December 22nd, 2011 by Bruce Edwards
- MY TROUBLED CHILDHOOD IS MORE TRAGIC THAN YOUR TROUBLED CHILDHOOD. A compendium of self-pitying journal entries in which narcissistic, woe-is-me chroniclers bewail their present status, tracing their adult dysfunction to neglectful parents, neighborhood schools, Ritalin-plagued siblings, cursing coaches, prom-less senior years, that one broken toy—and the Cleveland Browns.
- I’M WAY, WAY MORE MORE EVANGELICAL THAN YOU. In this 600 pp. book, megachurch pastors take turns explaining and debating what “carpe diem” means, even though it does not actually appear anywhere in Scripture and none of them took Latin in high school. It’s the initial volume in Inter-Varsity Press’ new series, “Ancient-Recent Commentaries on Foreign-sounding Epigrams That People Keep Quoting at Church.”
- PIPER’S PIPINGS. A luxurious, full-color coffee table book consisting of photos of suit lapel pipings captured during John Piper’s sermons at Bethelem Baptist Church in downtown Minneapolis between the years 1986-1998. Each is helpfully annotated with a whimsical excerpt from one or more of his poems by one or more of his sons. A second volume is in the works.
- BESIDE THE DAWN, HE CREEPS. Another entry in the Tolkien-Lewis sweepstakes of fantasy knock-offs that infuse an otherwise ordinary tale with worn supernatural elements that draw attention away from the graceless prose and feckless plot of its author. Writing under the pseudonym, Harriet Downer Steele, a well-known evangelical pastor’s wife depicts the story of a well-known evangelical pastor’s wife who despises the constant smile implanted on her face, and decides to take her revenge out on the Maine coastal town’s languid florist by turning him into a toad who can only quote Kierkegaard in Danish, thus meriting a positive Books and Culture feature article. The toad, not the author.
- Les Liaisons dangereuses, or, THE MARRIAGE BOOK. Written by Newt Gingrich. Between marriages and the Iowa caucuses. Reminisces on what makes a marriage sacred. Short answer: not marrying Newt.