We asked our reviewers to offer their five favorite titles of 2018 in a number of categories. While a few needed more than five, our gracious reviewers offer up some wonderful lists of great books, movies, music, and more. You can follow links to either the Banner review where available or more information on the title. Here are the lists:
From Richard Clark, an editor at Christianity Today and the producer for CT Podcasts. His latest podcast,Living and Effective, uncovers surprising ways the Bible accomplishes God’s plan in the world.
- The Daily from The New York Times. This is how I get my bearings in a vicious news cycle. The Daily makes nonsensical current events make at least a modicum of sense.
- The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith. And this is how I process my life, outside of my daily Bible reading, of course.
- Slow Burn from Slate. The most riveting history podcast I've heard.
- This Sounds Serious from Kelly&Kelly Creative. A fake story told serial-style, and it's WAY more than just a funny spoof. It's absolutely riveting.
- FiveThirtyEight Politics. Transparent discussion of politics, data, and the media.
From Kristy Quist of Grand Rapids, Mich., Mixed Media Editor of The Banner.
- The Good Place: The Podcast hosted by The Good Place actor (and Calvin College grad) Marc Evan Jackson. Listening to this episode-by-episode discussion of the TV comedy of the same name is like taking an entertaining class in how television is made.
- Hit Parade from Slate: Once a month host Chris Molanphy takes listeners on a deep dive into pop music chart history. For pop music nerds only.
- Serial: Season Three. I never listened to the first, most famous season. But this season’s year spent in one courthouse in Cleveland is a fascinating look at the U.S. justice system.
- Failed Missionary. Former missionaries talk about the big issues of cross-cultural missions, like being qualified for the job, the white savior complex, and the mission kid experience. This is raw stuff—raw emotion, strong language, and lost faith—but the topics they tackle are important and worth considering.
- Based on a True Story with John “Moose” Williamson. As a teen, Williamson had some emotional difficulties, and his parents sent him on a wilderness program for some tough love. With humor and compassion for others, he tells his story and tries to come to terms with some of the worst experiences of his life.
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Don’t miss this week’s must-read articles:
- Tell A Better Story
- ‘Rebirth’ for a Wisconsin Church
- Book review: A Church Called Tov, by Laura Barringer and Scot McKnight