Archives For Memoir

 

This week marked the 70th birthday of poet and memoirist.  In honor of the occasion, we offer this introductory reading guide to her 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 Cloister Walk

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Encouragement in the Struggle

A Feature Review of 

The Light Is Winning: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life
Zach Hoag

Paperback: Zondervan, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Leroy Seat.

 

The present day often seems like a rather discouraging time for many Christians. Those who are in the “moderate” camp are embarrassed by many of the things conservative evangelicals say and do. But the moderates are also unhappy with the way many of the progressives/liberals deny or downplay some of the most central aspects of the Christian faith. Additionally, many of today’s Christian denominations—whether conservative, moderate, or liberal—seem to be in decline.

This new book by Zach Hoag, who self identifies as “an author, preacher, and creator from New England,” speaks a word of hope into these discouraging times through sharing his own story and some ongoing theological reflections.

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This week marked the 91st birthday of pastor and novelist Frederick Buechner.  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)   Telling the Truth:
The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale

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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…)

   

When the English Fall: A Novel

David Williams

Read a review of this book

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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Demanding More Than
We Could Ever Imagine

A Brief Review of 

Redeeming Ruth: Everything Life Takes, Love Restores
Meadow Rue Merrill

Hardback: Hendrickson, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Dorothy Littell Greco

 
 

Every few years I read a book that challenges me to the core and makes me question my integrity as a follower of Jesus. Redeeming Ruth is one such book.

My most familiar confession is: God forgive me for not fully trusting you and for hoarding my time. Because this is my reality, I lack the courage (and sufficient faith) to even consider adopting a special needs child. Thankfully, author Meadow Rue Merrill and her family exhibit both courage and faith.

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Madeleine L’Engle’s classic Genesis Trilogy was released in paperback editions this week.

Volumes:

And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings (The Genesis Trilogy Book 1)

A Stone for a Pillow: Journeys with Jacob (The Genesis Trilogy Book 2)

Sold into Egypt: Journeys into Human Being (The Genesis Trilogy Book 3)

 
This trilogy is a unique mix of memoir, social criticism, and biblical meditation.  Though originally published in the 1980s, it is strikingly timely today!  
 

This new edition features a foreword by Rachel Held Evans
(Each volume contains the same foreword)

“I came to the Genesis Trilogy, as I came to A Wrinkle in Time  — like a child. Frightened. Fledgling. Longing for a good story. L’Engle’s words, lovingly, patiently took me back to the Source.”
– Rachel Held Evans
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A Disciplined Eye
for the Hyper-Local

 
An Abridged Review of

As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God
Eugene Peterson

Hardback: Waterbook, 2017
Buy Now:  
Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]  [ Audiobook ]
 
Reviewed by David Swanson
 

This is a brief clip of a review that appears in
our forthcoming Eastertide 2017 magazine issue…

The issue with this review
will mail next week.

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and be sure to receive it!

 
 
While reading through these sermons it is easy to imagine something about the women and men who comprised Peterson’s suburban congregation. The sentences and illustrations seem to hold in mind particular people with their very particular lives. In a sermon titled “Holy, Holy, Holy” from Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4, the pastor addresses his people gently:

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This is an extraordinary new book!
 

Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women
Susan Burton

Hardcover: The New Press, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]   [  Kindle ]

 
 

[ Read an excerpt of this book ]

 
Listen to a poignant interview that the author did with NPR’s Terry Gross…
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The Napoleon Dynamite
of Missionary Biographies?

A Feature Review of 

Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World
Amy Peterson

Paperback: Discovery House, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Matthew Loftus
 
 
Amy Peterson’s debut book, Dangerous Territory, is not your typical missionary biography and it is not meant to be. As Peterson recounts her story of teaching English as a Second Language for two years in Southeast Asia, she deliberately tries to subvert the conventions of the missionary memoir in order to change the way we talk about missions. In an article last year for Christianity Today, she wrote that “We need to hear stories about the real struggles and joys of missions work.” This is one of those stories.

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The Difficult, Life-Giving Path
 
A Feature Review of 

The Way of Letting Go:
One Woman’s Walk Toward Forgiveness
 

Wilma Derksen

Paperback: Zondervan, 2017
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [  Kindle
 
Reviewed by Tamara Hill Murphy
 
 

I collect radical forgiveness stories.

As I continue to come to terms with my own experiences of trauma, I search out forgiveness mentors through stories – real life or mythologized. Through reading a wide array of stories, I’ve discovered what is probably logical: No act of forgiveness happens without, first, an incident of suffering. In this way, I guess you could also say that I collect stories of suffering.

It was this habit that led me to Wilma Derksen’s memoir of trauma and forgiveness, The Way of Letting Go: One Woman’s Walk Toward Forgiveness, released in February. Derksen, now an international speaker on victimization and criminal justice issues, was on November 30, 1984, a mother and struggling journalist. When her 13-year-old daughter, Candace, called to ask for a ride home from school. Derksen was busy with a writing deadline, and asked her daughter to walk home from school instead.  After that phone conversation, she never spoke to her daughter again.

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