A Whodunnit with Depth and Nuance

 
A Feature Review of

Death Comes for The Deconstructionist: A Novel
Daniel Taylor

Hardback: Slant Books, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon]

 
Reviewed by Lesa Engelthaler

 
 

I have a thing for short first sentences. In Death Comes for The Deconstructionist, Daniel Taylor delivers three of them rapid-fire in the opening of the first chapter, “Something is wrong. I’m not well. The voices are back.”

 

Taylor has written eleven books, though this is his first venture into the vast frontier of fiction. I admit I hold fiction on a bit of a pedestal. To me, only the best of the best write fiction. Taylor’s debut novel does not disappoint.

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You may or may not know that we have recently launched a sister website that features the best deals on the best Kindle ebooks…
(No drowning in seas of self-published drivel or Christian fiction. No dubious theology. Only the best books, just as you expect here at The Englewood Review!)

Be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

Here are five of the very best deals that are currently running on the TCR website:

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Less than the Sum of its parts?

 
A Review of

Elvis Presley: A Southern Life
Joel Williamson

Hardback: Oxford; 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by Adam P. Newton.
 
For the last 50 years, Elvis Aaron Presley incited libidos and passions with his golden voice, twitching hips, and good ol’ boy Southern charm. And it took Joel Williamson less than 400 pages to rob The King of the personality, swagger, and joie de vivre that made him one of the most iconic performers of all time.

 

Admittedly, Williamson’s thesis was never to glorify Presley, much less indulge in any blatant hagiography. The purpose of this tome was to strip away the glitz and glamour a bit in order to better understand Elvis the man at the expense of Elvis the cultural deity. And as a former “D-List” music critic who believes Sam Phillips deserves more credit for Elvis than Colonel Tom Parker, I welcomed the chance to see behind the curtain.

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One of this week’s excellent new book releases is:

One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America.
Kevin Kruse

Hardback: Basic Books, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

I recently reviewed this book for the May issue of Sojourners.
( CLICK HERE to read
Only subscribers can read the full review).

 

Listen to an interview that Kruse
did with NPR’s Terry Gross about the book…

(If you are on a mobile device that does not embed the interview below, click the link above to listen.)

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

By Rachel Held Evans

Read an interview that we did with the author…

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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What is your testimony?

A Feature Review of

Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God is At the Center
Noel Castellanos

Paperback: IVP Books, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by David Swanson

 

What is your testimony? The question might sound dated, but the sentiment behind it has been important to a wide variety of American Christians for a long time. The before and after of conversion to Jesus is mixed with one’s narrative arc – some more dramatic than others – to create a form that is instantly recognizable in churches of distinct denominations, races, and styles of worship. Increasingly there is a second conversion that follows the first. If the first conversion is accomplished by believing the good news of Jesus, identifying with the justice priorities of Jesus’ kingdom marks the second. Like the first conversion, the second has its own testimony.

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TCR-Logo-400pxW

You may or may not know that we have recently launched a sister website that features the best deals on the best Kindle ebooks…
(No drowning in seas of self-published drivel or Christian fiction. No dubious theology. Only the best books, just as you expect here at The Englewood Review!)

Be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

Here are five of the very best deals that are currently running on the TCR website:

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God Moving on the Margins

A Feature Review of

Wanted: A Spiritual Pursuit Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders
Chris Hoke

Hardback: HarperOne, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by Stina Kielsmeier-Cook
 
 
There comes a point in nearly every Christian’s journey when the glitz and fizz of new life in Christ begins to fade and God feels elusive. I’ve been in that grey landscape for a couple of years now, though I always keep my eyes open for glimmers of God’s presence. And, when I chance a sighting – through a surprising answer to prayer perhaps, or in the stories of God’s redemptive work in others – I am bolstered to keep trudging forward in this life of faith.

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Trust and Mutual Giving.

A review of

Geneva Two: A Parable of Christian Calling and Community
Russell Smith

Paperback: CreateSpace, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Kevin Wildman

 

There were two factors that fueled my interest in Geneva Two, by Russell B. Smith; 1) it is fiction, 2) it is about Christian community, specifically an intentional community. I was very excited to read this book until I read the introduction, after reading the introduction all enthusiasm was lost. The disappointment was due in part to explanation in the author’s introduction that this work is written from the perspective of Hatcher Christolphson, a journalist interviewing the various members of the Geneva Two community. I was convinced that a book consisting simply of a series of interviews was going to be incredibly tedious.
 
Two days later I set out to read the Hatcher’s introduction. Quickly, I completed the introduction and first two-interviews. The next morning having a little free time I read a little more, and from there the momentum steamrolled. Throughout the day every chance I got I was reading Geneva Two, only to completely finish the entire book that night.

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
Contact us, and we’ll talk about the possibility of a review.

Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate: Crafting a Handmade Faith in a Mass-Market World

By John J. Thompson

Watch the book trailer video…

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