Archives For Culture

 

This Sunday, May 28, marks the 101st birthday of novelist Walker Percy.  In honor of the occasion, we offer this introductory reading guide to his work.

We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and we offer a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.

1)  The Moviegoer: A Novel

 
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The Juncture of the Ordinary and the Extraordinary

A Review of 

Sheds
Howard Mansfield

Photographs by Joanna Eldredge Morrissey
Paperback: Bauhan, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]

 
Reviewed by Pam Kittredge
 

In his book, Sheds, author Howard Mansfield writes, sheds might be “the shortest line between need and shelter.” Mansfield’s book then expands on this conjecture, exploring sheds through the lenses of architecture, history and culture. He shows sheds in a variety of places, with a variety of purposes, across time.

Mansfield’s sheds form their own wildly diverse landscape of shapes and colors, of uses and purposes. Once we have observed this diversity through the author’s eyes, it seems to be everywhere. At least in New England where I live, and where Mansfield finds many of his examples, the shed is ubiquitous.

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This is a running list of the books that ERB editor Chris Smith has reviewed this year.

It will regularly be updated.

Some reviews linked here are snippets / adaptations of longer reviews that have appeared in the print ERB magazine or other publications…

 

TOP 3 BOOKS (SO FAR)

   

 
 


REVIEWED

(Starting with the most recent)

Feb. 22

Race & Place

David Leong

5 STARS

Review: 
How Racism Saturates the
Structures of our Daily Lives

 
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This week marks the release of the latest book by Makoto Fujimura, the renowned artist and author!

 
In honor of its release, we’re giving away
THREE copies of this new book…
 

Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life
by Makoto Fujimura
Paperback: IVP Books

 
 

Enter to win a copy of this book!

Enter now to win (It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!) :

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Over the course of last year, I set aside a number of books that I wanted to read because I knew that they would make significant contributions to public conversations, but I knew that they would require some time and effort to read carefully and well.

I’m hoping to read a number of these 10 books over the coming year…

By ERB Editor, C. Christopher Smith

(In alphabetical order by author’s last name…)

PAGE 1 OF 5

The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts

Cameron Anderson

Paperback, IVP Academic

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2017Watch

With 2017 almost upon us, here are the 30 new books that we are most eager to read…

Due to the nature of publishers’ catalogs, this list only spans the first half of the year.  We will do a similar list in June for the second half of the year.

[ Top Ten ] [ Fiction ]  [ Theology ]
[ Praxis ] [ Culture ]  

TOP TEN (Part 1):

These titles are arranged in alphabetical order by the author’s last name…

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The Human Desire to Love and Belong
 
 
A Review of 
 

Today Will Be Different: A Novel
Maria Semple


Hardback: Little, Brown and Co., 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Abram Kielsmeier-Jones
 
 
 
Eleanor Flood’s day is about to be different—but not in the proactive way she had committed to. Today she wants to be her “best self,” because “the other way wasn’t working” (7).

A writer and illustrator, Eleanor lives in Seattle with her eight-year-old son Timby (Timby?), a forgotten and forgettable dog Yo-Yo, and her husband Joe, well-loved hand surgeon to the Seattle Seahawks.

The book begins with the kind of vow busy parents will immediately identify with:

Today will be different. Today I will be present. Today, anyone I speak to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply. (3)

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Places of Time, Attention and Togetherness
 
A Review of 

Come to the Family Table:
Slowing Down to Enjoy Food, Each Other, and Jesus

Ted and Amy Cunningham

Paperback: NavPress, 2016.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Janna Lynas
 
 
Looking back, it’s where I grew up: around a table, food the impetus that lured me in and fed my belly. But the people and the stories were what kept me there and fed my heart. Prayer first, food next, then a question asked or a memory shared.  The book cover condenses the main premise nicely: “The family table is where parents model Christ’s love, grandparents provide wisdom, children experience a sense of belonging and friends enjoy hospitality” And so Come to the Family Table, by Ted and Amy Cunningham shares personal experiences of a hurried lifestyle that caused an intentional slowing and time at the table with not only their children but the other people in their life that need their time and attention.

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Against Nostalgia

 
A Feature Review of
 

The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in an Age of Individualism
Yuval Levin

Hardback: Basic Books, 2016.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by Ben Brazil

 

“Make America Great Again” is Donald Trump’s slogan, but it conveys a sentiment that reaches far beyond his supporters: that our nation is diminished. The Right laments moral decline, while the Left bemoans rising economic inequality.  Everyone agrees that we have, somehow, lost what is essential.

Such pervasive nostalgia, however, is actually near the root of our problems, argues conservative intellectual Yuval Levin in The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in an Age of Individualism. Moving forward, he contends, requires that we focus on the achievements, the problems, and the possibilities of our current, fractured society.

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Shattering our views
of Criminal Offenders

A Review of

Where The River Bends: Considering Forgiveness in the Lives of Prisoners. 
Michael McRay

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle  ] 

 

Reviewed By Paul D. Gregory

 

In the documentary “What I want my words to do to you,” American playwright and activist Eve Ensler spoke of the metamorphosis in her thinking about incarcerated women in the Bedford Correctional Institution in Bedford Massachusetts. Similar to most of society, Ensler originally viewed these incarcerated women as “mistakes” saying:

 

“Everyone is here at Bedford because of a mistake. Some of those mistakes occurred within months—some within minutes. Most of the mistakes were dreadful, catastrophic. Now we [society] have frozen you in your mistake. Marked you forever. Held captive. Discarded. Hated for your mistake. You have essentially been forced to become your mistake, the walking daily embodiment of your mistake. Held in the monument constructed to punish mistakes. Before I came here to Bedford, I imagined you the women here—mistakes lying on mistake cots behind steel mistake bars. Mistakes do not have faces or feelings or histories or futures. They are bad. Mistakes. We must forget them—put them away” [ 1 ]

 

Most of the mistakes we make are forgivable. A young man fails to show up for his weekly coffee date with his best friend. A young woman breaks off her engagement to her significant other. We unthinkingly berate a coworker, causing hurt to her/him. Forgiveness is granted for a large majority of our own mistakes.

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