Rick Warren Wants You to Buy My Books!

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Published by Eric Metaxas on 12/22/08 under Blog Media

Here’s Rick Warren doing his best to convey his huge affection — in a kind of non-verbal blurb — for my two books Amazing Grace and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask). I know if he had more hands he’d be holding up Everything ELSE You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask) and Squanto and It’s Time to Sleep, My Love, but the Lord only gave Rick the two hands you see, and he’s having to make do. I appreciate it! Rick did say he would aggressively push my books during his Inauguration Prayer on January 20th. I don’t know how he’ll work them in, but I know he will!! You may have to listen carefully, but I know he’ll mention them somehow. It’s something to look forward to!

And now… the song!

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Published by Eric Metaxas on 12/17/08 under Blog


I’m talking about the lullabye that Sally Taylor — daughter of James Taylor and Carly Simon — wrote to go along with my children’s book, It’s Time to Sleep, My Love? It’s gorgeous.

And now you can listen to it yourselves! HERE IT IS!

. When I wrote the poem/lullabye/book thirteen years ago the voice that I kept hearing in my head singing it was always that of James Taylor. Or Carly Simon. And in a way both of them are now singing the song — and with one voice! Sally Taylor’s voice and phrasing and talents clearly bring her parents to mind, as you can hear for yourself. Of course Sally’s now a mother herself — of one-year-old Bodhi! He turned one the same week as the book came out, in early October! It’s rather obvious that she’s singing the song to him…

If you’d like a copy of the book or the audio cd, you can still order both of them in time for Christmas via the book links on this site. I’m biased, but I do think it makes a great present. Nancy Tillman’s illustrations are amazing and the song is amazing and Sally Taylor’s voice is amazing and I’m just thrilled about it. Blessings to you and Merry Christmas!

Best Children’s Books Ever

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Published by Eric Metaxas on 11/09/08 under Blog

I’ve written about thirty children’s books and have written for VeggieTales — so you can imagine that every now and again people ask me to recommend children’s books. The little-known “Tim” books, written and illustrated by Edward Ardizzone (1900-1979) have to be among the best children’s picture books in existence, and they are the first books I would recommend to anyone, and now recommend to you. Ardizzone’s illustrations have a Victorian feel to them, as do his stories.

There are eleven “Tim” books, which Ardizzone wrote between 1936 and 1977. All of them are available here, at Amazon.com. There is so much to like about these books. There is an innocence and a wit to them that puts them at the top of my list. Ardizzone was the first winner of the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for children’s book illustration in 1956. A terrific 1966 Maurice Sendak review of Ardizzone’s Tim and Ginger, can be read here.

I’m also a big fan of Robert McCloskey’s first book, the incredibly charming Lentil. McCloskey wrote and illustrated it in 1940,

years before his Caldecott-winner, Make Way for Ducklings or his other more popular books, like Blueberries for Sal, which I also love. McCloskey’s early-19th century American town and the characters that inhabit Lentil are a delight.

My favorite line: “There sat Old Sneep, sucking on a lemon.” SHLURP! Click here to order Lentil.


Saturday Booksigning in New Canaan, Nov. 8th!

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Published by Eric Metaxas on 11/07/08 under Blog Uncategorized

I’ll be signing copies of my book, It’s Time to Sleep, My Love at the Elm Street Bookshop in New Canaan, Connecticut Saturday from noon to three! Please stop by if you are local! My hometown newspaper, the Danbury News-Times, had this to say.

My Book’s being called “A Real Snoozer!!”

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Published by Eric Metaxas on 10/08/08 under Blog

IT’S THE LULLABYE BOOK THAT’S HELPING THE ENTIRE NATION GET THE REST IT NEEDS — WITHOUT MESSY PILLS OR POWDERS! It’s been called “a real snoozer!” by a supposed friend of mine. (I can’t tell you her real name, but her initials are Ginger Oakes — Ha!) But doggone it, the little gal’s on to something! You see, the book IS a real snoozer. I admit it! In fact, it’s been putting people to sleep in droves all across the country! But now that the word is out — thanks, Ginger! — I might as well let you in on a little secret: the powerfully soporific effect of the book is entirely intentional! That’s right. It’s actually supposed to have that loopy “Sandman” effect! And that’s not JUST because it’s a lullabye!

Nope. You see, the sleeping-bug that’s biting young and old alike who encounter this book is mostly due to a revolution in printing technology! Coloured inks that contain the legal limit of two ppm tryptophan (that’s the stuff in turkeys that puts you to sleep after the big meal every Thanksgiving!) are being cannily employed to create a children’s book that’s knocking folks out left and right! In fact, the very paper upon which this dreamy lullabye is printed are themselves first soaked in a trytophan-heavy solution! (Don’t tell the Feds, because that part really IS illegal). It’s kooky!

The result is the aforementioned “super-snoozer” effect that my friend was referring to! So did you sleep at all last night? If you did, chances are you passed by one of these books and didn’t even know it. Yup, it’s that powerful! We’ve already been getting reports that people are falling asleep in the aisles of some Barnes&Noble stores! (Shhh… don’t wake ‘em up… just tell a store manager and tip-toe away…) In fact, we can’t confirm it yet, but we are hearing anecdotal evidence that fully one-hundred percent of the people who read any part of the book — even the title on the cover from a distance! — are falling asleep within twenty-four hours of reading it. Them’s real results, folks! And we had to tell you!

So if you want a book that’s a “real snoozer!” – thanks, Ginger! Don’t worry, I’ll get you back eventually — and that’s guaranteed to put the kiddies — and non-kiddies — to sleep within twenty-four hours or your money back, may we suggest you look no further? May we also suggest you look no farther? May we additionally suggest you buy one for your father?!?

Yes, it’s the dreamy lullabye book that’s guaranteed to transport its readers to the happy land of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod — even if they don’t wanna go!

Get your copy today and like, Snooze, baby, Snooze!

Yours for better sleeping habits,

Eric Metaxas, Author


God, the Interview: Mr. Know-It-All

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Published by Kathryn Jean Lopez on 12/22/05 under Media Press Reviews

Link to Article

Eric Metaxas aims high. He’s got a book out called Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask). He confesses early on that he’s really just taking “a crack at” the “everything” part, but hopes to get a conversation going about the higher things nonetheless — which he literally does in the book (it’s questions and answers) and does right here, too, always with a light touch.

Metaxas had a pre-Christmas conversation with NRO Editor Kathryn Lopez, who forgives him for his very Manhattan cracks (rolfing? — you’ll see). Thomas Aquinas (you will see, too) may not be as forgiving.

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Give me a break. You cannot tell me everything I’ve always wanted to know about God. You yourself say such an endeavor is “patently insane” in the book’s intro. So what’s the point, man? Don’t I have enough to read already without your no-answer answer book?

ERIC METAXAS: You’re carrying a lot of hostility. May I suggest rolfing?

But seriously, I think the main point of the book is to get the reader involved in a larger conversation about these questions which — incidentally — everyone has. Everyone wants to know about the meaning of life and who God is and why there’s so much evil and suffering in the world, and no, I don’t have glib answers, because, frankly these questions are too deep for glib answers, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t wade in and try to wrestle with them. These are way too important to ignore.

I think if we don’t find a healthy and open way to discuss these things we’ll end up carrying around a lot of hostility, and possibly maybe even need to be rolfed.

I’m just saying.

LOPEZ: You want God conversations to be “fun”? Unless you’re in college with too much late-night talking time on your hands, don’t those conversations tend to come up in dire times?

METAXAS: Well, that’s the problem. When life gets tough we ask the hard questions, but the way it’s supposed to work is that we find answers before things get tough, so that when things do get tough we have a substantive way of dealing with the situation. God wants us to know Him so that when things get rough we can lean on Him and let Him comfort us. Of course He doesn’t force us to let Him do that.

LOPEZ: You live in NYC. Outside of Vast-Right Wing Conspiracy chapter meetings and church, do you actually talk about God in polite company?

METAXAS: It’s not easy talking about God in polite company in New York, you’re right. Which is tragic, and which is one reason I wrote this book, to try and get folks in places like New York City to open themselves up to the subject. Hence the humor, I guess. Folks need to stop being afraid of discussing this. Everyone has these questions! Let’s begin to admit it. I should also point out that there are many more evangelicals and serious Catholics and other Christians in NYC than you’d be led to believe by reading the New York Times. But of course there are lots of realities unrepresented by the NY Times. That’s what NRO is for, right?

LOPEZ: You better believe it.

Your book is a Q&A. Who is asking those questions?

METAXAS: A guy named Schmuley, down on Second Avenue. Why?

LOPEZ: Well, he could put Charlie Rose out of a job.

Didn’t Thomas Aquinas already do this — try to prove God’s existence and the like? You think you can do a better job?

METAXAS: I can certainly crack jokes better than Aquinas — and who can’t? — but that’s more important than you might think… because part of the problem with Aquinas, and part of the reason I wrote this book, is that Aquinas is extremely dry. No one reads Aquinas. At least your average skeptic isn’t likely to pick up Aquinas to answer his deepest questions. And what does Aquinas have to say about UFOs and that sort of thing? Nothing.

But seriously, if everyone were reading Aquinas there’d be no reason for my book. But things being as they are, there are lots of reasons for my book’s existence.

LOPEZ: Did you ever feel like you were dumbing down religion a bit too much at times in the book? For example, when you liken Christianity to a 12-step program?

METAXAS: Well, I said that to make a point. It’s called hyperbole. But there’s a lot of truth there; in fact, it’s a truth that very few non-Christians know about, so I thought it worth asserting. Lots of folks have complicated and often confused ideas of what Christianity is, and by saying that it’s like a 12-step program I’m basically communicating that Christianity isn’t for morally superior people — on the contrary, it’s for people who need help. And that’s all of us. At least those of us who are honest about ourselves.

LOPEZ: Who is your target audience? You’re Christian. Surely Muslims will have no use for your book? Will even most Christians? Is there any use in a Jew reading your book if he has no desire to convert?

METAXAS: This book is for the widest possible audience, and I’m not just saying that. Really. This book is perfect for Christians to give to their non-Christian friends. But it’s also perfect for folks who are already Christians who want to refresh themselves on what they believe. Most folks who go to church now and again have probably forgotten much of what they learned on some of these issues. This book is a way to get the answers without embarrassing themselves by asking someone they’d rather not ask.

And this book is also for non-Christians of every stripe because it might not convince them of anything, but it’ll give them an idea of what Christians really believe as opposed to what they think Christians believe. Everyone owes it to himself to know what something really is, even if they don’t agree with it, and many people reject a version of Christianity which is a straw man, or a cartoon version of real Christianity. This book tries to set some of those misconceptions straight.

LOPEZ: You seem to skirt a lot of questions. Like, did God invent Comedy Central?

METAXAS: I was so afraid you’d ask that. Dang. You’ve nailed me. I don’t know. I would guess not, but it’s possible he created some of the people who invented it.

LOPEZ: Here’s one for you: If heaven is so wonderful, why can’t the residents take calls? At Christmas? On birthdays? Sounds worse than jail the way it is.

METAXAS: Heaven is outside of time and space, so the phone bills would be infinite. Which is pretty bad, even without all those mysterious surcharges.

LOPEZ: Um. “God as Gipper”? You better explain yourself, Metaxas.

METAXAS: It’s a bit cheeky, I’ll admit, but the idea is sound. Once we know Who God is, we can’t help but love Him and admire Him so much that we want to please Him, want to play our hearts out for Him so to speak. When we know Who He is, we actually want to be better people — not out of fear, but out of love. That’s the deal.

LOPEZ: We just need confirmation here. Ronald Reagan was not God? There are all types reading NRO. I just want everyone to be clear. Don’t want anyone to have the wrong idea.

METAXAS: Yes, as wonderful as Reagan was, he was not literally God. For the record, God is taller and was never called “Dutch” — and, of course, God was never a registered Democrat. And God was never married — and even if he had ever been married, his wife never would have consulted an astrologer.

LOPEZ: Will Hindu hot-dog vendors be offended by your book?

METAXAS: Not if they buy it on Amazon.com, but if they pay full price in a bookstore, and have to pay tax on top of that, yes, I’m sure they’d be offended. Who wouldn’t?

LOPEZ: So hell is New Jersey?

METAXAS: I never said that. I said that hell might be inNew Jersey. Bayonne is not New Jersey, but Bayonne is in New Jersey. And no, I’m not saying hell is Bayonne, either. Man, you’ve got me on the run with this one… Can I go to a lifeline?

LOPEZ: Did Alice from The Brady Bunch actually read your book? How did that happen?

METAXAS: This is totally true. I knew that she was a serious Christian (I’m talking about Ann B. Davis who played Alice on the show) and I tracked her down via e-mail through a friend — it was pretty amazing that I did — and yes, she read the book and yes, she absolutely loved it, which thrills me no end. I mean, if Alice from The Brady Bunch likes my book, how bad can it be?

I’m working on getting Alice Cooper to get me a blurb, too. No kidding. Yes, he’s become a Christian, too. I met him two years ago on Madison Ave. right behind St. Pat’s (I’m not kidding) and talked to him about his faith. Anyway, two Alices would be better than one, but even if he doesn’t give me a blurb, Ann B. Davis has tickled me to death with the one she gave me. It really just warms me thinking about it.

LOPEZ: Why are you citing Woody Allen in your book?

METAXAS: Because I thought that the idea of him interviewing Billy Graham on an ABC special was so strange and amazing, someone had to write about it and let the world know. So I put it in the book.

LOPEZ: You’re into William Wilberforce. He’s going to make it to the silver screen before too long. What the attraction to this somewhat obscure fella?

METAXAS: William Wilberforce is one of the greatest men who ever lived, and the idea that he is obscure only speaks to the fact that we’ve stripped our history and Europe’s of all references to faith. If not for Wilberforce the slave trade in the British empire would not have been abolished for a long, long time. His faith led him to crusade against it, and by God’s grace he succeeded, and the fact that most folks don’t know who he is is positively scandalous.

LOPEZ: Buzz Aldrin held a prayer service on the moon? Where was the ACLU?

METAXAS: Not a prayer service, but he did take communion — no kidding. I have met him and asked him about it and it’s true. Isn’t it amazing? No one knows about it, so I’m thrilled I was able to put it in the book. Just the idea of it is so compelling.

LOPEZ: You’ve written for Veggietales, which seems hugely popular. What’s the secret of their success?

METAXAS: The secret of their success is their ability to use humor, which previous children’s videos with biblical themes had eschewed entirely. Quel domage.

LOPEZ: If I were given your book for Christmas, took one look at it and said, What the he…?, what is the most you’d hope I’d get out of it?

METAXAS: I’d hope to open up a conversation with you on the most important issues imaginable, in a winsome and non-confrontational way. I’d hope to humbly put forth the idea that looking for answers to these huge questions is something we should be open to, something we should perhaps look forward to, even. And I’d hope to entertain you in the process, doggone it! Not that anyone could ever entertain as well as Aquinas has already done, but what the heck, you know?

LOPEZ: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? What say you? Say, to a Hindu hot dog vendor?

METAXAS: No, no… to a Hindu hot dog vendor you can only say one thing: “Make me one with everything.”