Christmas 2014: Favorite Children’s Books


Following my previous post about my favorite books of 2014, I wanted to share a few of my favorite contemporary children’s authors. After having gone through scores of books that had been stored up from my 1970s childhood, and having been throughly unimpressed by most of them, I have been struck by the quality of the storytelling and illustrations in recent years. Here are a few standouts. Continue reading “Christmas 2014: Favorite Children’s Books”

Alan Jacobs and the Book of Common Prayer

Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 9.48.16 PMAlan Jacobs, a professor of humanities at Baylor University, has written a beautiful and wise book about The Book of Common Prayer and its many iterations since it’s initial publication by Thomas Cranmer in 1549. It is both a feat of compression, bringing 500 years of history into the scope of some 230 pages, and of scholarship, gracefully knitting together several course strands of literary, liturgical, and ecclesiastical history. And yet somehow Jacobs maintains an effortlessness, a gracefulness of style, that is rare in academia. Continue reading “Alan Jacobs and the Book of Common Prayer”

Scouting for Books

Here is a list of recent and forthcoming books that I discovered at last week’s BookExpoAmerica (#BEA14). Attendance was down slightly this year, and several major publishers chose not to attend, including Oxford, Cambridge, the University of Chicago Press, Encounter Books, and Christian publishers such as Baker and IVP. While there were several things on offer that piqued my interest, I didn’t see any real breakout titles besides Thomas Piketty’s Capital (Harvard University Press). There’s hope for 2015, though, since it starts with the publication of a new Bible translation by Robert Alter (see below). Continue reading “Scouting for Books”

The Kingdom New Testament

JohnI have read several books by N. T. Wright, and I consider myself an admirer of his work, both popular and academic. So I was naturally excited when I heard that he had compiled his translations from the “New Testament for Everyone Series” (published by Westminster John Knox Press) into a single volume, entitled The Kingdom New Testament. Here’s one volume in the series, for example: Mark for Everyone.

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BookExpo wrap-up

Last Thursday and Friday, I attended BookExpo, the largest book trade show in the US, with four of my colleagues.  As always, I enjoyed being immersed in the new offerings for the fall and seeing all of the talent and enthusiasm (aficion, as the Spanish say) on display.  Despite my own enthusiasm for books and publishing, I am reminded of the words of Qohelet: “Of the making of many books there is no end, and much chatter is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecc. 12: 12).

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