• Archive for June, 2009

    A Biology of Mental Disorder

    June 29, 2009 // No Comments »

    Having written Losing God, a book all about my struggle with depression, I’m always looking for new articles on mental disorders. Came across a good one today from Newsweek. Click here for “A Biology of Mental Disorder.”

    Posted in General

    Visit to InterVarsity Press

    June 23, 2009 // No Comments »

    IMG_3597Over the weekend, I was in Chicago visiting a friend. Just so happens that Chicago is home to InterVarsity Press, publisher of J.I. Packer’s Knowing God, Dallas Willard’s Hearing God, and, yes, Yours Truly’s Losing God. (That’s right: Packer knows him, Willard hears him, and I lose him.)

    I finally met the people who helped take Losing God from manuscript to published book–chiefly my editor, Dave Zimmerman, and my copyeditor, Elaina Whittenhall.

    If you’d like to see more pictures from my visit, click here for my Facebook photo albums. You might have to add me as a friend in order to see them.

    Posted in Writing Updates

    Recommendation: “The Maytrees”

    June 18, 2009 // No Comments »

    maytreesIf you’re looking for summer reading that isn’t too heavy but isn’t total fluff either, Annie Dillard’s The Maytrees may be for you. I just finished my second trip through and enjoyed it as much as–maybe more than–the first.

    The Maytrees is a simple story that asks a simple yet profound question. Dillard’s novel follows the lives of Toby Maytree and Lou Bigelow over several decades as events force them to ask themselves, What is love? (Don’t worry guys–this is no breezy, sentimental romance. The book is tough, honest, and gritty.)

    The Maytrees is short–just 216 pages, with plenty of whitespace–but it’s packed with meaning. No word is wasted. Every sentence counts. Every line reveals something important about these characters and their story. In a 2007 interview with NPR, Dillard said of her spare prose style, “The idea was to eliminate every single unnecessary word.”

    And Annie Dillard is a genius at description. Of Lou and Toby’s first encounter on Cape Cod, Dillard writes, “They shook hands and hers felt hot under sand like a sugar doughnut.” About the setting, she says, “…The ocean lashed and threw salts.” Simple. Clear. Imaginative. Perfect.

     

    Click here for the NPR interview, and here for the Amazon link to The Maytrees.

    Posted in General

    “found art” cover is itself art

    June 9, 2009 // 2 Comments »

    031029133xI love book covers. When I was a kid, I’d buy a book if it looked good, knowing full well I’d never crack it open once I got it home. I just wanted to look at it.

    These days I love reading, and only buy books I mean to read, but I’m still more likely to take a risk on a book I know nothing about if it has a good cover.

    Found Art is such a book. It releases from Zondervan in November. I know nothing about the book, beyond what the cover reveals. Leeana Tankersley wrote it; it’s about finding beauty in foreign places. That’s it. That’s all I know. And that I’ll probably buy it because of its cover.

    I’m not sure I could explain why I love it. Why does one painting draw our attention, and another doesn’t? Beats me. I love the colors of this cover, I know that, and the simplicity of it. The font choices are perfect. The subtle lines of cracked paint in the title banner are a nice touch, too.

    The old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” isn’t true. I judge lots of books by that alone. Maybe that’s shallow of me, but with so many books out there, a cover needs to grab me. This one did. Check out Found Art this November. I will.

     

    UPDATE: My editor at Zondervan, Angela Scheff, just informed me that Curt Diepenhorst designed the cover for Found Art. If you check the fine print on the back of my book, When Answers Aren’t Enough, you’ll see that he also designed that cover. Congrats, Curt, on another great job.

    Posted in General