Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reading Lists - Christian Fiction for Men

We’ve previously written about Christian fiction for women—see our “Bonnet Fiction” reading list—but what about Christian fiction for men?  This list contains Christian novels in a variety of manly genres, from westerns and legal thrillers to paranormal suspense and adventure fantasy.    
Nothing to Hide 
by J. Mark Bertrand 
When a decapitated body turns up in a local park, Detective Roland March finds himself embroiled in a complicated mystery involving Mexican drug cartels and the FBI.  Bertrand mixes thrilling suspense with complex issues of faith and morality in this excellent mystery novel. 

Sun Dance
by Sigmund Brouwer 

Because of his excellent scouting skills and good standing with Chief Red Cloud, Marshal Samuel Keaton is asked by Lieutenant Grimshaw of the U.S. Calvary to guide a detachment of officers through hostile Sioux territory.  When the expedition goes horribly awry, Keaton sees the error of his arrogance and realizes he must place his trust in God if he wants to find redemption. 

Lion of Babylon 
by T. Davis Bunn 
The Middle East is the setting for this tense thriller by prolific Christian author T. Davis Bunn.  Featuring an ex-Intelligence Officer who returns to the field when a friend/former colleague disappears in  Baghdad, the action packed Lion of Babylon is filled with vivid descriptions, humane characterizations, and thoughtful insights into an often misunderstood area of the world.    

River Rising
by Athol Dickson 

Winner of a Christy Award for Best Suspense novel, River Rising mixes mystery and miraculous events when an unknown preacher wanders into rural Pilotsville, Louisiana right before the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.  Dickson skillfully handles what could have been an overly sentimental novel by realistically portraying the physical hardships and spiritual struggles of his characters. 

by Jerry B. Jenkins
Jenkins, co-author of the popular Left Behind series, ventures out on his own in this electrifying apocalyptic novel.  36 years after World War III left the earth devastated, the nations of the world have outlawed all religions in an effort for peace, though the Christian underground movement continues to grow in the wake of miraculous signs and wonders. 

The Dead Don’t Dance 
by Charles Martin 
Men who enjoy literary fiction and aren’t scared off by a little emotion will enjoy The Dead Don’t Dance,  a poignant character-driven novel of a man faced with many trials and tribulations.  Protagonist Dylan Styles lives a comfortable life until his pregnant wife goes into a coma.  Alone and full of despair, Dylan seeks to understand God’s plan for his life.       

by Bill Myers 

The thought-provoking Eli by Bill Myers imagines a parallel universe where the Son of God arrives in our own contemporary age rather than 2,000 years ago.  Eli, the Christ figure in the story, is born in a laundromat and grows up to expose the hypocrisies of modern religious attitudes, mirroring Jesus’s own experiences with the Pharisees in the synagogues.      

The Visitation 
by Frank Peretti 
Frank Peretti gained renown as one of the best selling and most celebrated Christian fiction authors for his paranormal thrillers about spiritual warfare.  The Visitation, like his classic This Present Darkness, contains many supernatural elements.  Jaded minister Travis Jordan tries to uncover the truth about a miracle performing visitor who has amassed a large following in his town. 

The Legend of the Firefish 
by Bryan Polivka 
If you like adventures on the high seas and fantasy stories involving mythical beasts, then you’ll love this book.  Failed seminary student turned skilled swordsman Packer Throme seeks to catch the legendary Firefish, and his hunt has him crossing paths with a band of murderous pirates.  An inspiring tale of faith, The Legend of the Firefish is the story of one man’s quest for purpose in life. 

The Twelfth Imam 
by Joel C. Rosenberg 
The Twelfth Imam is the first book in an exciting suspense series from Joel C. Rosenberg, a WORLD Magazine contributor and author of the best-selling The Last Jihad.  David Shirazi, an undercover CIA operative who has infiltrated the Iranian government, must find the location of two missing nuclear warheads before an attack is launched on Israel.  

Dying Declaration 
by Randy Singer 
Dying Declaration, an arresting legal thriller from Randy Singer, does not shy away from difficult moral and theological issues.  The plot concerns a couple whose son dies when they believe his ailments do not need medical attention and can be cured solely through prayer.  To their defense comes Charles Arnold, a lawyer and street preacher who is persuaded to take the case. 

Paul: A Novel            
by Walter Wangerin 

Follow the dramatic transformation of Saul of Tarsus from self-righteous Pharisee to impassioned missionary in this fascinating fictionalization of the life of the Apostle Paul.  Steeped in historical and biblical research, Paul: A Novel will give you a new take on one of the most important figures of the early church.    

The Sacrifice
by Robert Whitlow

Christy Award-winning author Robert Whitlow draws upon his  experience as a private  attorney in writing his fine legal thrillers. His stunning The Sacrifice, a story about a lawyer who agrees to represent a young man accused of a horrific church shooting, will have you on the edge of your seat. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Music - Girl Power: Japan!

All Samuels Public Library cardholders are eligible for three free downloads a week from Freegal, a massive online database containing over 500,000 songs.  Sifting through such an enormous selection of music can be a daunting task, so we here at Samuels have decided to offer a few suggestions for the overwhelmed (or new) Freegal user.  This week we recommend three great songs by female Japanese pop/rock artists:

Takako Minekawa
"Fantastic Cat"
From Roomic Cube

Armed with a moog synthesizer and some nonsensical sing-song lyrics, Takako Minekawa crafts an absurdly fun earworm of a tune about a happy happy fantastic cat. The poppy peppiness and bloops and bleeps would feel right at home in the bright flashing colors of an anime cartoon or an old school Nintendo video game, two other awesome imports from Japan.

“Woo Hoo”
From Bomb the Twist

Garage rock girl group The’s were immortalized by Quentin Tarantino when they appeared as the house band at a Japanese go-go club during a climactic fight scene in Kill Bill: Vol. 1. “Woo Hoo,” one of the songs made famous by the movie, is a blistering two minutes of rockabilly riffs and ferocious drum fills, with the only lyrics being the “woo hoo” of the title.

Puffy Amiyumi
“Love So Pure”
From Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi
Huge stars in their native Japan, Puffy Amiyumi may be familiar to American audiences fond of the Cartoon Network—they performed the theme song to Teen Titans, and their own Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi cartoon ran for three seasons. This compilation gathers tracks in both English and Japanese, and the English-language “Love So Pure,” with its Beatle-esque buoyancy and ooh-la-las, is one of the standouts on an album filled with great tunes.