Book reviews, Uncategorized

Loving Mercy, Living in Prison

The Sun Does Shine is the gripping memoir by Anthony Ray Hinton, who was wrongfully convicted of killing two men and sentenced to death in 1985 in Alabama. The case against Hinton, a 29-year-old black man, was clearly shaped by racism and rooted in insufficient evidence. He spent nearly 30 years in prison, until he was… Continue reading Loving Mercy, Living in Prison

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Book reviews, Uncategorized

Seeing through the Lens of Personality

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the plethora of personality types and their corresponding measurements? Author and well-known book blogger Anne Bogel (Modern Mrs. Darcy) may be just the wise and gracious guide you need. In Reading People, Bogel pulls from years of research and offers up her personal experiences with popular personality frameworks such as… Continue reading Seeing through the Lens of Personality

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Coming of Age in Post-Earthquake Haiti

Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go opens in the chaos of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed over 230,000 people and displaced 1.5 million more. Describing the disaster that claimed both her home and the life of her beloved aunt, 15-year-old protagonist Magdalie says: “The sound and shaking become one sensation—I can’t separate the two—and… Continue reading Coming of Age in Post-Earthquake Haiti

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More than Criminals

Murderers. Drug addicts. Gang leaders. Thieves. The troubled men in this memoir by Chris Hoke, a gang pastor and jail chaplain, are known to society by these dark labels. To Hoke, however, these “men starved for kindness and care” are so much more than their criminal actions or statuses; they are his unconventional congregants and… Continue reading More than Criminals

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Toni Morrison’s Haunting New Novel

Widely acclaimed African American novelist Toni Morrison is regularly praised for boldly writing about the grim realities of racial hatred, violence, sexual abuse, and parental mistreatment. Her protagonists are often women—mothers, sisters, and daughters—whose traumatic experiences shape their struggles to receive and give love. Morrison’s latest and 11th novel, God Help the Child, continues to explore… Continue reading Toni Morrison’s Haunting New Novel

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Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things

For many years, my dad Tom Konyndyk has been applying his incisive and thoughtful editorial eye to my book reviews and other creative pieces. He makes me a better writer. It has been a while since he's published a review of his own. So it sure is neat to read his review of Michel Faber's new novel The Book… Continue reading Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things

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The Unique Giftedness of Hannah More

Hannah More was an accomplished and gifted author and philanthropist best known for opposing the slave trade and promoting education for women in 18th-century British society. Karen Swallow Prior’s Fierce Convictions is a crisply written, rigorously researched biography that charts More’s “extraordinary life” through the events, works, and relationships by which her legacy was made. From… Continue reading The Unique Giftedness of Hannah More