2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – Unashamed

I got two main takeaways from Lecrae’s autobiography Unashamed: 1) Lecrae is way more into theology than I expect any Christian rapper to be. Maybe my expectations are too low, but I never went looking for serious hermeneutics in the work of D.C. Talk. Lecrae has challenged my assumptions about that, because the dude is all up in the theology books. 2) In More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – When Helping Hurts

Have you ever been part of a conversation among a group of people, and then somewhere in the middle of it your mind drifted away for a minute? Maybe you were thinking about whether s’mores or brown sugar cinnamon is the best Pop-Tart flavor, or why guys have all started wearing light brown shoes with dark suits all of a More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown! – The April Review: Vomit!

And here’s where we get an idea of the true nature of our reading competition: The month of April saw Rachel and both of our kids laid low with a pretty nasty case of stomach flu. Miraculously, I was left unafflicted and healthy all month while Rachel spent the better part of a week either hugging a plastic bucket or motionless More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown! – The March Review, with an Assist from Little Women

Last month, it looked like this thing might be turning into an early blowout, but just one month later I’ve managed to claw my way back into it: Jason Read: Rachel Read: The Last Battle Unashamed Shepherding a Child’s Heart A Man Called Ove Flowers for Algernon When Helping Hurts  Unashamed This highly unlikely result is mostly thanks to the fact More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – Flowers for Algernon

This is one of those books that’s prominent enough in the world of books that everybody kind of knows what it’s about even if he hasn’t read it. More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – Shepherding a Child’s Heart

Knowing what I know about reviews of things on the internet and the people who take the trouble to write them, it was these reviews that made me think that this was probably my kind of book. More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – American Gods

 I wanted to read something from Neil Gaiman oeuvre because my wife had read and enjoyed his The Graveyard Book, and because he wrote stories in a neighborhood that interests me: where the real world bumps up against the fantastical. So, basically at random (and/or because it was on sale), I picked out American Gods. And as a result, I don’t More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – A Whole Bunch of Narnia Books

Most of the time I plan on reviewing books individually, but in this case they kind of demanded to be grouped together. These books – Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle — are the last four books in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. I read these particular books from the series because, More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown! – The (Way Too Late) February Review

Let me first say that the lateness of this review has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Rachel took a two-book lead on me. So, anyway, here’s the February split: Jason Read: Rachel Read: Prince Caspian Small Great Things The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Shepherding a Child’s Heart The Silver Chair Home: A Memoir of My Early Years More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown! – January Review

The first month is down in my contest with my wife to see who can read the most books this year, and I am, amazingly, tied for the lead. This is probably the last month I’ll be able to say that, because while Rachel is just going at her normal reading pace, I’m going balls-to-the-wall, literarily speaking. There’s not much chance More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – The Forever War

If you like your science fiction techno action with a healthy dose of Vietnam-era nihilistic futility, The Forever War is the book for you. Originally published in 1974, it tells the story of a man, conscripted into a future Earth army, who is sent to the farthest reaches of the galaxy to fight a mysterious alien enemy. Thing is, since More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – What If?

You know that web comic XKCD? It’s funny. And the guy who writes it, one Randall Munroe, is a pretty bright dude. So bright, in fact that people have taken to asking him all kinds of crazy sciency-physics-type questions just so they can hear his answers, which are serious, but only in a cartoon kind of way. Munroe has collected More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – The Art of Smart Football

Do you lie awake at night wondering what the difference is between the “veer” and the “inverted veer”? Do you try to memorize the details of the Don Coryell pass route tree for no good reason? Do you often find yourself trying to work the term “mesh point” into everyday conversation? Well, friend, I have a book for you! The More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – The Undoing Project

The Undoing Project is the latest book from Michael Lewis, the author of lots and lots of good and very successful books like Moneyball and The Big Short. He’s set a pretty high bar, but it’s safe to say that his latest is not his best effort. The Undoing Project tells the tale of two Israeli psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, their More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – Icons of Evolution

Book review number one this year is for Icons of Evolution, by Jonathan Wells. In this surprisingly readable book, the author walks you through several of the examples that are commonly used as proof of Darwinian evolution (the titular “icons of evolution”) and explains how they may not exactly cut the mustard, scientifically speaking. It turns out that biology textbooks More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown!

Every year for the last few years, I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to try to read as many books as my wife. And every year she laps me like I’m pushing a shopping cart with a bad wheel on the track at Talladega. This year I decided I was going to get serious and really try to keep up More …

Hey, I’m in a Book!

Author, radio show host, and my internet buddy Jen Fulwiler has put together a new book, and I’m just tickled to be a part of it. Not too long ago, Jen asked a bunch of her blogger friends to write a series of posts, each meditating on a word from the Lord’s Prayer (or the Our Father, as our Catholic brothers More …

“And Now the Bedside Table is a Bush”

Where the Wild Things Are, as read by Christopher Walken (or somebody who really, really sounds like Christopher Walken). The true genius is in his descriptions of the illustrations: (Via Open Culture)

Ten or So Books That Stuck With Me

A few weeks ago there was a trend on Facebook for people to share a list of the books that have “stuck” with them. There’s even been some analysis of the results by Facebook, and musings about what we can learn about ourselves from the most common books listed. I like stuff like this, because I think it’s true that you can learn More …

Time Machine World

Every so often, some literary/political science smarty pants will ruminate over who had the more accurate vision of the future — Orwell in 1984 or Huxley in Brave New World. Both are visions of a future dystopia (yes, kids, 1984 used to be the future), just with different varieties of societal degradation. The people who believe that the arc of history is More …