#NewBookAlert: May Your Weekend Be Booked Solid With Solid Books

Tis a break from the My Summer Lair podcasts and #SetTheVCR recommendations to offer book recommendations.

A new season means new books. A new season means new perspectives.

I’m currently reading Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act: A Way of Being. (The passage from above is a quote/snapshot.)

It’s a slow read, happily so. Rick’s writing style allows you to languish between the pages. Some serious tea, a couple of lazy rainy days…and it gently opens the mind for fresh creativity. So enjoying it.

For this #NewBookAlert newsletter I present 4 books. Not 5 or 10 or some other cleanly rounded number. Nah man, 4 it is: 2 novels; 2 non-fictions.

And 3 of the books overlap thematically. One is a random surprise. Cue: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others.

I’ll let you decide which one is not like the others.

Though that’s why I’m presenting these specific books. These 4 books are about fitting in just as they are about thinking outside the box. They’re populated with distinct characters and unique individuals.

Not to get all Mister Rogers You Are Special on you.

Like, the final writer I recommend is W. David O. Taylor who tweeted on May 17, 2022:

“I’m reminding myself today that it’s OK to be un-interesting, unexciting, and un-remarkable and simply be a human who loves his wife in practical ways, makes lunches for the kids, files folders, grades papers, puts laundry away—and that this too is God-blessed good stuff.”

So true. That’s a beautiful simplicity. Most of us can’t be on the wrong side of history because…history is not gonna record us. We’re simple people who…enjoy the simple pleasure of reading.

As such here are 4 recent books for your reading pleasure.

What are you reading?
What recent book kept you up at night past your bedtime…one more chapter, bah!?

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? Sunset Empire (A Morris Baker Novel #2)
by Josh Weiss
In Beat The Devils (Book #1) the Red Scare never ended. Joseph McCarthy became President & the HUAC is a terrifying secret police that crushes rebel activities & punishes disloyalty. Oh boy.

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Grand Central Pub
BEAT THE DEVILS by @JoshuaHWeiss is out in paperback today, just in time to catch up before SUNSET EMPIRE hits shelves in hardcover next week! Learn more about these alternate-history thrillers in which the Red Scare never ended: bit.ly/3JmuUjb
4:21 PM ? Mar 21, 2023
Favourite Line: “Nothing else mattered, except the cause.” Beat The Devils is out in paperback; recently released. Just in time for the dynamic follow up Sunset Empire. It’s December, 1959: The Korean War rages on. And President Joseph McCarthy is determined to rule American with an iron fist.

Favourite Fun Fact: An alternative universe Steven Spielberg shows up in Sunset Empire…working for an underground adult film studio. (McCarthy’s presidency is devoted to overt antisemitism. No surprise there.)

Favourite Gut Punch: Beat The Devils…opens with a murder. Who dies in the first chapter? Why…an up and coming young journalist named Walter Cronkite. I dunno why but Walter Cronkite’s murder was a gut punch. That’s so sad and so rude. Devils follows Detective Morris as he attempts to solve Cronkite’s murder. For more on Book #2 here’s an excerpt.

Favourite Text Excerpt: via The Hollywood Reporter.

? G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century
by Beverly Gage
A bio on the O-G…Man: J. Edgar Hoover.

Twitter avatar for @VikingBooks
Viking Books
Congratulations @beverlygage! ??? G-MAN is the WINNER of the 2023 Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy! Start reading the book that @NewYorker calls “crisply written, prodigiously researched, and frequently astonishing” now: bit.ly/3FVeUmV
5:08 PM ? Mar 9, 2023
Favourite Line: “We cannot know our own story without understanding his, in all its high aspirations and terrible cruelty, and in its many human contradictions,” writes Gage.

Favourite Fun Fact: Hoover had professional relationships with eight U.S. presidents. That’s a lot of power. Never realized it was that many. He’s like the Billy Graham of law enforcement. (Billy rolled with at least 11 Presidents…)

Favourite Gut Punch: G-Man is a disturbing and definitive work that sheds new light on the man who helped shape the conservative political landscape of America today. This is, in part the story of how we got here.

Favourite Text Excerpt: via The Atlantic.

? Never Sleep
by Fred Van Lente
Meet Kate Warn the first female private detective in American history.

Twitter avatar for @BlackstoneAudio
Blackstone Publishing
Happy #pubday to #NEVERSLEEP by @nytimes bestselling author @fredvanlente ??? ?You can order this historical adventure (and @AppleBooks spring pick) right HERE? buff.ly/3vDLBPq
6:33 PM ? Mar 28, 2023
Favourite Line: Nothing to do with the historical novel but this is a fun line. Many moons ago I took Fred and his lovely wife Crystal Skillman to Honest Ed’s in downtown Toronto. Looking around at all the crap on the walls, the loud signs…the comforting chaos of the sloppy displays he concluded: “This store is…like a physical manifestation of the internet!” See? Great line.

Favourite Fun Fact: Based on a true story! It’s 1861 and the first female agents of the Pinkerton National Police Agency are racing against time to foil an assassination attempt on the President Abraham Lincoln’s life. Secessionist high society, secret societies…it’s all happening! What’s so civil about war, right?

Favourite Gut Punch: This isn’t the Ford Theatre assassination of Abraham Lincoln! It’s another attempt on his life. Obviously and sadly the Ford Theatre attempt was successful. Single tear…

Favourite Audio Excerpt:

?A Body of Praise: Understanding the Role of Our Physical Bodies in Worship
by W. David O. Taylor
“I dedicate my book to dancers.”

Twitter avatar for @JacksonWoosley
J.D. Woosley
It is truly a thing of beauty to hold this one in my hands today. Spent a long time waiting on this one.

Grateful for the brilliant mind and pastoral heart of @wdavidotaylor! Excited to learn from him a bit more about what it means to be human.
10:06 PM ? Mar 24, 2023
Favourite Line: “I’ve been thinking about this book for 25 years. I’ve been working on this book for 4 years.”

Favourite Fun Fact: “What we do with our postures, gestures, and movements in worship matters. How our senses of sight, scent, sound, taste, and touch are involved in worship matters. How our spontaneous and prescriptive activities form us in worship matters. All of it matters to faithful and fulsome worship for the sake of a body that is fully alive in the praise of God.” Interesting perspective, not sure if I agree. I’ll hafta read this book and get into it. I value books where you can argue with the page.

Favourite Gut Punch: Chapter 8 is why I’m recommending this book. (Well that; and I also enjoy dude’s outstanding writing.) Chapter 8 focuses on “Artistic Perspectives on the Body in Worship.” Super curious about but I gotta read all the way to Chapter 8? Alright then; let’s get started. I’ll put the kettle on.

Favourite Texts: Follow David on Twitter & IG. He posts these wonderful payers and rich cultural insights. It’s a joyful mashup of culture and Christianity. (Sometimes those are the same things…)

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