Archives For Marilynne Robinson


Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(Marilynne Robinson, Flannery O’Connor, Bonhoeffer, MORE)

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


Gilead: A Novel

Marilynne Robinson

*** $4.99***

Other books by Marilynne Robinson that are also on sale… 




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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…)


The Givenness of Things: Essays

By Marilynne Robinson

Read two sample essays from this collection


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This week marked the launch of a book that we are very excited about…

… Marilynne Robinson’s latest book of essays!

Have you bought a copy yet?

The Givenness of Things: Essays
Marilynne Robinson

Hardback: FSG Books, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]


Since Saturday October 31 is Reformation Day, we thought it would be appropriate to share Robinson’s essay “Reformation” from this new book…
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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…)

> > > >
Next Book

Lila: A Novel

by Marilynne Robinson

Read the NY Times Review

Read an excerpt of this book here

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Marilynne Robinson

For many of our readers, the most anticipated book of 2014 is Marilynne Robinson’s new novel LILA, the third in her series set in Gilead, Iowa.

“This third of three novels set in the fictional plains town of Gilead, Iowa, is a masterpiece of prose in the service of the moral seriousness that distinguishes Robinson’s work . . . Lila is a superb creation.”  – Publishers Weekly

[ Top 10 Online Recordings of Marilynne Robinson ]

*** Books by Marilynne Robinson

You can now get a sneak peek of LILA! 
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Marilynne Robinson

This fall promises the release of LILA, a new novel by Marilynne Robinson,

which among many readers of the ERB, seems to be the most anticipated new release of the season.  As we all await its release, we are delighted to offer this Top 10 list of online recordings of Marilynne Robinson, which includes interviews, readings and lectures!

Don’t miss the video of her appearance with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, which ends in typical form with quite the zinger!!!

*** Books by Marilynne Robinson ***

Hope you enjoy these recordings!

#10 – Reading from GILEAD

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As a follow-up to yesterday’s list of the 25 best books from the first half of 2014, here are 25 Books to Watch for in the Second Half of 2014.


Fiction | General Non-Fiction | Poetry | Christian Theology/Praxis

Fiction Books:

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Top Ten Books Every Pastor Should Read
ERB Playlist #3
Compiled by Todd Edmondson

This is the third in an on-going series of “playlists,” in which we recommend books around a particular theme.

“Making a mixtape (or playlist) is the opposite of indifferent. It’s heartfelt, purposeful — often a subtle form of flirtation. … [The playlist] is a way of making yourself known, an interpersonal form of show business, of making news, of replicating sounds and words you find important. It’s like poetry, because poetry is what you can’t say in any other way.”
– David Dark, The Sacredness of Questioning Everything
(Our 2009 Book of the Year. Read our Review…)

*** A Recent essay by ERB editor Chris Smith on a theology of the playlist

[ Previous Playlist – #2 Best Agrarian Books ]

*** Watch for more ERB playlists in the coming weeks and months…

( With Christmas right around the corner,
these books would make great gifts for pastors in your church/family!)

This list is ordered alphabetically by title…


Top Ten Books for Pastors1. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope [ Buy now:  Amazon // Kindle – FREE! ] Writing in an era in which novelists could afford to be both earnest and clever, Trollope crafted, in his Chronicles of Barsetshire a brilliant, satirical portrait of English society in all its beautiful and frustrating complexity. But the character who will likely make the greatest impression on the lucky reader who picks up this second novel in the series for the first time will be Mr. Slope, the ambitious clergyman invariably described–by Trollope, by his contemporaries, and by readers in the decades hence–as oily. This chaplain, who is all too willing to enter into the ecclesiastical power struggles that provide one of the major storylines of the novel, is the kind of character that will be (lamentably) recognizable to any pastor, or to anyone who has spent much time in the church at all. As an added bonus, in the excellent film version of the series, Alan Rickman plays Mr. Slope, as only Alan Rickman could.


2. Darkness Visible by William Styron [ Buy now:  Amazon // Kindle ] In a completely different vein, this slim “memoir of madness” by the acclaimed novelist provides one of the most intense, revelatory depictions of what it feels like to wrestle with depression that I have ever read. It is not a pleasant read. It’s certainly not fun. But it draws readers into an experience that every pastor should seek to understand.


3. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson [ Buy now:  Amazon // Kindle ] In the interest of doing something unexpected, I really wanted to select a less obvious choice from Robinson here–Housekeeping is one of the finest novels of the twentieth century–but I simply can’t avoid this one, the theologically rich, elegantly crafted, Pulitzer-prize-winning novel about John Ames, an Iowa pastor in the final years of his life. Last year, at a book signing for Home, which functions as a companion piece to Gilead, I stood in line and wondered what I was going to say to this author whose novels just completely floor me each time I read them. When I got my chance, all that came out was “Thank you for making the life of a pastor seem beautiful.” That’s really all I can say about this work.

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Marilynne Robinson is one of the keynote speakers at next week’s Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College. We are very excited about her newest book, which was reviewed by David Johnson in our current print issue. We will be giving away a few copies of her book at our booth at the Festival, so if you are going to be there, stop by and enter to win a copy, or a number of other excellent new books. For those who are going to the festival (and those who are not), here is a taste of her excellent new book:

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145182: Absence of Mind

A Review of

Absence of Mind

By Marilynne Robinson.
Hardback: Yale University Press, 2010.

Buy now: [ ]

Reviewed by David Anderson.

The four essays in this collection first saw life as the Terry Foundation lectures at Yale University, whose purpose is “to engage both scholars and the public in a consideration of religion from a humanitarian point of view, in the light of modern science and philosophy.” Previous lecturers (all published by Yale UP) include Alvin Plantinga, Stephen Jay Gould, Paul Ricoeur, Margaret Mead, Jacques Maritain and other luminaries.

Marilynne Robinson, who teaches at the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, is best known for her fiction. Her novel Gilead, a small-town preacher’s survey of his long life in 1950s Iowa, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

In this collection Robinson goes after some big guns, peddlers of what she calls “parascientific literature”:

By this phrase I mean a robust, and surprisingly conventional, genre of social or political theory or anthropology that makes its case by proceeding, using the science of its moment, from a genesis of human nature in primordial life to a set of general conclusions about what our nature is and must be, together with the ethical, political, economic and/or philosophic implications to be drawn from these conclusions. Its author may or may not be a scientist himself. One of the characterizing traits of this large and burgeoning literature is its confidence that science has given us knowledge sufficient to allow us to answer certain essential questions about the nature of reality, if only by dismissing them. (32–33)

Among purveyors of parascientific ideas Robinson includes Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Edward O. Wilson, and Sigmund Freud, the subject of her third essay (“The Freudian Self”). She asserts that these men (no women make her list) dismiss anything that can’t be explained by appeal to genetic or economic self-interest. Thus, what we call the mind is merely electrical signals sparking in the darkness, religion is a prion-like infectious meme (Dawkin’s well-known carrier particle of culture) that made the jump from an ancient shaman, and metaphysics counts for nothing.

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