If you need a story to take you away from your current cares and stress, this is it: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.


In Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle, Kent Annan faces a lot of difficult truths and challenges involved with the disparity in the way we value life in developed versus developing areas. He doesn’t shy away from asking the tough questions, even if he has no pat answers.


Brad Meltzer must be a good writer, since he kept me going through 500 pages of politics, presidents & aides, CIA, FBI, freemasons and intrigue, which is definitely not my preferred subject matter for reading! I especially appreciated his pacing, and the short chapters in The Book of Fate.


Imager doesn’t have a breakneck pace, but I don’t need that in a novel. I liked the protagonist, the thorough backstory of the international politics, and the depiction of strong women in a story about a man. I will definitely try the next book in this series by L. E. Modesitt Jr.


Considering that there wasn’t anything really surprising about Hugh Howey’s Wool Omnibus, I find it difficult to pinpoint why I like it so much. I’m always up for an alternate “world” convincingly drawn. The characters are compelling. The writing is good. Do you need more reasons to read it?


Apparently Inversions cannot stand alone, and I should have read the other Culture books by Iain M. Banks to understand these stories.  Two narratives are told in alternating chapters; both are the tales of foreigners who are in positions (physician, bodyguard) close to the rulers of their lands.


Neither The Book Borrower nor On the Island were worth reading. I would not have finished them if I weren’t sick and desperate for distraction.


Imager’s Challenge, the second in the series, continued with many open story arcs from the first book. It was an enjoyable read. What resonated most with me was the idea that people want things to be easier, not better.



We all found The Croods to be very entertaining.


500 Days of Summer was a tough call for me; I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but I really dislike Zooey Deschanel. There didn’t seem to be much story to tell, and the character of Tom’s sister Rachel was very unbelievable.


The plot of The Bourne Legacy is a bit murky, but it was mostly enjoyable as an action adventure. The Bourne movies always dismay me with how casually other lives are seen; it seems to be okay to kill or injure people who aren’t part of the Big Evil Plot but are in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as bystanders in the chases scenes, or security guards.


Expendables 2 is noteworthy only in the number of “action stars” (possibly dinosaurs) who appear in it: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Jean Clause Van Damme, and more.  The sheer number of deaths is overwhelming. The storyline… not so much.  I did laugh at the ridiculousness of it, and at some of the throwaway lines they gave the stars.


Flight is not a movie about airplane flight. It is perhaps about fleeing yourself. Mostly it is about substance abuse. And it contains unnecessary nudity.


Chasing Freedom is based on a true story about a young woman from Afghanistan seeking asylum in the USA.  If that appeals to you, you’ll probably like the movie.


Blog post you should see

How churches should address abuse

It’s important to note that churches are not the only place where the tragedy of child sexual exploitation occurs. Unfortunately, pedophiles prey where they can gain access to children, and that includes schools, day care facilities and sports programs. What seems to be uniquely dangerous within the church, however, is a tendency to attempt to deal with the problem internally instead of involving legal authorities. Some pastors may feel that they can exact accountability and punishment within the church community. Unfortunately this practice in harmful in many ways. It shields perpetrators from facing legal How consequences, and it also puts other children at risk since the perpetrators have no criminal record of their actions.


How to get along with an introvert

Introverts are like that cell phone you’ve got that needs to be recharged several times per day. In their minds, they’re running a lot of applications.
Go deep or go home. Mostly, introverts live in their minds and they think about why things happen or they daydream or whatever. Shallow conversations about the weather, at least for me, are painful. I just don’t want to have them. It’s not that I want to talk about politics or theology, I don’t, but I don’t want to have conversations that aren’t going somewhere. I want to talk about your passions, your fears, your musings about why you think life is the way it is. The cool thing is, once I know we can go there, I can talk to that person about anything shallow, including the weather. I just have to know we can go to the deep end when we feel like it.


How to keep it together when you’re depressed


Reasons my son is crying



Charles Wu:

I realized a couple of years ago that not only am I not super-skilled at anything, I’m not even particularly good at being myself.