On the Bookshelf X

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
I’ve read mixed reviews on this one – people loved it and people who found it disappointing. I’m not sure which side of the fence I’ll fall on, but I can say that it’s an interesting read so far. I’m no dyed-in-the-wool Apple fanboy, but Jobs was a fascinating individual. His impact on the tech world was tremendous… and that’s still probably an understatement.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Described by one reviewer as “an utterly serious and sad, but damn funny book.” I’m looking forward to this one with mixed feelings: on the one hand, it’s an anti-war satire (and a pacifist I am not); on the other, it’s a classic novel which seems to demand a reading, regardless of one’s political views. So I’m giving it a go. I hope I don’t regret it.
Biblical Logic: In Theory and Practice by Joel McDurmon
“God created logic and reasoning as He created man, and He created it for man, and therefore we should find it reasonable that God’s Word has something to say – if not a lot to say – about logic, rationality, and good judgment.” I enjoy reading McDurmon’s articles on American Vision, so I’m excited to finally pick this one up.
The Evan Gabriel Trilogy by Steve Umstead
“Umstead has created what I can only describe as a Tom Clancy-esque world a few hundred years into the future.” After reading that, I knew there was no way this series was not getting added to my shelf. I’m relatively new to military sci-fi, but it strikes me as a rather terrific combination, don’t you think? Here’s hoping this series is as smashing as it looks.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
I first heard about this one from Tim Challies, who gave it a glowing recommendation; then my Mom bought a copy, read it, and loved it. Now I’m reading it. This Pulitzer Prize winner is narrated by 76-year-old John Ames, “a preacher who has lived almost all of his life in Gilead, Iowa. He is writing a letter to his almost seven-year-old son, the blessing of his second marriage. It is a summing-up, an apologia, a consideration of his life. Robinson takes the story away from being simply the reminiscences of one man and moves it into the realm of a meditation on fathers and children, particularly sons, on faith, and on the imperfectability of man.”
Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
Otherwise entitled How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, Etc. God appeared to me in a dream and told me this book was going to be awesome. Oh, wait…
1984 by George Orwell
Orwell’s classic needs no intro from me. I’ve been told that it’s incredibly dark and depressing – which strikes me as appropriate, considering the subject matter. Dark stories don’t usually bother me anyway, as evidenced by the fact that two of my favorite novels are The Road and Crime and Punishment.

What’s on your bookshelf right now?

A Line of Conduct Which Passes Man’s Understanding

“The love of Christ to sinners is a ‘love that passeth all knowledge.’ To suffer for those whom we love, and who are in some sense worthy of our affections, is suffering that we can understand. To submit to ill-treatment quietly, when we have no power to resist, is both graceful and wise. But to suffer voluntarily, when we have the power to prevent it, and to suffer for a world of unbelieving and ungodly sinners, unasked and unthanked – this is a line of conduct which passes man’s understanding.”

– Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Vol. 4

In Which We Interrupt Our Usual Programming

This one is for all you soundtrack geeks…

I received an e-mail yesterday asking if I’d be interested in spreading the word about the soon-to-be released OST for Dredd (2012). I listened to some samples, liked most of what I heard, and figured, Why not?

For those unfamiliar with Dredd, it’s a British-made sci-fi film that hits U.S. theaters later this month. The IMDb summary describes it this way: “In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.”

The premise alone is enough to pique my curiosity; and writing the music for such a film would, I imagine, be incredibly interesting. Judging from the samples I listened to (available here), composer Paul Leonard-Morgan chose to go the electronic route. If that’s your thing, you’ll probably enjoy this soundtrack. If not, you may want to move on.

Speaking of his work, Leonard-Morgan says,

From a music point of view, I wanted to create a sound which fitted a future set in 100 years time, so traditional orchestra was out of the question. I started off doing some band-based stuff, but it felt too safe and overly-produced, so I ended up going down a really electronic vibe… I was looking to create a timeless score which couldn’t be placed in any particular era.

For the slo-mo music, I used this incredible new timestretch software called Paul. I composed and recorded new tracks with real instruments, and then slowed them down by thousands of percent to match the vibe of the visuals, adding some realtime score over the top of it. So 1 second of written score could end up lasting 10 minutes. It sounds weird, but it creates some truly beautiful sounds.

The soundtrack is scheduled to release digitally worldwide on September 3rd, and physically on September 10th. If you happen to buy/listen to it before I do, drop me a comment and share your thoughts.