In 1998, when he was 22, Eboo Patel founded the Interfaith Youth Core (spelled “core” because it seeks to be the heart of a larger movement), which now has a presence on 140 college campuses. When the IFYC held its first national conference, 60 people attended.
Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City
Russo is an old-fashioned teller of tales who can make you burst out laughing. But don’t expect literary comfort food: he delights also in making readers deliciously uncomfortable. As his late-middle-aged protagonist reconsiders family life, there’s plenty of occasion to squirm.
My favorite writer isn’t for everybody. Or maybe she is. She writes only short fiction, and her subject matter rarely strays from the farms and small towns of southwestern Ontario. She almost never tells a story in linear fashion. Often I must read a story twice to figure out what happened.
Wally Lamb has a thing for lyrics. His own prose isn’t very musical—it clunks along like a muffler about ready to fall from an old Ford—but over and over again his characters find something they need in popular songs. His first novel, She’s Come Undone, took its title from the Guess Who and went on to play a veritable jukebox.
No one knows her name. She may have been widowed, for she lived with two younger men who were not her sons. Their boyish enthusiasms might have made her laugh. It’s also pleasant to think that her daughter had inherited her features—whether she was stocky, or had a slender build and expressive eyes.
Walter Wangerin has written many beloved books, but perhaps none more affecting than this one. It’s a very personal story, wracked with love and regret for his son Matthew. He has shared some of the writing with Matthew himself.
The bride wore a white dress with pearls, a veil and a big red nose. The groom had a rainbow wig, and instead of patent leather shoes, floppy brogues as big as boats, which were coming apart at the toes. All around them a raucous band of clowns held forth on tubas and big bass drums. “Do you, Gilbert, take Glenna to be your wife?” “I sure do.” “Do you, Glenna, take this clown to be your husband?” “I do,” she smiled, and someone honked a horn.
"I love Christmas,” writes Bruce David Forbes. “And Christmas drives me crazy.” With that opening confession, he sets out to determine just how much of the holiday is real after all—whatever real means. The skimpy biblical accounts, decidedly pagan revelry, manufactured nostalgia and commercial overlay all raise his eyebrows.
God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement
He was not the young man they had known before. They were sizing him up, as people in small towns will do, when he stood up in the synagogue to read from the prophet Isaiah. He read a fantastic and otherworldly passage, plainly not about Nazareth, but about some other place. And then he startled them all: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Was he talking about them? Or himself? And what did he mean by proclaiming right there, in his hometown, “the acceptable year of the Lord”?
What do you get for the bride who has everything? It’s unusual these days for a couple not to have all they need before they marry. They don’t need dishes or kitchenware—unless they hope to upgrade. Their grandparents may have started out in a small apartment with a used stove and an icebox, but the 21st-century couple already owns a Viking stove and Sub-Zero refrigerator.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? asks Isaiah. Those with ears to hear, let them hear, says Jesus. Day to day pours forth speech, says the psalmist, but God’s speech is pitched in such a register that many cannot distinguish it from silence.
Once a year, having waited to the very end of December, my wife and I dress up. Some people wait a lifetime to start living, but fortunately for us, New Year’s Eve intervenes every year. With mortality staring us right in the face, we get around to that date we should have had months ago. Rexene looks absolutely stunning in a cocktail dress. (How many times does a pastor’s wife get to wear a cocktail dress?)
Rabble-Rouser For Peace: The Authorized Biography of Desmond Tutu
Here is a lovely parable—all the more lovely considering that it comes from the chief rabbi of Great Britain’s Orthodox Jews. A young man, having troubled over the question, asks his father: Why does the Messiah not come?