Tag Archives: Christian Life

Book Review 121: The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

I have become a Louise Penny fan!

I wanted to make that statement clear from the opening sentence of this review.  The Beautiful Mystery is the third Louise Penny novel I’ve read in 2017.  Starting with The Long Way Home and A Trick of the Light, the Inspector Gamache novels set in small-town Quebec have been a wonderful reading discovery.

A murder takes place at the Saint-Gilbert-Entreles-Loups monastery.  The monastery is hidden in the wilderness of Quebec away from the public.  However, Inspector Gamache and his sidekick, Jean-Guy Beauvoir are called to the monastery to investigate the murder of a monk who was deciding on a different path for his fellow monk brethren.

The monks at the monastery had become famous for their singing voices of the Gregorian chants that has given listeners a spiritual experience unlike anything else that had ever heard in recorded music.  Well, with the prospect of being able to touch the world with their music had created division amongst the monks.  As Gamache and Beauvoir continue with the investigation, they learned more about the monk culture and the division that lied within the monastery’s walls.

Penny does an excellent job of showing the monk culture without condescension. Also, the differences between the secular lifestyle of the detectives and the religious lifestyle of the monks.  Those elements added another dimension to the novel’s theme that made it rewarding.

I have learned about Inspector Gamache’s past in relation to his fellow Surete du Quebec police officers.  While, The Beautiful Mystery (and the aforementioned Penny novels) reads as a standalone book, I have to read the entire series starting with Still Life to get the full picture of Inspector Gamache.

I would still rank A Trick of the Light as my favorite Louise Penny novel to date. The Beautiful Mystery is an excellent novel and one of my favorite reads of the year.  Highly recommended!



Introduction to the Book of Titus

A few years ago, I decided that I would I do online bible studies for the lesser known books of the Bible. It seems even amongst Christians, we have our favorite books of the Bible.  From the Gospels to Paul’s most popular letters (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Corinthians…etc) to Genesis and Exodus in… Continue Reading

Book Review 45: All God’s Children & Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers

What is pop culture? That’s the one question I’ve always wanted to get a definitive answer to in all of my adult life. Well, I believe I have found a book that attempts to give me that answer. All God’s Children & Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers explores the relationship between Christians and Popular Culture.… Continue Reading

Book Review 44: Gray Matters by Brett McCracken

“Christians have a hard time with nuance, gray areas are not out strong suit.” “Discernment is a tricky business, much more complicated than a checklist or matrix of black-and-white criteria. And it begins on the inside, with an awareness that while discernment is a virtue we should all aspire to, it doesn’t look exactly the… Continue Reading

Book Review 37: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

“For me writing has always felt like praying.” “Adulthood is a wonderful thing, and brief. You must be sure to enjoy it while it lasts.” Those touching, powerful quotes are from Minister John Ames, the protagonist of Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Gilead tells his story in letter form to his young son about his life… Continue Reading

Quotes 77

“Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer… Continue Reading