RaveNew York Times Book ReviewLiana Finck presents us with a female God who is anything but supremely perfect ... Visually, she’s just plain silly, if also adorable in a totally unawesome kind of way ... In other words, Finck’s God is an artist, which is to say a being plagued with self-doubts. More significantly, she’s a female artist, which means she’s infinitely more plagued by self-doubts ... Let There Be Light is smart and smarting and sometimes a revelation, though not exactly of the theological variety. And if her earlier chapters, showcasing God, outshine the others, the fault isn’t entirely Finck’s. In having God gradually withdraw from the action, she’s being true to Genesis ... It’s a wonderful cartoonist who, with all the sad-funny playfulness of her art, imagines that it is on earth as it is in heaven.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewLast year, which saw the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses attacking the church for its profit-making excesses, produced a stack of books to mark the occasion. But as far as I know, Fatal Discord is alone in addressing Luther by way of his relationship with Erasmus. It’s an inspired approach, and Massing, a journalist, has produced a sprawling narrative around the rift between the two men, laying out the sociological, political and economic factors that shaped both them and Europe’s responses to them, and tracing their theological disputes back to the earliest days of Christianity. Though a massive amount of material is marshaled, Massing’s journalistic skills keep the story line crisply coherent.
Homer, Trans. by Emily Wilson
RaveThe Atlantic\"In her powerful new translation, Emily Wilson, a classicist at the University of Pennsylvania, has chosen immediacy and naturalism over majestic formality. She preserves the musicality of Homer’s poetry, opting for an iambic pentameter whose approachable storytelling tone invites us in, only to startle us with eruptions of beauty … Dread of the alien thrums through The Odyssey, yet for its hero, canniness is not the only gift that is crucial to his happy homecoming. A deeper dimension of his much-praised intelligence—his gift for responding to like-mindedness—proves essential. And it ensures his full stature as a hero, earning him an altogether different order of honor than the city-sacking warrior can claim.\
RaveThe New York Times Sunday Book ReviewThe characters of Great House lack all trace of exuberance. Normal life does not beckon them. They inhabit their sorrow with a lover’s ardor, cultivating it into an art form. There is a forbidding, and seductive, remoteness about them that captures those who draw too close and then can get no closer … What gives the quickening of life to this elegiac novel and takes the place of the unlikely laughter of The History of Love? The feat is achieved through exquisitely chosen sensory details that reverberate with emotional intensity...Krauss has taken great risks in dispensing with the whimsy and humor that she summoned for her tragic vision in The History of Love. Here she gives us her tragic vision pure. It is a high-wire performance, only the wire has been replaced by an exposed nerve, and you hold your breath, and she does not fall.