Archives For Memoir

 

Courageous Honesty

A Review of 

Even in Our Darkness: A Story of Beauty in a Broken Life
Jack Deere

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

Reviewed by Matthew R. Bardowell

 

There is a moment in Jack Deere’s memoir that illustrates what is perhaps the book’s main theme. A 10-year-old Jack sits in his living room amidst the family’s Christmas presents. Young Jack unwraps “a sturdy, vinyl blue and yellow model airplane with a small engine” (p. 26), but what he really wanted for Christmas was a larger balsa wood biplane with a big engine. The model plane he received was for beginners, and Jack, with the outsized confidence of the very young, did not consider himself a beginner. Naturally, he is disappointed, and his disappointment soon curdles to resentment. He is sent to his room. Later in the day, as he flew his vinyl plane, young Jack “crashed it after every takeoff” (27). Recollecting this scene, Deere remarks: “I was surrounded by [. . .] gifts, unable to feel anything but anger at what wasn’t there—an object of desire that I would have destroyed” (27). In these moments, Deere’s memoir is nearly Augustinian in its insight into the fallen human condition. The vinyl airplane is his pear tree.

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One of this week’s best new book releases is:
 

Room to Dream: A Memoir
David Lynch / Kristine McKenna

 
Hardback: Random House, 2018
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]
 
 
David Lynch was interviewed about this book
on NPR this week.  Give it a listen:
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Nearer to the Heart of God
 
A Review of 
 

God in Disguise
Trudy Taylor Smith

Paperback: CreateSpace, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Kelly Treleaven
 
 
As a teacher in the American South living in an upper middle class neighborhood and wrestling with my own religious identity, I didn’t expect to feel as personally moved as I did by an account from a Christian missionary seeking solidarity with the poor in India. But that’s exactly what good memoirs do, they connect: across continents, through spaces and experiences and beliefs. With admirable narrative dexterity and piercing vulnerability, Trudy Smith relates her spiritual and physical journey in a way that will reach those longing to hear God’s voice, especially those who may suspect they are unworthy of hearing it, incapable of interpreting it, or deaf to it altogether.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Walter Brueggemann, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, 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
 

*** DON’T MISS
Amazon’s Monthly Ebook Sale for May! 
CLICK HERE for the best deals
from it for Christian Readers…

 

ALSO, Fortress Press is running 
a HUGE Theology Ebook Sale now!
(700+ titles for under $5 each…)

 

 

#1:
The Psalms and the Life of Faith 

Walter Brueggemann

*** $3.99 ***

One of the best-known OT scholars on the significance of the Psalms

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Enter to win a copy of the new book by Rachel Marie Stone!

 
We’re giving away FIVE copies of:

Birthing Hope:
Giving Fear to the Light
Rachel Marie Stone

Paperback: IVP Books

 

Watch for our review of this book
(and Rachel’s regular column)

in our May 2018 print magazine!
SUBSCRIBE NOW ]
 
 

Enter to win a copy of this book!

Enter now to win (It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!) :
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Lessons about Death and Dying
from an Irish Wake

A Feature Review of

My Father’s Wake:
How the Irish Teach Us How to Live, Love and Die

Kevin Toolis

Hardback: Da Capo Press, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


Reviewed by Cynthia Beach

 

Syntax and word, rhythm and rite roll and surge in this tribute to a wordsmith’s dying father, Sonny—and to the neglected Irish practice of “waking the dead.”

Journalist and filmmaker Kevin Toolis confronts our cultural death denial and the “Western Death Machine.” He says, “Death is a whisper in the Anglo-Saxon world. Instinctively we feel we should dim the lights, lower our voices and draw the screens. We want to give the dead, the dying, the grieving, room.”

In other words, we don’t want to address the fact of death. How important is a book about death? Well, Toolis suggests, rather vital.  “If you breathe,” he says, “you die.”

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This distinctive new book is both a poignant and funny teaching memoir, 
and a keen reading of William Shakespeare’s play ROMEO AND JULIET:
 

The Teacher Diaries:
Romeo & Juliet

Callie Feyen

Paperback: TS Poetry Press, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 
 

An excerpt from this book:

 
It’s easy to wince when reading the Nurse’s debut scene. In fewer than fifty lines, we learn of her daughter’s death, and she shares the very palpable details of how she weaned Juliet, as well as her body’s reaction to that weaning. We learn that her husband is also gone, and we hear a little anecdote about Juliet’s toddler years. After my first reading of the Nurse’s speech, I wrote in the margin, “Girlfriend could’ve started a blog.”

Shakespeare’s Nurse is off-color, and she gives far more information than she needs to. She is also the person Juliet trusts most. When I teach Romeo and Juliet and we get to this part in the play, before we read, I give my students a warning.

“She says way too much, and she might make you squirm a bit.”

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One of the best new releases of last week was:
 

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved
 
Kate Bowler

 
Hardback: Random House, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 

Listen to an extraordinary interview
that the author did with NPR’s Terry Gross:

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Hauerwas, Anne Lamott, Michael Horton, 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
 

#1:
Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir

Stanley Hauerwas

*** $1.99 ***

An intimate memoir by one of today’s most important living theologians.

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Words That Propel Us Forward

A Review of

Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
Jill Bialosky

Hardcover: Atria Books, 2017
 
Buy Now: [Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jenn Moland-Kovash
 
 

The author of this book has come under fire
on accusations of plagiarism. She has refuted these charges,
and been backed by many of her writer colleagues.
Despite these charges, this book is one that merits our attention.

 

The first thing you need to know about Poetry Will Save Your Life Buy it in print. Buy the hardcover edition. This is a book you’ll want to hold. Keep the dust jacket on as you read it: the jacket has a fine texture to it, the finest of fine grits of sandpaper. And once you open the cover, you’ll find a marbled green and gold paper lining the front and back. Is it supposed to evoke topography, the ranges of life? Or an art project from youth? Or do the glimmers of gold shimmer with the insights that Jill Bialosky, the author, draws from the lines of poetry tucked inside her memoir?
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