Archives For Fiction


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…)


Louisiana’s Way Home 

Kate DiCamillo

*** READ a brief interview with the author about this book


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Nods toward Transcendence 
A Feature Review of

Ball Lightning:
A Novel
Cixin Liu

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

Reviewed by Jacob Reynold Jones
It is only the most accomplished science fiction author who successfully networks theory and praxis, weaving a compelling narrative out of the process of science itself.

Cixin Liu’s Ball Lightning is, like much good sci-fi, a discussion of technology’s implications in war and the broader culture, as well as a reflection on the culture of science and its effects in our everyday lives. What sets this novel apart is that it is also the the story of an engineering problem and its solution–a solution that ultimately results in radical applications, with more than a smattering of theological undertones that may interest religious readers in both pantheistic and Abrahamic traditions.

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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…)


Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God 

Ruth Haley Barton

*** WATCH a trailer video for this book


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The Healing Balm
Our Wounded Souls Require.
A Feature Review of 

A Novel

Silas House

Hardback: Algonquin Books, 2018
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible  ]

Reviewed by Daniel Ogle


It just makes sense that a book about a Pentecostal preacher begins with a flood. Since the days of Noah, floods, storms and rain that just won’t quit have served as the backdrop for all kinds of sermons from all kinds of preachers.

In Southernmost, the hauntingly beautiful and urgently necessary novel from Silas House, Asher Sharp’s life is upended by a flood, of well, Biblical proportions. The waters rage as a storm turns the river near his Tennessee home into a destructive force. In the search for a beloved dog, Asher and his son, Justin, encounter two gay men.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Dallas Willard, Diana Butler Bass, Wendell Berry,  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

Ebook / Audiobook Deals

from Amazon’s monthly sale!!! 
(September 2018)



Evil and the Justice of God 

N.T. Wright

*** $3.99 ***

Important book that wrestles with
one of the most pressing questions of our faith. 

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Evoking a life of shalom

A Review of 

Telling the Stories Right:
Wendell Berry’s
Imagination of Port William
Jack R. Baker and Jeffrey Bilbro, eds.

Paperback: Front Porch Republic 2018.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Allan F. Brooke II


Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks. These are the instructions for telling our stories right, and stories told in this way compel us to tend the splintered life of goodness that shines through the cracks of our wounded world.
– “Introduction,” Telling the Stories Right, xiv


Wendell Berry, respected author and essayist, is also known for his fiction, including eight novels and over fifty short stories which form an overlapping composite history of the fictional Kentucky farming community of Port William, and the “membership” of individuals and families who have lived and died there since the Civil War. The narratives need not be read in order, and the reader will find accounts of the same events from different characters (or the same characters) at different times and with different emphases. Several of the novels focus on a single character (e.g. Nathan Coulter, Jayber Crow, Hannah Coulter, Andy Catlett), and track the whole, or a part of his or her life in the community. Berry’s first novel was published in 1960 and his most recent in 2006, though he has continued to produce Port William short stories up through last year. (Consider the breadth of a life of fiction spanning from To Kill a Mockingbird to The Dog Stars.)
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Last night, I finished reading Karen Swallow Prior’s excellent new book:


On Reading Well:
Finding the Good Life
through Great Books
Karen Swallow Prior

Hardback: Brazos Press, 2018.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle


The book is excellent. I wholeheartedly agree with Prior’s description of reading as a practice that forms virtue in us.

My only regret was that I hadn’t read (or recently read) a number of the novels that she explores in the book


Read the
Book’s Introduction:

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The Free and the Lost.
A Review of

The Mars Room:
A Novel

Rachel Kushner

Hardback: Scribner, 2018
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ KindleAudible ]

Reviewed by Grant Currier


I won’t lie to you and say I didn’t devour Rachel Kushner’s newest novel; I did. Gorged myself on its lucid prose and somber setting that spread over the crispness of even its vulgar passages like frosting over a hot cake. During Epiphany, thousands of New Orleanians partake of their carnival bread, the king cake in which a minuscule baby doll is typically placed as an act of symbolism. As I read The Mars Room, I felt I was feeding on a literary king cake searching for the trinketry of a plastic baby Jesus, for the rich symbolism of humanity’s suffering and redemption. My fingers became almost sticky with the text’s messiness, but I kept eating believing I would find the doll, the redemption, but with the entirety of the novel digested, I have to confront the empty promise, though the book is not without its delicacies.

To be fair, Kushner’s novel makes no such promises of redemption. Her ingredients are more fractional, providing a plot as thinly salubrious as wheat germ (escape from prison), and populating the narrative with characters as substantial as garnish, with few if any being fully cooked characters.

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With the Labor Day weekend upon us, here are the 25 new books that we are most eager to read this fall…

Thanks to our Contributing Editor John Wilson for some of these recommendations!

[ Theology ] [ Fiction ] [ Gen. Nonfiction ]  [ Literary ]
[ Place ]   [ Poetry / Young Readers ]


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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…)


A Peculiar Orthodoxy: Reflections on Theology and the Arts 

Jeremy Begbie

*** READ the Introduction to this book…
   (via Google Books)


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