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Christianity Today Book Award in Culture and the Arts (2021)

“In the final analysis, music is prayer cast into sound.” 

One of the greatest luthiers of our time reveals the secrets of his profession—and how each phase of handcrafting a violin can point us toward our calling, our true selves, and the overwhelming power and gentleness of God’s love.


Schleske explains that our world is flooded with metaphors, parables, and messages from God. But are we truly listening? Do we really see? Drawing upon Scripture, his life experiences, and his insights as a master violinmaker, Schleske challenges readers to understand the world, ourselves, and the Creator in fresh ways. 

The message of this unique book is mirrored in sensitive photographs by Donata Wenders, whose work has appeared in prominent newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Esquire, as well as museums and galleries throughout the world.

More Book Reviews

Schleske’s absorption in the violin maker’s art is so engaging (both intellectually and sensually) and the way he segues seamlessly into Biblical analogy so deftly handled, that it feels – especially given the unusual premise – entirely natural. I found myself immediately drawn into Schleske’s magical world.

Julian Haylock, The Strad

Reading Martin is not an exercise; it is an encounter and experience. May each reader or listener who slows to ‘hear’ this work of art through its hallowed depths discover anew the ‘singer’ within their own heart.

William Paul Young
author of The Shack

This unique book combines theology, philosophy, and personal stories of suffering and joy to emphasize the profoundly artistic nature of our individual and communal callings. It invites us to experience the sacred creativity of the gospel through the eyes of an attentive, ardent, and devoted artist and seeker.

Mary McCampbell, associate professor of humanities, Lee University

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