Michel Faber: The Book of Strange New Things: A Novel
A mainstream book that treats a missionary as a genuine, normal person and not a weird or caricature? Yes! The oddity: This missionary is off to an alien planet to evangelize and alien race. Seriously. And it's good.
Leonard Hjalmarson: No Home Like Place: A Christian Theology of Place
Though a bit academic at times, and therefore challenging for lugs like me, this book is an important argument for why "place" matters to Christians, indeed why the placelessness of our theologies is unbiblical. It's about time.
Puzzles Like You
Mojave 3: Puzzles Like You
Shoe-gazing is how they refer to this dream-pop with acoustic vibes, and Mojave 3, Neil Halstead, and Slowdive, among others, carry the torch.
Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds: A Short Cut To Teenage Fanclub
Teenage Fanclub: Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds: A Short Cut To Teenage Fanclub
My favorite power-pop band by far. Type this into Pandora and much of what comes up is sheer bliss. Big major chords. Pop. An antidote for world-weary folksters.
The Kinks: The Anthology 1964 - 1971 [5 CD][Box Set]
This collection of the enigmatic British super-group contains many early gems, like "Lola," or "You Really Got Me." But I miss a more definitive collection containing latter songs, like some from he great "Muswell Hillbillies" record.
The Brothers & Sisters: Dylan's Gospel
Holy cow! What a great rendition of Dylan songs. This choir of 27 LA session singers recorded gospel renditions of Dylan songs. Originally released in 1969, it's finally reissued! I'd rather hear the songs sung by these guys than Dylan himself.
Mat Kearney: Just Kids
The voice, the lyrics, the beat - I really love this record full of rap, pop, and rhythm. Kearney gets to me in a music I don't often listen to.
No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology
Sandy Denny: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology
I love British folk music, and Sandy Denny, like Nick Drake, is the epitome of it. With or without Fairport Convention, her clear, strong voice is moving, if plaintive.