Pulitzer Prize Good News

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded last Thursday to Kazuo Ishiguro, which is good news. Ishiguro writes literary novels that defy genre boundaries and garner popular appeal. Here's the New York Times online story about the award. And here's a Times 2015 interview with Ishiguro that explores his reading opinions and related reflections. … Continue reading Pulitzer Prize Good News

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Reading Recommendations

After a recent speaking engagement, I was asked for some book recommendations. Having expended a great deal of mental energy into the talks I'd just given, I felt a little brain dead and came up with only a few favorites. I did recall and mention, however, this earlier post that includes a variety of nonfiction … Continue reading Reading Recommendations

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Does the concept of popular literature seem like an oxymoron? Can a book sell well in today's pop culture, while still displaying a high degree of literary quality? The answer is a resounding: Yes! This week I read a newly released book by prolific author Sigmund Brouwer that evidences excellent literary quality and is sure to skyrocket … Continue reading Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Wolterstorff’s expanded view on the arts: Practical activity, meaningful memory, and intrinsic worth

In 1987, Nicholas Wolterstorff wrote Art in Action, promoting practical application of art in contrast to the prevailing view of purely aesthetic contemplation. Rather than keeping art cloistered within the walls of elitist museums and exclusive galleries, Wolterstorff advocated putting art into action to elevate urban areas and ennoble private homes. The book caused some … Continue reading Wolterstorff’s expanded view on the arts: Practical activity, meaningful memory, and intrinsic worth

Christmas and the Arts

During the Christmas season, Reformed Christians enjoy the beauty of the arts more than any other time of year. They decorate their homes with artistic wreaths, creative decorations, fragrant greenery, and nativity sets. They listen to Handel’s Messiah and tap their toes to its rousing Hallelujah Chorus. Many use their God-given talents to craft attractive … Continue reading Christmas and the Arts

Lit! An elliptical book review

You say you're not a reader? Readers are made, not born. Like anything else, we learn to do it through practice. You read a lot or you want to read more, but you feel like you need direction? Look to the light of Lit! by Tony Reinke. The title is a clever play on words that intentionally … Continue reading Lit! An elliptical book review

Telling the story eclipses intention and audience

Compressing everything I learned during my intensive Glen West workshop into brief blog posts seems impossible. But I can give you a taste through small samples. Last Friday, I focused on the first day and wrote about beginning to write by writing. Two of the many literary terms we discussed on subsequent workshop days were intention … Continue reading Telling the story eclipses intention and audience

Literature or fiction?

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what makes a novel rise above the level of merely well-written fiction to become a literary work. A novel can consist of technically flawless writing, but be as bland as a piece of white toast. So it must tell a good story. It's also true that a novel … Continue reading Literature or fiction?

The Glen West experience

How would you like to spend several days participating in a productive workshop and living within a creative community? Attend Glen West! Many years ago, Gideon Strauss and I chatted about Christianity and culture. I was writing a series of articles for Christian Renewal on Christians in the arts, and he's passionate about promoting art and leadership … Continue reading The Glen West experience

Literary lyrics

Any regular reader of this blog knows that I love psalms. I love reading and meditating on them. And I love singing them in worship. But I also like singing hymns during the service, especially when they tie in well with the sermon and focus the mind on the divine. Hymns often duplicate the message … Continue reading Literary lyrics