Classics · Fairie Tales & Folklore · Fiction · Literary

Gift Books for a Cosy Christmas

If you are like me, Christmas isn’t complete without pulling out those special books from the Christmas box. The same stories year after year–and sometimes a new one or two–create that nostalgia that makes the holidays so special. Here are a couple new editions of old favorites, and a couple brand new offerings–a style for… Continue reading Gift Books for a Cosy Christmas

Fiction · Literary

When God is Unsettling and Man is Finite

Literary writer Joy Williams, finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award, has just released a new collection of short stories this month—Ninety-Nine Stories of God. Her work has often been described as ‘Kafkaesque’ for its disorienting, even haunting atmosphere. Provocatively, this description applies just as aptly to her treatment of God—a Being disorienting in his elusiveness and haunting in actions we may well like to judge.

Fiction · Literary

An Unlikely Path Towards Redemption

Ramona Ausubel has recently become one of my favorite fiction authors. Her newest characters don’t go to church or discuss God very often, and if you are looking for a cleaned up, PG version of reality, you won’t find it. Her characters do devastating things to each other: they have affairs, take revenge, and even abandon their children. But Ausubel’s vision of a good life is far from nihilistic. She affirms the worth of living, despite weakness and age. She values commitment and family. She upholds marital love as deeper than passion, and weighs the impact generations bequeath on one another. Her characters hardly arrive through the mess they make unscathed; Ausubel doesn’t pretend there are no consequences. Yet, through failure, she reveals the mysterious grace that sometimes a person’s most devastating choices are also their means to redemption. 

Fiction · Literary

Gifts of Grace

616Eizn12dLAfter repeated suggestions to read Gilead, Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer prize winning novel, I gave in and picked up the book’s prequel, Lila, a 2014 National Book Award Finalist itself, as a starting point. I picked it up and, in a sense, I don’t think I will ever put it down. It did what an excellent book should do: it twisted my heart and in so doing challenged my way of thinking, and my compassion. Continue reading “Gifts of Grace”