Saturday, August 27

The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir

Private investigators don’t have an easy life, especially when they started out as cops.  After sustaining an injury that prevented him from performing police work, Ray Quinn still has an itch for tracking down bad guys.  Ray’s in a bit of a slump.  His clients aren’t bringing him in for the big cases and he certainly doesn’t enjoy trailing cheating husbands – especially when one client spills the beans to her husband and the husband corners Ray in the bathroom.  Nope, life isn’t easy.

Not long afterwards though, he is approached by Armon Mayor, a wealthy business man.  One of Mayor’s former employees (an ex-cop who Ray knew on the force) has stolen a hard drive with sensitive customer data on it.  Mayor wants the hard drive retrieved and doesn’t want anything leaking to the press.  There’s also a little something about a hefty paycheck.

Unfortunately, the ex-cop is found dead with no trace of the hard drive.  Now Ray, joined by wanna-be cop Crevice are pulled deeper into a growing mystery.  Not everything is as it seems.

Tuesday, August 23

With by Skye Jethani

There are some books which make me nervous before I pick them up, and not in a, “I’m afraid this book might actually challenge me” sort of way.  The books that make me nervous feel like they were written because the author felt obligated to write a book.  Often this is a feeling I get when I read a book by a pastor turned author.  Though it sounded intriguing, I was afraid that With would be book written out of obligation (Skye is the managing editor of Leadership Journal, maintains an award winning blog, and is a speaker at various conferences).

With With (no pun intended), Skye seeks to look at the ways we relate to God.  He begins by outlining four of the most common types of relationships, life under God, life over God, life for God, and life from God.  After offering a description of each he delves into the fallacies of each way. 

Wednesday, August 17

Star Wars: Ascension by Christie Golden

*There may be spoilers for earlier books in the series*

Ascension begins with a whirlwind of events.  The Lost Tribe of the Sith is preparing for a visit from Abeloth, still unsure if they are going to kill her or ally with her.  Her knowledge seems vast but they do not want her to slip out of their control.  Meanwhile, Coruscant is still adjusting to the coup which overthrew Daala and put in place a temporary Triumvirate, on which Jedi Master Saba is a member of.  The rest of the Jedi are now also free to assist Luke and Ben in their hunt for the Abeloth and the Lost Tribe (along with the help of Sith apprentice, Vestera).

After being disappointed in the pacing of Conviction, I was happy to see Ascension start off with a brisk pace that didn’t let up.  The beginning chapters allowed for one of the strongest opening for the series so far as Golden gives us a wonderful look into the Lost Tribe’s culture.

Sunday, August 14

Faith in the Land of Make-Believe by Lee Stanley

Film students, especially those attending a Christian university, often get asked what they want to do with their field of study.  “So do you have to go to Hollywood to get a job.”  Or they get ask, “Are you going to make Christian films, like Fireproof?”  This is partly what led me to pick up Lee Stanley’s book (Stanley produced Gridiron Gang)—I wanted to see how a Christian in Hollywood approaches their faith as well as hoping to get a different sort of look into Hollywood.

Before producing Gridiron Gang, Stanley primarily shot documentaries, many of them featuring juvenile delinquents.  After serving as a sort of guest-chaplain at juvenile detention camp he began to feel that God was calling him not only to minister to those serving time but to show the world that there is hope through these kids.  Having quite a stubborn side, Stanley was able to court approval to take some kids sailing and to eventually take a small film crew and make a documentary for television.

Thursday, August 11

Earthen Vessels by Matthew Lee Anderson

 When it comes to books on faith there are very few that focus on the body.  Many focus on trials and problems, evangelism, the church or the afterlife.  Those that do focus on the physical body usually seem to focus on dieting and weight loss.  How often do we truly stop and consider how our bodies relate to our faith?

Matt’s chapters cover topics such as his understanding of why our bodies are significant, tattoos, sexuality, and death, as well as taking a look at the importance of the body of Christ.  Going into this book I was a bit wary, especially when I saw a whole chapter about tattoos.    Are tattoos even considered as much of an issue, especially now that all the “exciting” conversion stories them?  Instead of hearing the old rhetoric about tattoos, Matt looked even deeper into the issue, looking at the individualistic nature (or in some cases the non-individualistic nature) of the American culture.  He also breaks down the common pro and con arguments for tattoos and explains the fallacies of both sides.