Archives For *Excerpts*

 

July 11 marks the 90th Birthday
of one of my favorite writers,
Frederick Buechner!

 

[ ENTER to win a copy of this book ]

 

In honor of the occasion,
here’s an Excerpt from
Buechner’s essay
“Faith and Fiction.”

 
 
This essay can be found in the new book:
Buechner 101:
Essays and Sermons by Frederick Buechner
Intro by Anne Lamott.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

If someone were to come up and ask me to talk about my faith, it is exactly that journey that I would eventually have to talk about—the ups and downs of the years, the dreams, the odd moments, the intuitions. I would have to talk about the occasional sense I have that life is not just a series of events causing other events as haphazardly as a break shot in pool causes the billiard balls to careen off in all directions but that life has a plot the way a novel has a plot, that events are somehow or other leading somewhere. Whatever your faith may be or my faith may be, it seems to me inseparable from the story of what has happened to us, and that is why I believe that no literary form is better adapted to the subject than the form of fiction.

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One of the best new releases of this month is…
 

A Small Porch:
Sabbath Poems 2014 and 2015

Wendell Berry

Hardback: Counterpoint Press, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 

Here’s an excerpt from the book…

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An excerpt from the excellent new book:
 

Setting the World on Fire: The Brief, Astonishing Life of St. Catherine of Siena
Shelley Emling

Hardback: St. Martins, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle  ]

 
*** Read a brief review
by ERB Editor Chris Smith

 
 

In the fourteenth century, Catherine’s public persona as a strong-willed woman   who never backed down was extraordinary to the point of being   freakish. At the time, women were so subservient to men that they   didn’t speak unless spoken to. And when they were spoken to, they   kept their eyes lowered. Legally, women were not allowed to appear in court. They weren’t allowed to hold any public, political or   professional office or to become a member of any of Italy’s influential guilds, such as the dyers’ guild Catherine’s father belonged to.   And they weren’t allowed to wear anything that was not of their   husband’s choosing. Women without brothers were able to inherit   land from their fathers, but they were forced to surrender it to   their husbands as soon as they married. Always, the law excluded   women as second-class citizens. “The good woman was invisible.   She wasn’t supposed to leave the house. She wasn’t even supposed   to be seen standing at the window of the house,” said Elizabeth   Petroff, a professor of comparative literature at the University of   Massachusetts, Amherst. “Yes, people looked askance [at Catherine], but she won them over, many times. She must have been just   what the times needed.”

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Ishi_portrait

 

Did you know that Thomas Merton wrote a book about Native Americans?

Ishi Means Man
Thomas Merton

Paperback Reprint: Paulist Press, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Ishi, the last member of the Yahi, a group of the Yana of California. Widely acclaimed in his time as the “last wild Indian” in America, Ishi lived most of his life completely outside modern culture. (Wikipedia)

In the title essay of Merton’s book, he reflects of the genocidal tendencies of modernity.  Here are the opening pages of that essay…
 
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An excerpt from
this elegant new book…

And It Was Beautiful:
Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-Bye

Kara Tippetts

Paperback: David C. Cook, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Life without a Bucket List

 
I can confidently say that I don’t live with a long list of things I want to do, see, or complete before I’m done in this place. I carried a dream for years of having a farm. I was in love with all things Wendell Berry. I could picture it, the life of routine created by the land and its rhythms. But beyond that I’ve never longed for having a list and checking things off. I’m happy with my old cars, my simple wardrobe, my lack of fancy things and vacations. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good concert, but I also love an organic dance party in my kitchen. I love great food, but I also love a hot dog over the fire pit in my backyard. I love a hike in the mountains, but I also love a walk around the block with my people.

Last week, when I heard I may have another long road to travel on this journey, I turned to Jason and cried. I told him how day after day this place is losing its grip on me. Driving down the street this place sometimes feels so slutty, so wanting my money without a care for my heart. Billboards blare at me what to buy, what to think, how to vote. But the tie that binds me here is relationships. Sickness makes those bonds more real, more important. It’s people who grip my heart.

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This compelling new book releases today:
 

Writing My Wrongs:
Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison

Shaka Senghor

Hardback: Convergent Books, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
 

We are pleased to run this excerpt…

 
 

AFTERWORD

Detroit, Michigan
September 2015

Earlier this year, I was rummaging through the footlocker where I store my journals, letters, and legal documents—the same locker that I carried from prison to prison for 19 years. I was looking for my parole papers when I came across a letter I had gotten from the godmother of my victim, nearly six years into my incarceration. It stopped me in my tracks.
 
The letter, dated July 31, 1997, had arrived during the point of my incarceration when I was torn between old instincts and new possibilities. I wanted to change—but I didn’t want it enough. If you had asked the corrections officers around me that day if they held any hope for me, they would have at least hesitated. More likely, they would have laughed.
 
But not the woman whose family I had shattered by a bullet. She had hope. She believed that transformation could happen, even for me.
 
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Very excited about this new book, which drops today…

 

The Gospel According to
David Foster Wallace:
Boredom and Addiction
in an Age of Distraction

Adam S. Miller

Paperback: Bloomsbury, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 

Even if you disavow religion … altogether, you can’t avoid worship. The impulse to worship is a human problem, not a religious problem. “In the day to day trenches of adult life,” Wallace reminds us, “there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not  worshiping. Everybody worships.” Try as you might there’s no place to hide from your yen for transcendence. And, more, there’s no place to hide from the consequences of its failure. Choose your gods wisely but pretty much anything you worship “will eat you alive.” Getting eaten alive by your [gods] is part of what it means to be human.

 

Read more:

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Today is the birthday of Jewish theologian Martin Buber, born 1878.

In honor of the occasion, here is an excerpt from his important book:

I and Thou
Martin Buber

First Translated to English, 1937
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [  Kindle ]

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Simone_Weil_06

Today is the birthday of twentieth-century French philosopher Simone Weil, born 1909.

Here’s a wonderful and concise overview of why Weil’s work matters, and especially to Christians.

This is Leslie Fiedler’s introduction to Weil’s book:

Waiting For God
Simone Weil

Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

*** Other Books by Simone Weil

 

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Tomorrow is the birthday of Francis Schaeffer… 

I never really got into most of his work; I found him too much of a modernist, but there were two books of his that I still have a deep appreciation for… 

Here are excerpts from these books…

Art and the Bible
Francis Schaeffer

IVP Books, 1973.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

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