Recent Posts

Stirring, Terrifying, Inspiring, Troubling—Yeah, That’s America

The first thing I note about Jill Lepore’s new one-volume history of the United States is how out of style it is. In an age of disintegrating consensus and competing truths, who would dare to attempt a comprehensive narrative of our national story? Fortunately, Jill Lepore would and the result is a book you’ll surely […]

There is Still a ‘There’ There: The Atopian Dreams of Suzannah Lessard

This review by Heartlands editor Alex Joyner originally appeared in the Eastertide 2019 print edition of the Englewood Review of Books  (now available) and is republished with permission. It’s quaint to live in a place like Parksley. Though the name refers to the original owner from whom the land for the town was bought, one Benjamin Parks, it […]

A New Style Guide for Word Lovers: Dreyer’s Droll Diversion

It sounds like faint praise to say that a book is diverting. We want our books to be gripping, engrossing, un-put-down-able. Or, if the tome in question is a reference book, we’d prefer that it be reliable, comprehensive, and comprehensible. Sorry. Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style meets none of those […]

Can We Talk Here? Recovering Conversation in the Church with C. Christopher Smith

Every pastor knows the scenario. An issue has arisen. Relationships are frayed. People are more than willing to talk it out with the pastor, but with each other? Not so much. C. Christopher Smith, editor of the Englewood Review of Books, has been an advocate for the spiritual practice of conversation based on the long-running […]

Getting Beyond ‘Should’ to What ‘Is’: The Virginia Reeves Interview Concludes

My interview with Virginia Reeves, author of The Behavior of Love, concludes with some thoughts on ‘should’ and the struggles of human beings in love to connect. (The interview begins here.) One of the other big words in this book for me is the word ‘should.’ In fact, you title a whole section ‘Should.’ I […]

“Behavior is a Fraction of Who We Are”: Virginia Reeves Interview (2 of 3)

In the previous segment of our interview with Virginia Reeves, we talked about the origins of her new book, The Behavior of Love, and the inspiration for one of its main characters, Ed, a behaviorist working within a Montana institution. In the second part of the interview we discuss behavior, identity, and the windows of […]

Not Fixated on the Future: Finding Presence with Virginia Reeves (1 of 3)

Virginia Reeves is a confounding author. How does someone who can capture the beauty of landscape and human relationships with such rich writing also manage to resist the expectations of what books about such things must be like? Just when you think you know how her stories will go, when you’ve seen the end of […]