Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Reading List

7. Hunter's Moon (pb), by Don Hoesel
8. Frankenstein: Dead And Alive (ua), by Dean Koontz
9. Juliet, Naked (ua), by Nick Hornby
10. The Mother of God (hc), by Miri Rubin
11. The Buck Stops Here (ua), by Mindy Starns Clark
12. The Downhill Lie (ua), by Carl Hiaasen

Monday, February 22, 2010

Podcast Review

Build the Church

In the couple of years that I have been listening to podcasts, I have run across a few pretty good music shows, but none are as consistently entertaining -- nor as prolific -- as Build the Church.

This show just celebrated its four hundredth (yes, 400!) episode. Mark does a fine job scouring podsafe music networks for terrific Christian songs. He consistently introduces me to great independent musicians, including JJ Heller, Sonia V, Stephanie, Hoi, and Trade Cities.

The occassional video podcasts that drop into the feed are also nice surprises.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Poem of Confession

From a 9th century Welsh poem:
Grant me tears, O Lord, to blot out my sins;
may I not cease from tears, O Lord, until I have been purified.
May my heart be burned by the fire of redemption.
Grant me contrition of heart so that I may not be in disgrace.
O Lord, protect me and grant me tears.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

2010 Thoughts

I try to not make resolutions and plans right at January 1 -- that's just too predictable. Actually, I think that's too much pressure, and I prefer to get a feel for the shape of the year before making plans.

So here at the plans/hopes/goals/dreams for the remaining 90% or os of the year:

Read Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology.
Continue staying up-to-date with the Daily Audio Bible.
Attend Cornerstone Festival with my family.
Attend academic conference in Dallas.
Attend ACFW conference in the Fall in Indianapolis, with a completed manuscript -- either Identity or A Hero Over His Head.
Visit family in Richmond
Visit family in North Carolina
Get podcast survey project "live" and collect data.
Analyze survey data.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Book Review

Hunter's Moon, by Don Hoesel

Don Hoesel's first novel, last year's Elisha's Bones, was a workmanlike effort in a genre that has been overworked in the CBA marketplace, that of the search for the supernatural artifact. It was a fine, albeit standard, thriller.

His second work, the upcoming Hunter's Moon, shows a great leap in craft. This is a much subtler novel, more akin to a mainstream literary work than the standard fare offered in the Christian publishing world. I am encouraged that Bethany House has taken the steps to publish a novel that does not fit the standard CBA mold in terms of its setting, plot, and overall feel, and hope that its publication will lead other houses to expand their offerings.

Not to say that the world that Hoesel paints is altogether unique. The main character, CJ Baxter, is a successful author from a politically-connected family with secrets to hide. Both of these worlds, of the author and of the politician, are well-worn, but Hoesel exercises a deft touch in weaving these disparate worlds together. He delivers to us a taut family drama, a story of a man coming to terms with his own failings and the consequences of his own actions.

Hunter's Moon moves at a nice pace, slowly building up tension that finally comes to a head in an exciting extended scene that covers the book's final 6 to 7 chapters. The spiritual aspects of the novel are also woven in subtly and without distraction, an accomplishment that many Christian authors would do to learn from.