Thinking Out Loud

August 12, 2011

Searching for The Book of Days

It was just a short year ago that I delved into a work of fiction by an author unknown to me, James Rubart’s Rooms.   As I mentioned when I reviewed the book, I’m not a follower of Christian fiction, but I was very impressed.  So when I heard that a third book by Rubart, The Chair, is publishing in the fall, I did two things.  First I did the necessary begging to insure that it will get reviewed here.  Second, I realized I had to pick up a copy of the title I’d missed, The Book of Days.

I was not disappointed.  Approx. 375 pages, I read each and every one of them within 24 hours.  (You could call it my Book of Days day, but we won’t.)  That is rather uncharacteristic for me, especially with fiction. 

As with Rooms (and what I’ve heard about The Chair) there is a plot contrivance which moves the story forward, but it’s one that’s not entirely outside the range of possibilities, even to those who would interpret scripture more literally.  What we have here is a story that is very believable played out by characters who are somewhat caricatures of people you meet in small towns, yet with an element of real-world connection that increases the possibility that everything described in its pages could conceivably take place. 

In addition to that real-world sense of immediacy, like Rooms, The Book of Days moves at a rather rapid pace while describing a town where things sometimes seem to move rather slowly.  Where I would be seeing each clue followed-up within the hour, Rubart’s protagonists often have to wait days to catch the local townsfolk at the right time. The 49 chapters of the book sometimes have multiple scene changes within a single one; I’d love to see the “storyboard” that Rubart used to plot out this book.  

The Christian element to this book is necessary to the book’s premise, but not overstated.  This is a book that might easily be given to someone regardless of their present beliefs, with just enough to get them thinking but not so much as to be overbearing.  Actually, if you want a book with an altar call at the end, this one wouldn’t suit your purpose.  But it definitely suits mine!   It’s also a book that I believe men will appreciate in a genre where the majority of readers tend to be women.

I believe that when The Chair emerges this fall, Rubart’s hat-trick will earn him the recognition that he most certainly deserves.  That’s why I wanted to read this one first, though the titles each stand independently of each other.  Besides, what’s summer without some good fiction? 

The interview below contains some plot elements that you might want to discover through reading.  For everyone else, click the video to learn more. Undecided?  You could also watch the one-minute book trailer.

Look for The Book of Days at Christian bookstores from B&H Fiction in paperback at $14.99 U.S.  No review copy was supplied in this instance.  Yes, I actually bought the book!!


  1. I read The Chair this summer. Absolutely loved it. I have not read Jim’s other books but they are now at the top of my “to be read” pile. The book is fast-paced but also explores the idea of what it means to be healed—inwardly and outwardly. I also loved that he didn’t try (as some christian fiction does) to make everything turn out perfectly (i.e. everyone becomes a Christian and lives happily ever after). It was very well written.

    Comment by Keri — August 30, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    • In the interest of full disclosure, the author of the above comment is affiliated with a marketing company which does promotion for the Christian publishing industry with clients including Baker, Tyndale, Zondervan, IVP and Thomas Nelson.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — August 30, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  2. […] Here’s a review of The Book of Days Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Leave a Comment […]

    Pingback by Finding a Good Chair to Curl up with a Good Book « Thinking Out Loud — September 9, 2011 @ 6:38 am

  3. […] the currently popular Rooms, The Book of Days, and The Chair by James Rubart, The Reason contains a continually advancing plot, a good mix of […]

    Pingback by Reviewing The Reason by William Sirls « Thinking Out Loud — August 31, 2012 @ 6:48 am

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