A. in Exegetical Theology from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of fifteen books. Grace Driscoll is Mark’s loving wife, and a fellow founder of Mars Hill Church. My Indie Rock Church Photo by Mars Hill Church In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been going to Mars Hill Church in… Read More →

Book Review: The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers: A Novel by Patrick deWitt (New York: Ecco Publishing, 2011. 336 pp) Born on Vancouver Island in 1975, Patrick deWitt is the author of Ablutions: Notes for a Novel. Currently living in Oregon, deWitt has also lived in California and Washington. His latest novel, The Sisters Brothers, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Giller Prize. Man Booker: A Controversy Last year, the Man Booker Prize committee encountered controversy when they proclaimed that the books shortlisted for the prize “had to zip along”. For many readers who value the artistic merit of such literary prizes, a quick-moving novel represented populist entertainment. This debate between art and entertainment cuts to the core of my reading pleasures…. Read More →

Book Review: The Magician King

The Magician King by Lev Grossman (New York: Viking Press, 2010. 400 pp.) Born in 1969, Lev Grossman has a degree in literature from Harvard, and spent three years at Yale in the Ph.D. program in comparative literature. He writes for TIME as their book reviewer and as one of its technology writers. Codex (2004) became an international bestseller, and The Magicians (2009) was named one of the best books of 2009 by The New Yorker. In August of 2001, he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He also has a wife and two daughters. Sequels are Dangerous Sequels are a dangerous thing. In looking at literature throughout the ages, sequels fall into one of two… Read More →

Book Review: God of the Possible

God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God by Gregory A. Boyd (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000. 176 pp The founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church, Greg Boyd received his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, his M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, and his B.A. from the University of Minnesota. In addition to teaching at Bethel University, Boyd founded Christus Victor Ministries, a nonprofit organization that promotes Boyd’s writing and speaking. He is a recognized theologian and author of numerous books including best-seller, Letters from a Skeptic. Married to his wife Shelley for 28 years, Gregory resides in St. Paul, Minnesota. When Bible Study Becomes Scary When I was young, my parents hosted a… Read More →

Book Review: Honolulu

Honolulu by Alan Brennert (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 2009. 360 pp) Born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California, Alan Brennert received a Bachelor’s degree in English from California State University at Long Beach. In addition to novels, Brennert writes short stories, screenplays, teleplays, and musicals. For his work on L.A. Law, he was awarded an Emmy in 1991. During his career, Brennert has also won a People’s Choice Award and a Nebula Award. I love Hawai’i Hawai’i is one of my favorite places. I visited several times during my childhood, and even spent my honeymoon on the secluded tropical paradise of Kauai. Last year, I read and briefly reviewed Moloka’i by Alan Brennert, and absolutely loved it…. Read More →

Film Review: Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris directed by Woody Allen (Gravier Productions, Mediapro, Televisió de Catalunya, PG-13, 94 minutes) Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, and Marion Cotillard. Why Facebook Causes Covetousness With the advent of Facebook, a new form of the grass-is-greener mentality flowers from the ever-present news feed. Each day when we access our social media, we observe the seemingly wonderful and sometimes over-the-top lives of our friends, family, and acquaintances. Acutely aware of our own mundane existence, we see these contacts and covet their lifestyles. This person got promoted; that person bought a house; this family has a child; that family travels Europe; I’m sitting on a couch; woe is me. In Woody Allen’s new movie, Midnight in Paris,… Read More →

Book Review: Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2010. 326 pp) Born in 1972, Paolo Bacigalupi is a science fiction and fantasy writer. He has won the Hugo, Nebula, Compton Crook, Theodore Sturgeon, and Michael L. Printz awards, and has been nominated for the National Book Award. His most famous work, The Windup Girl was named one of the top ten books of 2009 by Time Magazine. Dystopia  Dystopian novels always reveal something about the human condition, and that’s why I tend to gravitate toward them. I read not for a love of seeing what the world would be if it fell into disarray, but to catch slight glimpses of the human condition put against the backdrop… Read More →

Film Review: Senna

Senna directed by Asif Kapadia (Universal Pictures, Studio Canal, and Working Title Films, PG-13, 106 minutes) Starring Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Frank Williams, and Ron Dennis. Motor Sports in the Blood Whenever I feel the need to impress a new acquaintance, I often find myself telling stories of my dad and uncles. You see, my father (before he met my mother) raced hydroplanes. As a child, my dad would take me to the pits during Seafair and while I marveled at the loud engines and sleek boat frames, my dad would socialize with drivers, mechanics, and boat owners. Both of my uncles to this day dabble in motor sports. Whether go-karts or open-wheeled Formula Four vehicles, my uncles have the… Read More →

Book Review: The Tiger’s Wife

The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel by Téa Obreht (New York: Random House, 368 pp) Born in 1985 in the former Yugoslavia, Téa Obreht grew up in Cyprus and Egypt before immigrating to the United States in 1997. Her writing is published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Zoetrope: All-Story, The New York Times, and The Guardian. Her first novel, The Tiger’s Wife, won the 2011 Orange Prize. She has been named by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty and included in The National Book Foundation’s list of 5 Under 35. Téa Obreht lives in Ithaca, New York. Faith or Reason With the death of famed author and theist critic Christopher Hitchens… Read More →

Book Review: Medium Raw

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain (New York: Harper Collins Books, 2010. 281 pp) Anthony Bourdain, born in 1956, attended Vassar College and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. He has worked as a cook and chef in many institutions strewn across the New York City map. Bourdain contributes articles to the Times, New York Times, Observer, the Face, Scotland on Sunday, and Food Arts Magazine. An addition to Kitchen Confidential, he has written two crime novels – Gone Bamboo and Bone in the Throat. Bourdain was the executive chef at Brassiere Les Halles and is currently the host of the Travel Channel program: Anthony Bourdain: No… Read More →