As you may have noticed, this blog has in recent months largely devolved into book reviews. I still have high hopes of writing more far-ranging posts, but recently there has always been something else to do. I stay disciplined in reviewing all the books I read every month, though, because reviewing each book helps me to process my thoughts about it, and because I want to be able to revisit my reviews later and remind myself what I thought about a particular book.
My friend Dawn told me a few months ago about a program run by the publisher Thomas Nelson, which at the time was called “Book Review Bloggers” (they have since changed the name to “Booksneeze“). On their Web site, they have a list of books to choose from, and they will send you a free review copy of one of them. If you post a review on your blog, as well as on a third-party site like Amazon, you can choose another one to review.
Even though I can rarely resist the prospect of free books, at first I had my doubts about whether I would do it. As far as evangelical Christian publishers go, most of what I buy tends to be from InterVarsity Press or Zondervan or Eerdmans, with a few coming from Baker as well. I would even be excited about such an offer from Ignatius, which is a Catholic publisher. But before I heard the news from Dawn, the most recent book I had heard about to come from Thomas Nelson was the American Patriot’s Bible, which I object to on theological grounds (for more specifics, see an insightful critique by Greg Boyd here).
I looked at the books they had available, though, and my cynicism was overcome. There were several of the books they were offering that I was interested in reading. I selected a book from their “Ancient Practices” series called The Liturgical Year, and I’ll post a review of it tomorrow.