Tag Archives: matterhorn

On the Bookshelf XXXIII

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Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
Not just one of the best war novels I’ve ever read, but one of the best novels I’ve ever read, period. Tender, cruel, horrifying, tragic, and beautiful by turns. A must-read. This is my second time through.

What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes
Another Marlantes gem. Listening to the audiobook as time allows. The New Yorker: “Marlantes brings candor and wrenching self-analysis to bear on his combat experiences in Vietnam, in a memoir-based meditation whose intentions are three-fold: to help soldiers-to-be understand what they’re in for; to help veterans come to terms with what they’ve seen and done; and to help policymakers know what they’re asking of the men they send into combat.”

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
“… you can’t save people from the world. There’s nowhere else to take them.” Violent and chilling, yet smart and unexpectedly warm. Well worth a read, particularly if you like your post-apocalypse with a Matheson-esque flair.

Against Heresies by Irenaeus
Contemporary Christian writers could learn a thing or twelve from Irenaeus’ utter unwillingness to ‘play nice’ with heretics.

A Humane Economy by Wilhelm Röpke
Joel Miller explains why you should dump Ayn Rand and give this chap a shot instead: “… unlike Rand, Röpke grounded his critique of socialism and his defense of free markets in a thoroughly Christian understanding of man and his world.” Free PDF version here.

What’s on your bookshelf right now?

2012 Year In Review: Fiction

Top Ten

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1. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Now that I’ve finally read this, I can’t help but recommend it to every single person who crosses my path. It is at once a gut-wrenching morality play, a brilliant psychological study, and a gripping crime thriller (not to mention a stunning refutation of Frederic Nietzche’s “Superman”). It’s dark and heavy, yes, but also shot through with hope; a story that affirms both the lostness of the human condition and the power of Christ to save.
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2. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
This acclaimed novel is ostensibly a courtroom drama, but such a description does not really do this profound and multifaceted book justice. Through the eyes of a child, Lee explores the evils of racial prejudice with subtlety and power, gracing her story with an elegance so unspectacular it’s spectacular. More than once, I had to pause and read passages aloud, just for the pleasure of rolling them off my tongue. Full review
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3. ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card
As far as science fiction goes, Ender’s Game isn’t good, nor is it great – it’s brilliant. Winner of the Hugo and the Nebula awards, this bestselling novel by Orson Scott Card is a stellar fusion of action and ideas; a story as intellectually challenging as it is relentlessly entertaining. (The sequel, Speaker for the Dead, is also terrific). Full review
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4. THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien
This is not a novel, nor a memoir, nor a short story collection: it is, instead, an exquisite combination of all three. Through this unique but effective merging of fact and fiction, the author paints a picture of his life (and the lives of his fellow soldiers) before, during, and after the Vietnam war. And what a picture it is. Full review
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5. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
It’s either one of the best novels I’ve ever read… or it’s one of the best novels I’ve ever read. They call ‘em classics for a reason, and this one is no exception. Beautiful writing, thought-provoking story.
Continue reading 2012 Year In Review: Fiction