A Fragrant Offering
A Feature Review of 

Warlight: A Novel
Michael Ondaatje

Hardback: Knopf, 2018
Buy Now: 
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]
Reviewed by Grant Currier
Certain places are identifiable purely through our noses: bath houses with their mixture of captive humidity and spearmint; tearooms, bright with a sun that warms the bergamot pears and Assams densely collecting in water; libraries, rich with the aromatic vanillin coming off the old tomes and the nestled scent of peach hand cream imbedded in the spines. Even the ancient Hebrew tabernacle and temple were identified by their smell, indicating you had entered a sublime place of worship, reverence, holiness. Those familiar with Michael Ondaatje’s writing know its redolence; the identifiable fragrance of his sentences almost sears the skin with its pellucid brilliance. There is, on a sentence to sentence level, almost nothing out of place, each pomegranate intentionally placed on the dividing curtain. Like a thurifer offering the perfectly blended incense, Warlight is no exception. To shift the metaphor, Ondaatje sets us into the censer of his writing, steeps us in the world of memory that, burning, brings out the bouquet of all our crushed spices.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Jean Vanier, Karl Barth, Fierce Conversations, MORE )

Each week, we carefully curate a handful of books for church leaders that orient us toward the health and the flourishing of our congregations.

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook


Happiness: A Guide to a Good Life: Aristotle for the New Century 

Jean Vanier

*** $1.99 ***

A helpful bit of philosophy
from the founder of the L’Arche communities… 

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Robert Williamson

Our friend Ragan Sutterfield recently had the opportunity to ask Robert Williamson a few questions about his new book:

The Forgotten Books of the Bible:
Recovering the Five Scrolls for Today
Robert Williamson, Jr.

Paperback: Fortress Press, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Turning Our Attention to the Forgotten

An Interview with Biblical Scholar Robert Williamson
Interviewed by Ragan Sutterfield


Few of of us read the bible in its entirety.  We like to skip around, focusing on those books that show up in our weekly lectionary readings (for Revised Common Lectionary churches) or returning to those favorite books of the Old and New Testaments.  But such reading often steers us away from some of the richest books of the biblical tradition. Thankfully, Robert Williamson helps redirect our attention and appreciation to these scriptures in his new book The Forgotten Books of the Bible: Recovering the Five Scrolls for Today

Ragan Sutterfield: The Bible can be overwhelming with all of the books available for our study and attention.  Why should we spend time with these “forgotten books” (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther) when few Christians have really explored the Torah or major prophetic books?

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Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy books while you are on the go!

While these audiobooks are available through Audible.com, we encourage you to check for them at your local library, where you may be able to listen to them for FREE!

If you find yourself regularly purchasing audiobooks from Audible, you might want to sign up for a subscription,
$14.95/month, plus two FREE audiobooks for signing up!



Here are the best audiobooks that will be released this month…
(Some of these are new books, others are older books just released as audiobooks)

<<<<< Best New Audiobooks
– July 2018



A Light so Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of a Wrinkle in Time 

Sarah Arthur

Read by: Simona Chitescu-Weik
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Aretha Franklin

The sad news broke this morning that Aretha Frankin, the Queen of Soul, had died…

In remembrance of her extraordinary life and work, we offer these seven of our favorite songs.

Do you have other favorites of her songs that should be included here?

*** Albums by Aretha Franklin

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This great new book was released this week…

Playing Changes:
Jazz for the New Century

Nate Chinen

Hardback: Pantheon, 2018
Buy Now:
Amazon ] [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]


*** The starred review of this book
from Publishers Weekly…


Listen to a great NPR interview with the author,
from Morning Edition:

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This excellent collection of poems will be reviewed
in our Fall 2018 magazine issue.  [ SUBSCRIBE NOW ]

Full Worm Moon:

(Poiema Poetry Series)
Julie Moore

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2018.
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


A poem from this collection…


Julie Moore

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This is an important new book on the words we use and the practice of conversation!


*** Watch for an interview
with the author in our
Fall 2018 magazine issue!


We’re giving away THREE copies
of this brand new book:


Learning to Speak God from Scratch:
Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing
–and How We Can Revive Them
Jonathan Merritt

Paperback: Convergent
Enter now to win a copy of this book (It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!) :

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)


Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing–and How We Can Revive Them 

Jonathan Merritt

*** WATCH the trailer video for this book…
We will run an interview with the author
in our Fall 2018 magazine issue!


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Working Together Across Divides

A Feature Review of 

A Flexible Faith:
Rethinking What it Means to Follow Jesus Today
Bonnie Kristian

Paperback: FaithWords, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle


Reviewed by Justin Cober-Lake


In many ways, it’s not a new story: the church continues to divide, members continue to find problems with their own local church or denominations and switch memberships, Protestantism continues to protest. In some ways, though, the old story has taken a new shape: young Christians see rigid teaching in one church they can’t follow or deem theologically unsound, and they leave church altogether. Bonnie Kristian responds to this moment with A Flexible Faith and its look at the variety of views within Christianity. As she says, “I don’t want to see Christians becoming nones because they’ve been falsely told there’s just one way to follow Jesus. That’s why I think there’s a lot of value to introducing Christians to our siblings and even distant cousins in the faith” (6). With that idea in mind, she discusses doctrines, opinions, people, and traditions that show the various ways that Christians have found to explore their faith.

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