The Divine Voice: Christian Proclamation and the Theology of Sound
Stephen H. Webb (Wipf & Stock)

What's the most grievously overlooked work of theology from the last decade? One candidate is this book by Stephen H. Webb (one of my 2004 end-of-the-year favorites). Since then, the field now known as "Sound Studies" has exploded, but first-rate theological entries are still in short supply. Three loud cheers to Wipf & Stock for putting The Divine Voice back into circulation. "Sound is invisible and thus it can penetrate walls and barge unannounced through closed doors. It is this invisibility that makes sound so convenient for thinking about our relationship to God."

So Brilliantly Clever: Parker, Hulme & the Murder That Shocked the World
Peter Graham (Awa Press)

In 1954, two girls in New Zealand (aged 15 and 16) murdered one girl's mother, beating her to death. Peter Jackson's 1994 film Heavenly Creatures provoked journalists to try and track down the perpetrators 40 years after the event. One of the two, having served her sentence, had left New Zealand and taken a new identity as Anne Perry, becoming an internationally successful writer of historical crime fiction. Peter Graham, a lawyer, has written a compulsively readable and morally probing account of the case and its aftermath.

American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s
Edited by Gary K. Wolfe (Library Of America)

This handsome two-volume set (a Christmas gift idea?) includes work by Alfred Bester, James Blish, Leigh Brackett, Algis Budrys, Robert A. Heinlein, Fritz Leiber, Richard Matheson, and Theodore Sturgeon. While providing many hours of good reading for old-timers and newcomers alike, these novels cast a cold light on received opinion about "the Fifties."

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