Books

Books

Parking lot palms

Toward the end of Zadie Smith’s shrewd and entertaining novel, Kiki Simmonds gets into an argument with her husband, Howard Belsey: “All you ever do is rip into everybody else,” she tells him. “You don’t have any beliefs—that’s why you’re scared of people with beliefs.”

Lenten roadmap

An engineering professor from Germany who was attending my course on the Genesis debates was flabbergasted to learn that in the U.S. a sizable number of people think that modern science is optional. “In my country,” he explained, “whether it’s a state school, a Lutheran school, or a Catholic school, we all teach the same science.”

Life-giving law

Virginia Woolf wrote in her essay “On Being Ill”: “English, which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear, has no word

Altar call



Ash Wednesday saw the release of two volumes from prominent historical Jesus scholars on the death, possible burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. One is a collaboration, the other a parley.

Sail on

Shreve writes so well that for a while she seems able to reinvigorate the tired plot device of gathering a group of school friends for an unexpected reunion in middle age. Reunions of this kind invariably spark soul searching and reawaken old romantic feelings.