Each week (give or take one here and there) I share three things I like – It could be a book, a movie, a podcast, an album, a photo, an article, a restaurant, a food item, a beverage, or anything else I simply enjoy and think you might too. You can find a whole pile of things, especially books, I like and recommend HERE.
1. Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
Enger is one of those authors who writes so sublimely that I cannot stop reading but who almost makes me want to quit writing because he is so far beyond where I will ever be. He may be the best novelist alive today. His stories are about people, and the plot flows from the richness of the characters. He communicates deep, true things with wit and subtlety so as not to bludgeon readers. He is hilarious in a delightfully understated, Scandinavian manner. Virgil Wander is his third novel (Enger is profound, not prolific), and it is as excellent as his first two, Peace Like a River and So Brave, Young, and Handsome. It is difficult to describe these books because they are not about an event or a place or a plot. They are about the normal, yet profound, lives of their characters. Enger taps into the soul, mind, and imagination but his books don’t lack action or suspense. They are page turners for all the best reasons, and you should get ALL of them.
This is a Netflix Original show starring Cillian Murphy, Helen McRory and a host of other exceptional, if lesser known, performers. It is about the leading crime family in Birmingham, England shortly after WW1. It is a steel town with a violent underbelly, and the Peaky Blinders (the gang led by the family) rule it. Throughout the various seasons they face betrayal, invasion, intrigue, war, and more. The villains are villainous. The good guys are confusing; you are rooting for a crime family after all. The show is violent and profane (or what evangelicals like to call “gritty” and it has “some content”). They acting is exceptional, the writing is strong, and the plots are gripping. In all it is a rough and rowdy ride in an exceptionally cool setting.
3. Songs I Heard by Harry Connick Jr.
Harry Connick Jr. has long been one of my favorite musicians. He is what Michael Buble wants to be when he grows up. I remember hearing for the first time when my youth pastor played his album 11 when I was in junior high. I have loved his music ever since. This album is one of his most creative. He reimagines songs from his favorite childhood movies – Sounds of Music, Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz. and more – as jazz and big band tunes. Connick is a genius, and this album is really fun.