Isaiah Austin was a Baylor basketball standout who was primed for the 2014 NBA Draft, until he was sidelined with a rare disease. His book Dream Again shares his story of faith and his courage to dream again. What does […]
Isaiah Austin was a Baylor basketball standout who was primed for the 2014 NBA Draft, until he was sidelined with a rare disease. His book Dream Again shares his story of faith and his courage to dream again. What does […]
Today get a look at our early church during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. A.D. will present the first 10 chapters of the Book of Acts in a new series, and give viewers a sense of the early church. […]
Academy Award-winning actress Renee Zellweger returns to the big screen, along with Academy Award nominees Greg Kinnear and Djimon Hounsou in the upcoming faith-based film, “Same Kind of Different As Me.” The film follows the story of Ron Hall (Kinnear), an […]
National Geographic Channel joins forces with political pundit Bill O’Reilly for a third time in the upcoming film adaptation of his book, “Killing Jesus.” His previous films, “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Lincoln” were the first and second-most-watched programs on the […]
“It’s past time for American to hear this truth. By minimizing the challenge,” Jay Sekulow (American Center Law Justice) wrote in his September opinion piece on FoxNews.com. The world is facing a serious threat in the Middle East with ISIS, […]
Many are getting excited as “Left Behind” is fast approaching theaters based on the best-selling books by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye on Oct. 3. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Jordan Sparks, and Lea Thompson, whose characters […]
Famed Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling sent a letter to 15-year-old Cassidy Stay, whose parents and four siblings were killed in their Houston, Texas home in July by their uncle, Ronald Lee Haskell. Stay survived the ordeal by faking her death. […]
UK-based Attraction Films will produce a drama on the odd and turbulent relationship between authors C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien set in Britain during and after World War I. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, and Tolkien penned The Hobbit […]
The Witness Wore Red is a riveting, harrowing tale of Rebecca Musser, who fled a polygamist cult and their leader, Warren Jeffs. Raised in the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS), a sect of the Mormon Church, Musser […]
Author and physician Ronald Ragotzy’s new book, Raising Abel, offers a biblical prescription for healthy faith. Ragotzy investigates some of the earliest stories in Genesis and splits them into four parts: the premise, the promise, the prescription, and the practice. […]
Award-winning scientist Dr. Scott Todd challenges the Christian community to help end extreme poverty in his new book, Hope Rising. Broken into five parts, Dr. Todd explains the reasoning behind poverty’s grip on the global community and provides faith-based answers […]
Diana Nyad became the first person to swim without a shark cage from Cuba to Key West, Fla. at 64-years-old and will share her story in an exciting account of part two of “Super Soul Sunday” airing on the Oprah […]
Radio personality Robin Quivers announced to Sirius XM radio fans that she left the Howard Stern Show because she was battling cancer for the past year. Quivers was working from home despite undergoing chemo and radiation therapy. She broke her […]
Dr. Eben Alexander is a medical marvel. The academic neurosurgeon of 25 years was bolted into a coma after an attack of E. coli meningitis in 2008, part of his brain shut down, and his doctors lost hope of his […]
By the age of 16 Austin Gutwein had given more than most of us do in a lifetime. He had built a dorm, two clinics, and a medical clinic, all with his own gifts and talents. Now he is sharing […]
Michael Vick is easily one of the most controversial athletes in recent memory. After serving jail time for participation in a dog fighting ring, he has worked hard to move forward with his life. His new autobiography Finally Free chronicles that […]
International bestseller Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, is releasing an inspiring new book entitled Aleph. It is a magical journey through the world and through time, all on a quest to begin again. The book will surely inspire you to […]
What if you could find out? Dr. Mary Neal was involved in an unfortunate kayak accident that ultimately took her life. She found that it wasn’t yet time for her to leave this life, but before she was revived she […]
Do you know Michael Vey? You should. He’s the everyday teenager with an extraordinary secret in the powerful new series by bestselling author Richard Paul Evans. In this page-turning novel, a 14-year-old boy with super powers tries to live an […]
Butterscotch Brew. Treacle Fudge. Mmmmmmmmmmm… Harry Potter aficionados recognize those names as they’ve undoubtedly dreamed about JK Rowling’s imaginary confectionary creations. Who hasn’t wanted to pop a Peppermint Humbug into their mouth? Well, here’s your chance. “The Unofficial Harry […]
Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz” was a rallying cry to many twentysomething Christians who felt jilted by the hollow faith of their parents and peers. With an intimate, personable style, Miller poured out his thoughts and struggles with an oftentimes embarrassing honesty. […]
You could win 2 tickets to the Hollywood Premiere of “Jumping the Broom” and rub shoulders with the likes of Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, and Bishop TD Jakes. Tell Sony Pictures executive and author DeVon Franklin how your faith has […]
The front page feature for this Sunday’s Metropolitan section of The New York Times is about how it is becoming more and more common to be both a New York City hipster and a Christian these days. That, in fact, […]
On Earth Day, April 22, Disney Nature released its latest film African Cats, a beautiful wild life documentary. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, African Cats follows the adventures of a cheetah family and a lion pride surviving and thriving in […]
Okay, no she doesn’t–not really. But while Cheryl Klein–Senior Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books at Scholastic–may not be a clairvoyant or have the power to see into the future, she does have other powers that might be relevant to […]
The essay at the back of The New York Times Sunday Book Review belongs to Lauren Winner this week, and she gives her take on the book (and author) that everybody and their mother is giving their take on these […]
At least on television, that is. The former Full House star is headlining a new television movie, Truth Be Told, that airs tomorrow on Fox at 8/7c, in which she plays an unmarried marriage counselor who must fabricate a marriage […]
UPDATE: Congratulations to Dez Lopez of Indiana! Enjoy the Harry Potter Blu-Ray goodness, Dez. And thanks to everyone who entered and signed up to follow us on Twitter. We’ll have more great giveaways in the future, so stay tuned. We […]
Mary Gordon is one of the great Catholic novelists of our time. In the vein of Walker Percy and Flannery O’Connor, she deftly weaves questions about faith, doubt, sin, and the stuff of the Catholic tradition (priests, mass, saints, among […]
I was in the bookstore the other day, hoping to find a page-turner, something that would compel me from start to finish like Emma Donoghue’s magnificent “Room” did this fall. For some reason it popped into my head that I’d […]
Next week, a new book in the Twilight Saga will be published. And no, don’t get overly excited. It’s not as though Stephenie Meyer has written another installment or finally finished (and published) Midnight Sun or even turned out another […]
Published in 1611 (which makes this year its 400th anniversary), the Authorized King James Version of the Bible became “the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language.” Regardless […]
Sure, all parents have expectations of what they hope their children might become, But Mary Perry Hudson, Katy Perry’s mom, is prehaps feeling that disappointment on a different level as her daughter continues to strut, prance and flit her […]
Passover is coming up, and this year as you ponder celebrating the Seder meal, perhaps you should consider making it a quick one and use the “30 Minute-Seder: The Haggadah that Blends Brevity with Tradition.” I was flipping through the […]
I like Jay-Z’s music (for the most part) and for this I am in good company. His god-complex is a bit overwhelming, however, and I have difficulty with folks who collapse faith with financial prosperity, as Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s book, […]
Ohio State Buckeyes head football coach Jim Tressel reportedly knew of players selling memorabilia for money and other benefits eight months before they were suspended for infractions in December. It appears that the well-liked coach’s job could be in jeopardy, […]
By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas A reality judge opens her heart, a TV icon is honored by the Queen and a news anchor shares extraordinary advice. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments. “American Idol”: […]
Everyone is all abuzz because the cast of Twilight has just arrived in Vancouver to start filming the fourth and final installment of the Twilight Saga. Well, correction: the fourth and final installment which has been broken into two. Which […]
Everybody is Twilight-focused these days, even the high fashion magazines apparently. Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella, the star-crossed love interest of Edward Cullen, the world’s most famous vampire, in the Twilight movies, has the cover of the latest issue of […]
Have you read about the Tiger Mother yet? Everyone else has–and is talking about her–so I suggest you get reading. The mother’s name is Amy Chua, she is a professor at Yale Law School, and where I first heard about […]
It’s old news that everyone loves Bella, Edward, Jacob and the rest of their furry, fangy friends. But it’s just recently that they took home lots of kudos at the People’s Choice Awards for their performances in ‘Eclipse,’ the third […]
I will never forget reading “Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation,” by the famed, or better said, infamous feminist theologian and thinker Mary Daly back when I was in graduate school. It was one of the […]
I don’t care what you say about Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved “Eat, Pray, Love” and I don’t care who knows it. That’s why, when I read this recent New York Times book review of Claire Dederer’s “Poser” (just out from […]
Steve Martin’s latest appearance didn’t wow some fans.
A few years ago, it was unthinkable to promote a mainstream movie to the faith crowd. That’s all changed and when you consider the subject matter, there may not be a more perfect crossover film than the latest installment in […]
Based on the book co-penned by country legend Kenny Rogers, “Christmas in Canaan” is set in the rural town of Canaan, Texas. It’s the story of a clash between two classmates – one, a tough farm boy, and the other, […]
J.K. Rowling continues to tease Potter fans with thoughts of a future book.
By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas A famous director shares more thoughts on aging, a musician rocks out on the golf course, and Movember gets hairy. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments. Nora Ephron: Telling […]
Great, another “celebrity” using media to promote herself for book sales and a Presidential run. That’s an easy attitude to have when it comes to Sarah Palin’s new show premiering this Sunday on TLC. In a world where we seemingly […]
By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasAn actress finds her light, rich kids make a lemonade stand for a cause, and a celebrity foundation hits a milestone of giving. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments.Portia de […]
On Friday, rumors started flying that the sex scenes in the film version of the Twilight Saga’s book four, ‘Breaking Dawn’ are extra steamy. With Bella and Edward getting married in the first scene of this last installment of this […]
While the world talks of racy text messages and the Twitterverse jokes that those messages were intended for Brett Favre’s wife but were not surprisingly “intercepted,” Deanna Favre looks to a Bible verse she has taped to her fridge, Isaiah […]
The “Blue Like Jazz” movie is going to happen after all, thanks to fans.
With part one of Harry Potter VII about to release in movie theater in November, we all have Harry Potter on the brain lately. (Or at least us fans do!) So one of my favorite little news clips I’ve come […]
“Blue Like Jazz” movie needs your help.
Here are some banned books I would like to see as movies.
In my opinion, Renesmee, the part-human, part-vampire spawn of Bella and Edward (and really, I think spawn is the right word), is the creepiest, oddest character of everyone in Meyer’s “Twilight Saga.” Renesmee disturbs me and so many readers mostly […]
Just the other day I posted about how meditation and happiness are connected, and the new book “Why Meditate” makes a case for how the practice fosters such positive outcomes. Now today in the Science section of The New York […]
Meditation does not make me happy. Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at it, though. Off and on throughout the last decade, I’ve dedicated myself to practicing daily mindfulness (for example) of the Tich Nhat Han variety, and usually […]
I love “The Onion,” but never more than when they spoof on Twilight, especially since they always do so in good fun (and not maliciously) and always in such hilariously creative ways. Earlier this year they published the article, “Woman […]
Guru of just about everybody including Oprah, Deepak Chopra is known for his many self-help, inspirational bestsellers. But for his latest book project he is trying out fiction–religious fiction I suppose you could say, since Chopra has chosen to fictionalize […]
My wife is a real George Clooney fan, although she admits “he sometimes really does make some weird movies.” So I went to see his latest, “The American,” as a favor to her and also figuring it’d be better than […]
It is rare when someone from the field of science–especially the kind of science that is almost impossible to understand–becomes a pop culture icon. But Stephen Hawking has long been known far outside the academic community as the Tiger Woods […]
I’ve posted (ranted?) before in this space about the ridiculous stuff that passes for “news” and/or “features” reported in and about our culture. I saw another wasted news item this week regarding Paris Hilton and her drug arrest. Really, who […]
Anne Rice further tries to explain why she is distancing herself from Christianity.
Well, at least since ‘Julie & Julia.’ I made it a point not to read the critics’ reviews of the film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s smash hit memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love,” starring the always wonderful Julia Roberts–I wanted to enjoy […]
The Teen Choice Awards were last night, and perhaps unsurprisingly so, it was pretty much all vampires, all the time, getting the love from teen voters. Most especially, everything Twilight related (Twilight garnered 12 awards!), but also ‘Vampire Diaries’ too. […]
By Zoe Ferraris, author of the new novel “City of Veils” I sometimes think Islam is all about the rules. When I lived in Saudi Arabia, I discovered that there are rules for everything. How to tuck your feet when […]
Here are a few fun pop culture finds for summer.
Anne Rice makes a startling announement via facebook and her website.
Two plays featuring C.S. Lewis a re getting great reviews.
Jon Gosselin is possibly writing a memoir.
It’s official: ‘Eclipse’ is not only the third movie installment in the ‘Twilight Saga,’ it’s also the best. It’s fast, intense, dramatic and manages not to take itself too seriously (at one point Edward quips–to Jacob: “Do you ever wear […]
Today is the one week anniversary of the death of Coach John Wooden. I am amazed–and thrilled–that the accolades and chat about him continues to thrive throughout the media universe we live in. Somehow, this man of Christian faith, family […]
Because Stephenie Meyer is really nice (and I suppose, because she is really, really rich, too), she has made her new little book, “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella” available for free download from her website! […]
So unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that indeed, the bookshelves are still glutted with paranormal romances galore, and yes, the vampire trend still seems to be bearing itself out despite years of “Twilight” knockoffs (as I’ve […]
Are you a reader? Does summer offer that awesome chance to get alone with a book and get lost somewhere near the beach, or at a coffee house, or just in that comfy couch in the living room? If you’re […]
Since Idol Chatter blogger Donna Freitas would never toot her own horn and promote her brand new young adult novel “This Gorgeous Game” here, I’m going to do it for her! “This Gorgeous Game” is about a teenage girl’s experience […]
A couple of years back I reviewed “Into Great Silence” for Idol Chatter, a several hour film that chronicles the lives of Carthusian monks at Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps. These monks take a vow of silence and so, […]
A new book makes more allegations about Scientology and Tom Cruise.
Have angels ever healed you or someone you love? Angel expert Doreen Virtue regularly contacts angels and has written numerous books on the celestial communication and heavenly messages she receives. When she needs guidance on diet and exercise, pain management, and […]
I’ve written a bunch about hot chastity in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series because, well, really, it’s difficult not to notice the erotic tension between vampire Edward Cullen and Bella, his beloved, even though they barely even kiss in the first […]
In celebration of pastor Joel Osteen’s new audiobook “Living in Favor, Abundance, And Joy,” (which includes 10 of his most inspiring semons, recorded live at Lakewood Church), we are giving away one grand prize: four of Osteen’s audiobooks which includes […]
By Jerome R. Corsi, author of “The Shroud Codex.” I have been fascinated with the Shroud of Turin since I first saw it at a senior retreat at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio. I remember the image of […]
Should J.K. Rowling write another Harry Potter book?
The other day I got a notice from Amazon to my email informing me Not to wait! Pre-Order Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Eclipse’ novella now! Despite my obvious fandom of ‘Twilight’, my first thought was: Novella? Why would I want to read […]
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I jumped on the opportunity to see a press screening of Nicholas Sparks’ latest movie adaptation, ‘The Last Song.’ Yes it stars Miley Cyrus and yes it’s a film that essentially shows Cyrus […]
Anne Rice speaks candidly about her faith at the I Am Second website.
In terms of plot, I think “Eclipse” is my favorite of the Twilight Saga books. Well, aside from “Twilight”. It has lots of sign-worthy Bella-Edward romantic moments, plus some good Edward-Jacob conflict, and then, of course, the moment of reckoning […]
Have you ever seen Mother Teresa in a cinnamon bun or Jesus in a chicken cutlet? A new book, “Look! It’s Jesus!” by Harry and Sandra Choron compile photos and stories of amazing holy visions seen by people around the […]
One of my all-time favorite books to teach is the Zooey side of JD Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey.” Without giving too much away for those who haven’t read this wonderful novel(a), the end has one of the most stunning, beautiful […]
Well, sort of. The four books in Stephenie Meyers‘ mega-bestselling Twilight Saga, “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and “Breaking Dawn” are still hanging on to USA Today’s bestseller list–just further down toward the bottom than usual. While it has become ubiquitous […]
The famous Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese isn’t the only religious sighting that has been seen (and sold) throughout the years. Other people like you have experienced Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Mother Teresa, and Buddha sightings on food and ordinary objects […]
No, this isn’t a joke. If you didn’t know already, there is actually a Twilight Cruise for Twilight fans. The New York Times was touting it in their special cruise review “Offering Whatever Floats Your Boat” in the Travel section […]
When I’m not blogging on religion and pop culture for Idol Chatter, my academic research centers on faith and youth, so when pop culture enters the picture in that realm, I pay attention. That’s why I’m excited to read “The […]
If you’ve ever read my posts on The Twilight Saga and its author Stephenie Meyer, you know that I adore Edward, Bella, and even Jacob, and think that both the books and the movie are great fun. I’m definitely not […]
Miep Gies, Anne Frank’s rescuer, has died at the age of 100.
Katherine Paterson is one of my all-time favorite children’s writers. Author of the beloved “Bridge to Terabithia,” which won the Newbery Medal for Young People’s Literature, and so many other childhood favorites, like “The Great Gilly Hopkins,” Paterson took office […]
Jerusalem has been rocked by an earthquake. New York is under biological attack. It’s up to Lt. John Corbin, a hulking American army officer wielding a Gatling gun, to secure the perimeter. At least until Jesus gets here. Yes, the […]
David Michael Slater’s first book, “Cheese Louise,” was about a piece of Swiss cheese who doesn’t like her holes. You’d think the cheese lobby would get up in arms about that calumny, but no, it wasn’t until the Oregon public-school […]
“The Advent Conspiracy” – a new way to look at Christmas – has interest explodng on the internet.
This year is the year of the insane, everything-Twilight Christmas gift. There is so much Twilight merchandizing, it was difficult to choose which to include on this list. But I picked some of my “favorites” (notice the quotation marks: they […]
Stephenie Meyer might be the most famous Mormon to ever take the bookstores, movie theaters, and all-thing pop culture combine, and the press and fans seem to have an insatiable interest in exploring how this Mormon Mom of three came […]
It’s true, people are still flocking to see ‘New Moon’ in movie theaters for the first time, (and second time and third time), but Twilight fans don’t have too long to wait before ‘Eclipse,’ the third book in the series, […]
Here are my choices for some great Advent devotionals for the season.
Last week Donna blogged about the new novel “Thirsty,” by Tracey Bateman, a Christian take on the vampire vogue spurred by the success of the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer. Bateman’s vampire, like Meyer’s Edward, is a sympathetic fiend: a […]
The runaway success of Twilight long ago ensured that bookstore shelves would become saturated with vampire novels from authors and publishers hoping to hit the Twilight jackpot again. A little over a year ago I wrote a feature for Publishers […]
I was in the theater last Friday morning, the day of the release of ‘New Moon,’ with the rest of the screaming, teenage Twilight fans. Though, a good number of us were in the “I’m thirty-something and I love Twilight […]
CNN and other outlets are reporting today that “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will be ending after 25 seasons. The last show will be coming up soon: on September 9, 2011. Okay, so it’s not so soon! Mrs. Winfrey has followed […]
The countdown to the release of ‘New Moon,’ the second movie in the Twilight Saga, is long underway. In less than forty-eight hours all will be revealed! OK. Maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic. Regardless, I’m excited to see what’s […]
Stephenie Meyer will do only one appearance to promote New Moon, the second movie in the Twilight Saga (releasing Nov. 20th), but it’s a biggie: Oprah will feature Meyer for a full hour this Friday, November 13th, on her show. […]
Everything you wanted to know about Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga that has turned into a world-wide vampire-loving phenomenon–is available today, Wednesday, November 11th, and it’s illustrated. A graphic novel biography series called “Female Force,” which has featured […]
Former tennis pro Andre Agassi opens up about his drug use in a new book, “Open.”
Ms. Carrie Prejean is either a humble servant of the Lord who’s learned from her prior mistakes, a courageous champion for Christian values, an opportunistic young diva who’s ingeniously combining a conservative mindset with risqué acts caught on tape, a […]
Vanity Fair magazine has a long tradition that’s being made into a book. I suspect it’ll be a movie before too long! There’s just something wonderful and inspiring about getting to know other people better, whether it be stars, friends […]
Really: what’s a day without gazing at “Twilight”‘s Edward Cullen–I mean Robert Pattinson–and that gorgeous face of his. And those smoldering eyes! Can’t forget the eyes. The moody look. That twisted smile. Sigh. Okay. I’ll stop. But really: want to […]
I’d never really thought of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel “The Lovely Bones” as a ghost story–though to call it haunting is an understatement, too. But there is no getting around the fact that the story’s protagonist, Susie Salmon, raped and […]
A big shout out to Idol Chatter blogger and resident vampire fanatic Donna Freitas who was recently interviewed by two newspapers about the evolution of the fanged creatures. In the Michigan-based newsletter The Macomb Daily she spoke about how vampires […]
Do you love Edward Cullen? Can you not get enough of Robert Pattinson’s channeling of this vampire heartthrob? Or are you Team Jacob (boo!) and dream of Taylor Lautner at night? Well, lucky you: to gear up for the November […]
The widely anticipated “Book of Genesis Illustrated” penned by R. Crumb, the famous comic book artist and graphic novelist released yesterday and the backlash from Christian groups and churches has already begun. I first heard about R. Crumb’s foray into […]
I know that Spike Jonze’s screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s beloved picture book, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is getting fantastic reviews. I’ve seen the raves on the news and in newspapers, too, and listened to a Talk of the […]
Since I know that Idol Chatter readers are BIG fans of all things Twilight and Stephenie Meyer, I can’t resist pointing you to a podcast/radio show I did for the Penguin Classics series, “Vampires on Paper: The Enduring Appeal of […]
We’ve all heard it before–J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series promotes witchcraft, dark magic, Satanic practices, etc. etc. etc. Some concerned parents have even advocated to ban “Harry Potter” books in the past, though Banned Books Week celebrates the reading of […]
One new book is published about Anne Frank’s diary, and David Mamet’s proposed film on the subject is rejected by Disney.
Thomas Nelson is gearing up to release an audio Bible CD set with a cool twist–the biblical characters are voiced by some of your favorite actors. The “Word of Promise” audio Bible is voiced by such reknown film and TV […]
Read an excerpt from sports host James “JB” Brown’s new book “Role of a Lifetime.”
Cathleen Falsani’s latest book, “The Dude Abides: the Gospel According to the Coen Brothers,” caused me to notice something strange about Joel and Ethan Coen’s movies. Though I admire every one of their films–almost (what, the Alec Guinness version of […]
Full disclosure: I am friends with (and proudly so) two of the women featured in the New York Times Style feature, “Seeing Yourself In Their Light,” about today’s new young women spiritual gurus, and how “there is a new role […]
In response to Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol,” Jay Kinney, an author and practicing Mason, clears up 10 myths about Freemasonry, including whether Obama is a member, and if Masonic symbols are on U.S. currency.
Stephenie Meyer’s smash hit, Twilight (that’s an understatement, of course), its corresponding movie series, and merchandising of everything you could possibly think of and more, originated from the genre of fiction known as YA (young adult). Since Twilight, it seems […]
Enter to win a copy of Mitch Albom’s new book “Have a Little Faith: A True Story.”
A great international secret is being kept! According to “The Guardian” (United Kingdom), the secret is protected “under 24-hour guard in its own chain-link enclosure, with two locks requiring two separate people for entry.” What is the secret? The Ten […]
Don Miller releases a sequel memoir to “Blue Like Jazz.”
Seven inspirational quotes from Julia Child.
Idol Chatter blogger Donna Freitas recently asked the question, “Is Merchandising Ruining ‘Twilight’?”. While she focused on how the “Twilight” actors are becoming too exposed on random merchanise such as puzzles, I’m wondering if the “Twilight” brand itself is becoming […]
InStyle.com asked a bevy of famous, upscale designers to imagine Bella Swan’s wedding dress for “Eclipse,” the third movie in the “Twilight” saga.
Several weeks back allegations flew across the web that Stephenie Meyer, author of the world-wide book and movie phenomenon, “Twilight,” had plagiarized parts of the fourth book in the series, “Breaking Dawn.” The accusation came from little known author Jordan […]
Today, the New York Times ran an article announcing that Elizabeth Gilbert’s long awaited and much anticipated sequel to her bestselling spiritual memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love” is at the publisher and is officially due out in January of 2010. (Woohoo! […]
Gayle Haggard, wife of disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard, will publish a book “Why I Stayed” early next year.
Watch the trailer to “The Lovely Bones” based on the best-selling book, about a young girl who is murdered and who watches over her friends and family from heaven.
Is it possible for merchandise to ruin something altogether? Are the stars of “Twilight” overexposed–or at least ridiculing Stephenie Meyer’s smash hit beyond the tolerable? I’m starting to think so.
If the top twelve media personalities (including Rush Limbaugh, Oprah, Simon Cowell, etc.) alone banked a total of $829 million last year–then when will our culture wake up to the fact that what we see on the air is not so much a reflection of culture but a reflection of what generates money for media stars and all of those who make money off of their shows?
How does Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) of the X-Men show her Jewish faith? What religion is Superman? Many comic book characters–the good and bad alike–either overtly or subtly express a religious affiliation. How much do you know about the spirituality of […]
If watching “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” over the weekend wasn’t enough to curb your Harry Potter cravings, I have good news for you. There’s a new “Harry Potter” movie you can watch and it’s free. Best of […]
Jimmy Carter, it seems, believes in the separation between church and rock. The former president, whose 1976 White House campaign saw both performances by the Allman Brothers Band and the introduction of the term “born again” to the Washington media’s […]
Have you heard of Cullenism? Apparently, it’s been around for a while now, but I just learned of it today. Yes, that’s right: Cullenism, and its followers are called Cullenites. As in Edward Cullen, the star vampire from “Twilight,” the […]
What sad news! The Huffington Post is reporting that Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt is “gravely ill with meningitis” and “not expected to live” according to his brother Malachy. Throughout his memoirs, “Angela’s Ashes,” “‘Tis,” and “Teacher Man,” McCourt–one […]
It seems no one is truly impervious to the Chosen One from Hogwart’s spell after all. Although the Vatican has thoroughly denounced the” Harry Potter” series in the past (as recently as last year), the Vatican newspaper recently announced that […]
Jerry Jenkins undoubtedly has a devoted fan base in Christian publishing and Stephen King is legend among horror novel devotees, but who would think these two would have much in common–much less have formed a friendship. Just when I thought […]
What do the Beatles, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Whitney Houston all have in common? Ken Mansfield. A former record executive who raced through the ’60s and ’70s on big expense accounts and marijuana-scented tour buses, Mansfield worked for them […]
“Julie & Julia” intertwines the lives of famous chef Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and blogger/aspiring writer Julie Powell (Amy Adams), who attempts all 524 recipes in Child’s book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” over 365 days. Begins Aug 7. […]
You may like her. You may not. But regardless of what the majority of politicos and pollsters are saying about her, Sarah Palin is emerging as one of the most recognizable pop culture icons of our time. She is the […]
So after HATING the movie poster released for “New Moon” (did I mention hate? because I can’t emphasize how much I hate seeing Bella in Jacob’s arms and not Edwards, which I already posted about), I am rather encouraged after […]
Based off the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Cormac McCarthy, the film is about a father and his young son who struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. The movie stars Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Charlize Theron. The film is […]
So I can’t help but respond to Dena’s Idol Chatter post about the release of the “New Moon” movie poster to the press–especially since I hate it! I am Team Edward through and through, and it was one thing to […]
For all you “Twilight”-obsessed out there (I’m looking at you Donna Freitas), check out what I just received in my inbox–a first look at the upcoming “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” which hits theaters November 20. The new film stars […]
The Catholic Church is under attack! There’s a war between science and reason! Quick, lock the Cardinals in the conclave or the Catholic Church is lost! The Pope’s been murdered! Call Dr. Robert Langdon of Harvard! He’ll save us–even though […]
Tina Fey, better find your Sarah specs: Governor Palin has a book deal with HarperCollins to produce a memoir for publication in 2010, the year she’s up for re-election. “There’s been so much written about and spoken about in the […]
The movie version of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, opening May 15, follows symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) in a desperate dash through Old Rome. A secret society called The Illuminati are executing Catholic Cardinals in brutal and meaningful ways, […]
This weekend, Terrence Rafferty of The New York Times looks at the tension that flares up whenever faith and cinema clash–“The awful thing about these religious-movie dust-ups is that there’s no resolving them to anybody’s satisfaction, either believers’ or nonbelievers’”–and […]
According to an article from the Associated Press, the folks in Rome aren’t worried about the new Dan Brown movie, “Angels & Demons,” which premiered there on Monday, reporting that: “Reviewers at the Vatican’s newspaper have passed judgment on “Angels […]
I see Esquire’s beloved writer A.J. Jacobs as a stunt man of a certain sort: he picks a crazy project with a beguiling, humorous hook–one of my favorites was when he “outsourced” his life to India, including arguments with his […]
There’s a new book out that may provide some of the most compelling reading in years for those who are interesting in spirituality, pop culture, and faith-based television. “The Last TV Evangelist” is authored by Phil Cooke, a veteran producer […]
Several insider websites including comingsoon.net, themovieinsider.com, and cinematical.com are reporting that A.J. Jacobs’ book “The Year of Living Biblically” is being made into a movie. And, for some real fun, they’ve signed Marlon Wayans to play the lead role. This […]
Word is out from Random House yesterday that Dan Brown’s sequel to “The Da Vinci Code,” titled “The Lost Symbol” and featuring “The Code’s” main character Robert Langdon, will be released in September. Five million copies are planned. The new […]
Kevin Roose was a junior at the Ivy League’s Brown University when he convinced his parents and his college dean to let him take his semester “abroad” at Liberty University, the conservative Christian school founded by the late Rev. Jerry […]
Everyone is abuzz every time a new member of the ever-expanding cast for “Twilight” is announced. This time, on Sunday everyone was talking about Michael Sheen, the British actor who got the part of Aro, the head vampire of the […]
By Chris Sagona I felt instant foreboding when I ripped open an orange Fed Ex package two weeks ago and saw that the next book I was being asked to review was called “Losing My Religion.” It wasn’t just the […]
Best-selling author and storyteller SQuire Rushnell–yes, that’s a capital Q– launched his popular Godwink Stories™ on Beliefnet this week. Look for his twice-weekly video vignettes that will lift your heart and make you smile. A “godwink” is what some people […]
Actress Kristin Chenoweth, known for her roles in “The West Wing” and “Pushing Daises,” as well as her extensive work on stage (most notably as Glinda in Broadway’s “Wicked”) has a new book out April 14, “A Little Bit Wicked: […]
Beliefnet has begun its celebration of National Poetry Month and while I love poetry, in trying to think of a poet to write about for Idol Chatter, I came upon a favorite of Crunchy Cons, the egrarian philosopher/minister Wendell Berry.I […]
As a Yankees fan, I was thrilled when a gorgeous new coffee table book, “The Final Season: The Official Retrospective” by Alfred Santasiere III and Mark Vancil came across my desk. The book details the final season at the original […]
In this behind-the-scenes clip from the film “Faith Like Potatoes,” based on the book by Angus Buchan, Buchan talks about a time when his Christian faith was put to the test by his Zulu neighbors. The DVD hit streets on […]
Coming this October, one of my most favorite and classic picture books of all time is being brought to the big screen, “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak. This beloved story of Max, who at bedtime one night […]
Stephenie Meyer is officially a celebrity, and one whom the queen of all fashion magazines has decided is worthy of watching: in “Dreamcatcher,” the March 2009 issue of Vogue features the author of “Twilight” and those vampires of hers we […]
In the past few years journalists have developed a strain of religion reportage that centers on a stunt, one patterned after George Plimpton’s turn as a major-league pitcher or maybe John Howard Griffin’s “Black Like Me.” The latest version, by […]
Nicholas Hughes, 47, the son of revered poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has hanged himself at his home in Alaska. According to family, Hughes had been suffering from depression for some time. Tragically, his mother, who also suffered from […]
For the Team Edward fans out there, here’s some good news: Guess who is on the cover of April’s GQ? That’s right! Robert Pattinson (aka, Edward Cullen). Writer Alex Pappademas traces Pattinson’s rise from the dead (he was just a […]
Spiritual memoirs were once a hot commodity in the Christian book market with reflective but accessible reads like Lauren Winner’s “Girl Meets God” and Donald Miller’s ” Blue Like Jazz” finding a wide audience. Of late, most inspirational memoirs seem […]
So this just in for those still following all things-Twilight. TVGuide reports that Dakota Fanning has signed on to play one of the Volturi–the ancient vampires who live in Italy and enforce vampire code world-wide. Fanning will play Jane, the […]
I’m sure Dan Brown must be used to coming under attack from Catholics for his pulpy, page-turners and the nearing release of the film version of “Angels & Demons” is no exception. The Vatican banned “Angels & Demons” from filming […]
By the end of my first time reading through the YA novel “The God Box” by Alex Sanchez (a writer colleague of mine) I was sobbing. Not only is it a beautiful story of two boys who fall in love, […]
Yahoo! News reports that Pulitzer-prize winning author Alice Walker, who wrote “The Color Purple,” is traveling to Gaza with a group of female activists to deliver aid and meet with non-governmental organizations and residents. The trip was organized by U.S. […]
By Chris Sagona When Peter Manseau, a Washington DC-based religion writer, saw his unborn daughter’s ultrasound in utero, he felt his calling to write “Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World’s Holy Dead.” It was seeing the technician identify […]
So I thought that all-things “Twilight” would fade away with the end of 2008, but the series and talk of it is much like the Energizer Bunny–I see that now. It shows no signs of abating and so, alas, I […]
Every year, in addition to searching for books to help me reflect on Advent, I also look for thoughtful books to read during Lent. I hunted on Amazon.com and stumbled upon some worthy new selections to add to my collection. Here are three choices that […]
We don’t post enough about the “books” part of our culture here at Idol Chatter, so here’s my step in the right direction: there’s a great new book out for anyone who’s a person of faith and a deep thinker […]
Hard times have come upon many companies, websites and publications. Some of them are asking their readers to become supporters, but this requires a major shift: people who were once being provided a service are now being asked to donate […]
Okay: I just can’t help myself. I thought my posts about “Twilight” would end with 2008, but there is just too much stuff out there not to mention it. I just wanted to point all you “Twilight” fans on Beliefnet […]
Are you in tune with angels? Angel expert Doreen Virtue regularly contacts angels and has written numerous books on the celestial communication and heavenly messages she receives. When she needs extra courage and support, she contacts the strong warrior Archangel […]
Jermaine Jakes, son of prominent Christian author, pastor, filmmaker and music artist T.D. Jakes has been arrested in an undercover sex sting in Dallas. Joanne Brokaw over at Gospel Soundcheck has the scoop.
There are some great books out there to introduce your kids to Christian Bible stories. But how to get your kids to make the leap from books of Bible stories or children’s Bibles to the real thing? You won’t be […]
Maybe it’s simply difficult to criticize an author whose seen wild success without sounding jealous. Or maybe it really is jealousy between authors. All I know is that a lot of people have had harsh things to say about the […]
Two wonders of literature passed away today and they will be missed. The first was John Updike, who succumbed to a long battle with lung cancer at 76. The second is the time in our history when authors represented the […]
I don’t find as much time as I used to for snuggling up with a good book, but when I do I relish the opportunity. One of the few fiction books I have had time to read in 2008 has […]
Before I go listing my YA novel picks for 2008, I have one caveat: I am rather tired of the way people slap the word “spiritual” on everything including the kitchen sink, without really telling you what they mean by the […]
A few weeks ago I received an invitation from Beliefnet co-founder and editor-in-chief teve Waldman to make note of my “Best Spiritual Read of 2008.” One book clearly came to mind. It’s a pretty simple, straightforward book, though I’ve tried […]
The New York Times has a story about Muslim punk rockers, the amazing life-imitates-art phenomenon of “The Taqwacores,” a novel by Michael Muhammad Knight. They didn’t exist until Knight’s novel started circulating in the Muslim teen community. “This book helped me […]
I think it’s fair to say that 2008 was the year of “Twilight”–as in Stephenie Meyer’s the “Twilight Series,” as in vampires and vampire-human love, as in star-crossed romance taken as far as it can go, as in crazy, screaming […]
Several years ago, a pastor’s son planted a church in a tough-to-reach upper middle class suburb in Southern California. For years–even decades–he shunned the spotlight to focus on his ministry. His church grew. It spun off other churches. He coached […]
A First Look at 'Saints and Strangers'
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The Arizona Cardinals Hire First Female NFL Coach
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Bobbi Kristina Brown Dies at 22
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“The Great” Hope Hits Theaters Today
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Becky Hammon Makes History Again
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