Books

Reflections on the role of reading in culture, faith, and family

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Why I'm Grateful for Mainstream MediaFair treatment for Christians by secular journalists
Why I'm Grateful for Mainstream Media
Image: NS Newsflash/flickr

I read and listen to a lot of news. NPR plays in the background as I’m making breakfast and dinner. We subscribe to Time, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker (as well as to Christianity Today, Books and Culture, and Critique). I scroll through The New York Times’ headlines and most-emailed ...

The Celebrity Writer who Changed the WorldAn interview with Karen Swallow Prior about Hannah More's legacy as a writer, activist, and educator
The Celebrity Writer who Changed the World
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Professor and writer Karen Swallow Prior’s biography of Hannah More—abolitionist, poet, and reformer—came out last fall. March is Women’s History Month, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to ask Karen to reflect upon More’s life and legacy:

Although I hadn't learned ...

Eleven Books to Help You Embrace the SnowPicture books, chapter books, and novels to enjoy the rest of the winter.
Eleven Books to Help You Embrace the Snow
Image: carnagenyc

I live in New England, and right now we have over a foot of snow on the ground. To the northeast of me, in Boston, they’ve had more snow in a seven day period than ever before in recorded history. The Midwest has been pummeled with snow this season. I’ve even seen images of snow in Texas. ...

Favorite Books of 2014 Five novels, five memoirs, one giddy adult who loves to read.
Favorite Books of 2014
Image: CCAC North Library

Some people talk about kids in a candy store as an image of pure excitement and unadulterated joy. I have never been that kid. But bookstores? Libraries? Lists of books at the end of the year to help me figure out what reading pleasure I might have in the weeks and months ahead? My heart pounds a ...

Limping through ScriptureAn interview with Jennifer Grant and Cathleen Falsani about Disquiet Time
Limping through Scripture
Image: Patrick Feller/flickr

Released in late October, Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels is the brainchild of Jennifer Grant (a fellow contributor to her.meneutics) and Cathleen Falsani (an award-winning religion writer and journalist) who co-edited the book. ...

Surprised by Religion at the National Book Awards Why literary culture in America should cause hope and concern
Surprised by Religion at the National Book Awards
Image: Florin Gorgan/flickr

It felt kind of like the Oscars, well, like the Oscars for book nerds. An evening with awards in different categories, a host who made witty remarks, and palpable excitement in the air. Two nights ago, I sat in an auditorium at the New School in Manhattan, for the privilege of listening as the twenty ...

"These Christians Are Weird . . . But They Love"An interview with Philip Yancey about his new book, Vanishing Grace
"These Christians Are Weird . . . But They Love"
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I had the privilege of talking by phone with Philip Yancey about his new book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? A few of the questions we discussed made it into the November issue of CT Magazine (A Church for Outsiders), but today I get to offer you another sliver of our conversation. ...

Want a Free Copy of Small Talk? And other book news this week...
Want a Free Copy of Small Talk?
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I mentioned the title of my book to an old friend who is in his 60s last night. He said, "Oh. Small Talk. Help for conversations at cocktail parties?" He wasn't kidding. I then told him the subtitle--Learning from my Children about What Matters Most, and I think he got the idea. Yes, ...

Happy Birthday, Small Talk Lots of exciting news about my book this week, but the best was a note from my son.
Happy Birthday, Small Talk
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In my limited experience, the day a book launches often proves to be pretty much the same as any other day. Except for feeling kind of silly because it's supposed to be a special day. My newest book, Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most, released on Tuesday, and the best ...

8 Books for Parents Who Need to Know They're Not AloneFor moms, dads, single parents, and married ones.
8 Books for Parents Who Need to Know They're Not Alone
Image: Chris_Parfitt

When I was working on Small Talk:Learning From My Children About What Matters Most, my husband asked, "What's the one-minute takeaway from this book?" Without thinking too much about it, I said, "You are not alone." I later elaborated on that thought in the introduction to ...

"You Was a Jerk Mommy?"What to do when your two-year old convicts you. An excerpt from my new book, Small Talk.
"You Was a Jerk Mommy?"
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The following excerpt comes from my new book, Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most (Zondervan):

It snowed yesterday. The view outside the kitchen window is idyllic—trees hand-painted with delicate white strokes, sunshine glinting off the crystal expanse, a landscape ...

Three Reasons Why We Should Read Books Instead of Blog PostsBooks cost money and time, which is why they are worth it.
Three Reasons Why We Should Read Books Instead of Blog Posts
Image: spykster/flickr

I succumb to the same temptations as everyone else. I lie in bed with a novel next to me and my phone in my hand, scrolling through Facebook and Twitter to see what people have shared, clicking various articles and blog posts, flitting from one idea, one news item to the next. According to the Pew ...

I'm Celebrating by Giving You Free StuffPre-order a copy of Small Talk and receive a free subscription to Christianity Today and more.
I'm Celebrating by Giving You Free Stuff
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A friend once pointed out to me that writing a memoir has three stages. First, you live it. Then you write about it. And then you send it out into the world and respond to it. As a writer, I usually don’t love the first part, the living-it part, because I’m in the midst of all sorts of ...

Six Books on How Kids Learn Books to help you stay informed about the national debates surrounding character education, knowledge, and grittiness.
Six Books on How Kids Learn
Image: by www.audio-luci-store.it

My husband is the Head of School at The Gunnery, an independent boarding school in western Connecticut, so he keeps himself current on national debates surrounding education and learning. We also, of course, have kids of our own, and because our oldest daughter Penny has Down syndrome, we are particularly ...

A Booklist for Grownups Who Wish They Could Go Back to School Thirteen stories for those of us who miss high school English class.
A Booklist for Grownups Who Wish They Could Go Back to School
Image: Ruth_W/flickr

I was talking with a friend who teaches high school English about his syllabus this semester. He teaches junior English, which means he covers largely American literature (although they start with Shakespeare's Tempest). This year includes surprises like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and predictable ...

The New Catholic Novelist You Need to ReadAn interview with Christopher Beha about his latest novel.
The New Catholic Novelist You Need to Read
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I've been aware of Christopher Beha's writing for a few years now. I still sometimes find myself thinking about his coming-of-age novel What Happened to Sophie Wilder, and just this summer I raced through his memoir about reading the Harvard Classics, The Whole Five Feet. I also had the privilege ...

Thirteen Books For Kids With African American CharactersRecommendations from parents, teachers, and librarians for kids ages 3 through 12.
Thirteen Books For Kids With African American Characters
Image: EmyAugustus/Flickr

Yesterday I wrote about my ongoing search for chapter books for my kids with African American protagonists. I have only just begun to look, so I cannot personally recommend all the books on this list. But from asking other parents, librarians, and teachers, here are a few books for three different young ...

Searching for African American ProtagonistsWhy I want my kids to read about lives that seem different from theirs.
Searching for African American Protagonists
Image: Mike Mantin/Flickr

We've been reading chapter books with our two older kids—Penny, now 8, and William, nearly 6—for a few years now. We generally stick to the classics: Winnie the Pooh, Charlotte's Web, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Little House on the Prairie, Pippi Longstocking, Charlie ...

The Serious Pleasure of Summer ReadingTen books—for kids and adults—to challenge and entertain you this summer.
The Serious Pleasure of Summer Reading
Image: ClaraDon/Flickr

School has finally finished for my kids, and the temperatures are finally reaching the 80s. Summer has arrived, which means I've gotten emails recently from the town library, the school library, from teachers and other parents, all related to summer reading. Our eight-year old daughter Penny ...

When Jesus Shows Up at the Jazz ClubAn interview with Karen Halvorsen Schreck about her new novel, Sing For Me.
When Jesus Shows Up at the Jazz Club
Image: Neil Moralee/Flickr

If you're looking for an excellent novel to read this summer, pick up Sing For Me, by Karen Halvorsen Schreck. Karen weaves together a compelling story about race, class, music, faith, and the immigrant experience in Chicago in the 1930s. The main character, Rose, and her sister Sophy both come ...

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