Book Notes of Note (Puppets, Crows, and Tim Burton)


January 31, 2013

‘Sup. Yeah. I just said, ”Sup’.

Okay, so, in the past few weeks I’ve received a number of books for review, general edification, a place to rest my head, something to throw at my enemies, blahblahblah, and because it’s taking me forever and more to get to all of them, I wanted to at least draw your attention to each one. More to come on them later.

I hope.

Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-Vs.-Christians Debate, by Justin Lee. Tons of reviews pouring in on this one. People are really enjoying it–which can be a good or a bad thing. Given the folks endorsing the book, however, stellar people like Matthew Paul Turner and Rachel Evans, I’m inclined to think this is a good thing.

Masters of the Grotesque: The Cinema of Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, the Coen Brothers and David Lynch, by Schuy Weishaar. A book that mentions Chaplin and the Marx Brothers, even but if in passing, is worthy of our attention. Schuy is also in a band called Manzanita Bones. Everyone is so much cooler than me.

A puppet 'playing' Mary. Aw man . . .

A puppet ‘playing’ Mary. Aw, isn’t that precious?

Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism: A Novella, by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. I’m using this in my Religion & Literature course this semester. There’s so much to discuss about this creepy book about puppets who start trying to embody various stories and people in the Bible. Conversations will abound around discussions of free will, theodicy, and why this confirms my suspicion that Satan loves puppets. Creepy awesome!

An Uncertain Age: A Novel, by Ulrica Hume. A wickedly sophisticated novel by a wickedly sophisticated writer. I just started reading it and this book is deep. Layers and layers deep. Like a ‘beautiful head-high swell over the perfect sandbar some forty yards out on a glassy day’ deep. Something like that, anyway.

Holy Nomad: The Rugged Road to Joy, by Matt Litton. This cat owes me a response to some interview questions I sent him. Good thing we’re close friends, otherwise . . .

Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian, by Stanley Hauerwas. His chapter on Augustine’s account of evil is worth the price alone (assuming you can get it severely discounted–that’s not a shot at the chapter, it really is good, but $35 for a paperback of this size is steep. You can purchase it from the publisher’s website where they often run good deals).

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel. Yum. Graphic novels are the best. I hope to have an interview with this ”dyke to watch out for” in the near future.

Rock on!

And for something a little different:

Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans, by John Marzluff. Well, if they’re so damn smart, why would they want to behave like us? (Seriously though, crows are awesome. This book is pretty cool.)