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Notable Books | Four Christian-themed books revired by Susan Olasky

Angel of Wrath

I'm not a huge fan of Christian fiction featuring battles in the spiritual world breaking out on earth. I was surprised, therefore, that Angel of Wrath captured my interest and kept it throughout. It's the story of an assassin who murders people attending a particular church and makes it clear that their deaths are related to an area of sin in their lives. The killings entangle an ex-FBI agent, her ex-special-ops boyfriend, and his 13-year-old niece. The assassin draws into his plans a group of teens dabbling in Satanism. Dark forces intensify their activity, which culminates in a plot to sacrifice a pastor with a sinful past.

In the Footsteps of Paul

Duncan, who also photographed the companion volume to The Passion of the Christ, traveled throughout the Middle East, Turkey, and the Mediterranean, taking photographs of the places that Paul visited on his missionary journeys. Vivid photographs of landscapes and sea coasts capture a world virtually unaltered since Paul's time. Photographs of ruins and ancient churches remind us how much the world has changed in the past 2,000 years. Duncan also photographs icons, murals, and mosaics that either tell Paul's story or would have been part of the world that he saw. The book uses words from the book of Acts and additional explanatory text to give the photographs context.

Don't Let Me Go

When his daughter, Chera, was 15, she read Into Thin Air, the bestseller about a failed Mt. Everest expedition. She announced to her father that she wanted to climb a mountain-and would he go too? Thus begins a series of father/daughter adventures that include five mountain climbs and two marathons. Through their successes and failures, Pierce and his daughter grow closer and he learns that he can't carry her load. At the heart of the memoir is the relationship between Pierce and his daughter as well as their deepening relationship with God. Pierce's descriptive outdoor-adventure writing reminded me why I'm not climbing Mt. Rainier.

Mirror to the Church

Katongole, a priest teaching at the Duke Divinity School, says that Rwanda was one of the most Christian countries in Africa before the genocide 15 years ago-yet that didn't stop church members from butchering fellow church members who were from the "wrong" tribe. He writes that "Christianity, sadly, seemed little more than an add-on . . . that did not radically affect people's so-called natural identities . . . the blood of tribalism comes to run deeper than the waters of baptism." He explores how we all accept non-Christian identities, and how the renewing of our minds includes realizing that we often cling to identities more important to us than the waters of baptism.

Spotlight

Jane Austen fans have not been content to let Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy fade into the sunset. Pride and Prejudice has been reset, retold, and added to, but now The New York Times reports the strangest version yet: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The novel, by Hollywood TV writer Seth Grahame-Smith, will contain "all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem." The first line as quoted in the Times: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

Sometimes a provocative title isn't enough to sell books. Publishers Weekly reported that Workman Publishing and author Ramit Sethi gave away one Kindle an hour to people who purchased Sethi's book, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, from any online retailer. Within three hours the book on personal finances for young people had climbed to the top of Amazon.com's best-seller list.

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