Book Review: Home

Home by Marilynne Robinson

Home: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson (New York: Picador, 2008. 336 pp) Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, Marilynne Robinson earned her B.A. at Pembroke College and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington. She currently teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her work has received numerous awards, notably the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Pulitzer Prize, and a National Humanities Medal. True to Identity Marilynne Robinson gets all the props. In her small, fictitious town of Gilead, Robinson conjures the truth of humanity in all its frailty and detail. When considering a story, plot often represents the easy portion. A death propels the protagonist toward the end… Read More →

Book Review : The Son

The Son: A Novel by Philipp Meyer (New York: Harper Collins, 2013. 561 pp) Philipp Meyer is the author of the critically lauded novel American Rust, winner of the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was an Economist Book of the Year, a Washington Post top ten book of the year, and a New York Times Notable Book. He is a graduate of Cornell University and has an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a James A. Michener Fellow. A native of Baltimore, he now lives mostly in Texas. The Wild West I can’t say I would agree with the Wild West. I don’t really like camping, though I’ll do it. I’ve shot a gun (and was strangely accurate with it, I… Read More →

Film Review: A Good Year

A Good Year directed by Ridley Scott , written by Marc Klein (screenplay) and Peter Mayle (novel) (Fox 2000 Pictures and Scott Free Productions, PG-13, 117 minutes) Starring Russell Crowe, Abbie Cornish and Albert Finney. Gastro-Romanticism One would normally think a reunion between director Ridley Scott and actor Russell Crowe would result in another action film, like Gladiator. However, the duo paired up not for an action flick, but for a French-country inspired gastro-romantic film A Good Year. Being purely honest, while I enjoyed it, it was predictable. Adapted from Peter Mayle’s book of the same name, the movie opens with a young Max Skinner (Freddie Highmore) sitting at his Uncle Henry (Albert Finney)’s French wine estate. In a moment of naked foreshadowing, Uncle Henry remarks that wine is “incapable of lying.” We then get… Read More →

Film Discussion: Skyfall

Skyfall written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan; directed by Sam Mendes (MGM, Danjaq, and Eon Productions, PG-13, 143 minutes) Starring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Bérénice Marlohe. We Meet Again, Bond Skyfall finds James Bond (Daniel Craig) presumed dead after a mission gone wrong. M (Judy Dench) makes the call to fire upon a mercenary whom Bond has tracked down. The catch, however, is that Bond is in the crosshairs of another agent. Battling this mercenary, there is no clean shot for Bond’s fellow agent, Eve (Naomie Harris). Upon taking the shot on M’s order, she hits Bond. A few months later and connected to the mission leading to Bond’s MIA… Read More →

Book Review: Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change by Paul David Tripp (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2002.  348 pp) Paul David Tripp is a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation in Glendale, Pa. and a lecturer in practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. How People Change vs. Instruments As a review of How People Change has already been written on this blog, I felt it necessary to review its companion Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands.  The first thing that is needed to be said is that if you read How People Change, you should have read this book instead. How People Change focuses on the hard circumstances in life and how… Read More →

Album Review: Babel

Babel by Mumford & Sons (Island Records, 2012. 52 minutes) More Banjo! I’ve been listening to two albums almost non-stop for about a week now, and the two could not be more diametrically opposed to one another. The first, embodied in this review is the new Mumford & Sons album, Babel. I have mixed feelings about the album, and the first is encapsulated by a fake quote a friend of mine posted as his Facebook status. “You know what this song needs? More banjo!” – Mumford & Sons The statement, while tongue-in-cheek, is incredibly true. The stereotypical Mumford sound is formulaic at its best. This bugs me. It probably bugs me because I’m an intellectual hipster at my core, and… Read More →