Books&Culture

Reviews of books and music of interest to Canadian Christians. Click a year below to read the reviews published that year. We also have an online store for buying books reviewed in Faith Today. A small commission on each sale there helps support our ministry. Similarly any links in our digital editions that lead to Amazon.ca also get us a commission.

2017

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2016

 

Nov/Dec Issue

 
The Atheist Who Didn't Exist: Or the Dreadful Consequences of Bad Arguments

Author: Andy Bannister. Monarch Books, 2015. 192 pages. $16.50 (e-book $9.99)

In this book Andy Bannister, Canadian director for apologetics ministry RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) tackles many of the arguments atheists use.

Brian-Savvy Leaders: The Science of Significant Ministry

Author: Charles Stone Abingdon Press, 2015. 232 pages. $34.99 (e-book $18.99)

Charles Stone, lead pastor of West Park Church in London, Ont., applies neuroscience to leadership.  

The New Canadian Pentecostals

Author: Adam Stewart. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015.  208 pages. $29.99 (e-book $18.99)

This book is a helpful resource of Canadian church leaders and libraries. Stewart's thesis - that many Pentecostal attenders are "no longer identifying, believing or behaving as they did just a few decades ago" - generally proves correct, though he admits instances where his assumptions were wrong.  

The Last Verdict

Author: Jamie Arpin-Ricci. CreateSpace, 2016. 72 pages. $16.50 (e-book $2.99)

This fictional novella, inspired by the author's correspondence men on death row, portrays the lives of two women. One is the mother of a murder victim. The other is mother of the accused murderer.  

When Breath Becomes Air

Author: Paul Kalanithi. Random House, 2016. 256 pages. $10 (e-book $14.99)

This is a thought-provoking memoir from a neurosurgeon who, in his last year of residency, developed stage four lung cancer.

Sept/Oct Issue

 
A Shield in the Shadows

Author: L.A. Racines. Xulon Press, 2015. 360 pages. $25.99 (e-book $9.99)

Canadian author L.A. Racines takes readers on a detailed journey into Gothic and Roman culture in the year AD 405.

Vulnerable Faith: Missional Living in the Radical Way of St. Patrick

Authors: Jamie Arpin-Ricci Paraclete, 2015. 200 pages + CD. $22.80 (e-book $9.99)

A recovering alcoholic once pointed out to author Jamie Arpin-Ricci the close parallels between the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and key points in St. Patrick's journey of faith. This book is based on that concept.  

Subway Stations of the Cross

Author: Ins Choi and Guno Park House of Anansi Press, 2015.  112 pages. $24.99

Subway Stations of the Cross is a play, a poem and a piece of visual art all in one.  

Real Change is Incremental

Author: David Peck. BBPS Books, 2014. 266 pages. $29.99 (e-book $12.99)

David Peck has dabbled in many fields, and this book draws on his eclectic knowledge as a magician, philosopher, father, teacher and electrician and international development specialist in a collection of chapters that read like individual essays.  

All the Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr. Xulon Press, 2015. 544 pages. $19.99 (e-book $11.99)

Little Marie-Laure lives with her locksmith father in Paris...In 1940, when the Nazis occupy Paris, then-12-year-old Marie-Laure and her father flee to St-Malo...Though the story is not antireligious, it celebrates the possibility and power of human goodness, even in the crucible of war.

Jul/Aug Issue

 
Living at the End of the Rope

Author: Ron Hughes. Gospel Folio Press, 2015. 173 pages. $17.99

Each of the ten stories inside details a life journey of a different person, how they experienced suffering, and what brought them through.

A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life

Author: Jared Brock Tyndale House, 2015.  354 pages. $25 (e-book $9.99)

Jared Brock's challenge to himself in writing this book was to move beyond the "mechanics" of prayer, to a renewed sense of "prayer with deep faith."  

I Will Not Be Shaken: A Songwriter's Journey Through the Psalms

Authors: Jamie Howison and Steve Bell. Signpost Music, 2015. 133 pages + CD. $29.99

Psalms have long inspired the work of Winnipeg singer/songwriter Steve Bell, and now he and his Anglican priest friend Jamie Howison have put together a delightful exploration of this element of Bell's music.  

Between the World and Me

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates. Random House Audio, 2015. 170 pages. $26.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a black American writer - not an activist, but someone who thinks deeply about the questions that keep him up at night.  

May/Jun Issue

 
Eve: A Novel

Author: W. Paul Young. Howard Books, 2015. 320 pages. $19; (e-book $12)

For those who loved The Shack...Eve is no disappointment. It is wildly imaginative, poetic and deeply moving (like The Shack), focused on the meeting place between the worst pain of the human heart and the all-encompassing compassion and love of God.  

They Left us Everything: A Memoir

Author: Plum Johnson Penguin Canada, 2014.  288 pages. $22 (e-book $15)

This award-winning memoir provides a window into the life of an ordinary family as they come to grips with the aging and loss of those who reared them.  

The Orenda

Author: Joseph Boyden. Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2013. 512 pages. $22; (e-book $9.99)

A novel inspired by real events, Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda uses three characters to delve into the history of our land before it came to be called Canada.  

Rumours of Glory: A Memoir

Authors: Bruce Cockburn and Greg King. Harper Collins, 2014. 530 pages. $19.99; (e-book $14)

As a mystic, Cockburn has tried to keep both “Jesus the compassionate activist” and “portal to the cosmos” close to his heart.  

The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries From the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity

Author: Norman Doidge. Viking, 2015. 432 pages. $24; (e-book $19)

In this book Doidge illuminates the awe-inspiring intricacies of the human being and the complexity with which we were created. Recommended for those with a curious mind and especially those in healing professions.  

Mar/Apr Issue

 
Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith

Author: Sarah Bessey. Howard/Simon and Schuster, 2015. 260 pages. $32; (e-book $10)

Some readers of British Columbia author Sarah Bessey might feel as if she’s been reading their spiritual mail. She has a keen sense of what questions people of faith are asking these days.  

Climbing the Spiritual Mountain: the Questions of Jesus

Authors: Alan and Elizabeth Davey. Wipf and Stock, 2014.  182 pages. $29 (e-book $10)

Here is a handbook useful in many situations. Are you dealing with misunderstanding about Evangelicals? Or between them?  

Pilgrimage

Author: Steve Bell. Signpost, 2014. $39.99.

Winnipeg's Steve Bell is Canada's most beloved and enduring troubadour within the Christian music genre. Pilgrimage is an exquisite four-disc box set which commemorates his 25 years as a performing solo artist.  

The Gentle Answer to the Muslim Accusation of Biblical Falsification

Author: Gordon Nickel. Bruton Gate, 2015. 502 pages. $39; (e-book $10)

Canadian scholar Gordon Nickel has written this book to tackle a widespread misunderstanding among Muslims, namely that the Old and New Testaments have been corrupted. 

Armin's Shorts. Little Fictions.

Author: Armin Wiebe. Turnstone Press, 2015. 290 pages. $19; (e-book $10)

The naughty knickers on the front cover do not tell the whole story of Armin’s Shorts. As impish as most of his tales are, they are also seriously rooted in a sense of dis/connection to place, language, church and heritage. 

Jan/Feb Issue

 
Evangelicals Around the World: a Handbook for the 21st Century

Author: Brian C. Stiller, Todd M. Johnson, Karen Stiller, Mark Hutchinson. Thomas Nelson, 2015.  422 pages. $32 (e-book $20)

Here is a handbook useful in many situations. Are you dealing with misunderstanding about Evangelicals? Or between them?  

What's Happened to Politics?

Author: Bob Rae. Simon and Schuster, 2015.  176 pages. $25 (e-book $14)

As Rae admits, it is not a memoir or an exercise in nostalgia. It is a reflection on some lessons learned.  

Beloved Child of God

Author: Chris Bray. Independent, 2013. $13. (digital $10)

Beloved Child of God, Chris Bray's third album, has garnered him numerous top 10 Canadian Christian radio hits and several Covenant award nominations from Canada’s Gospel Music Association.  

Torah Light: Insights from the Books of Moses

Author: Alan Gilman. CreateSpace, 2014. 240 pages. $20

Messianic Jewish author Alan Gilman illustrates how the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, permeates and informs the rest of the Bible.  

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Author: Marie Kando. Ten Speed Press, 2014. 224 pages. $19.99 (e-book $11.99)

When picking up this book, you might be tempted to expect a how-to manual, but Marie Kondo’s inaugural work is more of a self-help manifesto.