Book Review: The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, is one of the best modern books written in the English language and I don’t know how anyone can argue otherwise. Okay, maybe I can, but this is the third time I’ve read this book and it still amazes me. The writing amazes me. The structure amazes me.…

Book Review: Anxious for Nothing

Note: This book review is for a Christian book. I expect to review a Christian book about once a month, this year. You have been warned. When I was a teenager, I found my way to Max Lucado. A pastor and Christian writer, I read everything of his. Why? Because he’s an image-painter, a word-player,…

Book Review: Outlander

Well! There are gushing reviews of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and there are scathing reviews of Outlander. No one expects it to be literary fiction—it’s popular fiction—though many claim it is great historical fiction (though it incorporates time travel), but the real discrepancy revolves around “rape culture.” I would say one out of ten, maybe…

Book Review: A Christmas Memory

When I finally—after years of meaning to read it—ordered Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory from eBay, I did not expect what I got. Full disclosure: I have not read Capote, ever. I have meant to, of course, but have never gotten around to it. Yet. My impression, however, is true crime with a literary swagger.…

Book Review: Home Cooking

I have a new favorite food writer and—like my other favorite food writer, Bert Greene—she is someone you don’t hear about every day. She whisked into my life with an aroma of days gone by and required me to do a little searching for her titles. (I still have one last Greene book that I…

Book Review: Greenglass House

Another week, another middle grades book under the bridge. It is true: I seem to read almost nothing but middle grades book these days. You’re just going to have to take my word for it that I have much wider interests in literature than middle grades books. However, between curriculum-writing for seventh and eighth grade…

Book Review: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

A couple months in to school, and this is the third book I am assigning for my middle grades Language Arts class which is also studying Modern History. The first two books were a moderate win, so I thought it would be too much to hope for another success, and yet… This book was even…

Book Review: In the Reign of Terror

I have been really enjoying history, lately. Perhaps it’s my age showing. Perhaps it’s my way of dealing with the overwhelming amount of “history” that’s happening to us right now. It makes me feel like I have more perspective and I also feel like I relate to the people on the pages of history more…

Book Review: Amal Unbound

My twelve-year-old son joined a book club this year. Okay, that’s a bit of a laugh. I forced my son into a book club. Yes, I am the dentist with the kids with bad teeth, or more literally: the writer with a son who can’t stand the sight of the printed word. He is too…

Book Review: Sit, Walk, Stand

Heads up: this book is meant for Christians. It pertains to that particular faith in an intimate way. You have been warned. Technically Sit, Walk, Stand is not on my working list of best books, but the author, Watchman Nee, is. I read this book because my pastor preached from it this summer and gave…

Book Review: The Indian in the Cupboard

Sometimes themes just happen. Native American-colonist relations in the 1750s in middle grades literature is a theme that just happened to me, hardcore. As you can see, my last two reviews were Calico Captive and The Sign of the Beaver, and now I am about to review Lynne Reid Banks’ Indian in the Cupboard. I…