Friday, November 18, 2011

...So Many Books...So Little Time

Books are such a joy!  I've been thinking lately about how books and friends lead me to other friends and books.  The pleasure I find in reading good books is enhanced when I can share a new find with a friend who appreciates a particular author or genre.  And, I appreciate new books and authors suggested by friends who think of me when they read, and pass them along.

Here is what I think is an interesting path.  When Max Lucado began to be published I could not wait for his subsequent books:  On the Anvil and No Wonder They Call Him the Savior were such treasures that I have given countless copies away over the years.  But, soon after they were published I began this path which has been a thrill to travel.  I grew up in the Church of Christ and tended to read authors who were also members of the Church of Christ.  But back at the time I was reading these books I noticed that not only did Lucado quote from authors outside our tribe, so did several teachers and preachers I trusted.  C.S. Lewis was one of the first I began to devour.  Surprised by Joy was the first Lewis book for me, followed quickly by Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters.  I can't begin to describe how these books blessed my life, as they have so many others.  As you may have experienced yourself, I could not get enough Lewis.  You can easily follow his other books on Amazon and suffice it to say, I've read more of them than not.

But, here is where my book path gets interesting.  Lewis quoted others who led me off on delightful tangents:  G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George MacDonald were wonderful.  Fyodor Dostoyevesky has been quoted by many of these mentioned and I know I will enjoy his books ... when I have the time.  But along the way I have searched out modern day authors, too.

A few months ago  I noticed The God Who Smokes on Alan Gable's blog.  This is one of the few books I read and started over and read again, three times!  And Timothy Stoner suggested another writer I'm still exploring, Peter Kreeft.  Kreeft introduced me to Walker Percy.

Let me stick another little tangent in which will reward you if you were to choose to follow my path a bit ... Steve Hawley is the only published author I have known as a true and dear friend.  He writes delightful devotionals daily on his blog.  But you will not want to miss his book.

These books just keep getting better and better ... so little time!

And lest you get the idea that all I care to read is of a spiritual bent - The last book I finished was Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  The book was inspiring, but even more so when I learned how Hillenbrand fought through Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to write not only this book but also Seabiscuit.

Of course I love to browse in book stores, but I'm very selective in what I buy.  Our bookshelves are all full so I need to give at least one book away each time I buy one.  I picked up Naming the Elephant by James W. Sire a couple of years ago.  When I saw the title I assumed that the book was about the phenomenon of the "Elephant in the room" ie. a subject which everyone knows better than to mention.  I was wrong.  This is a delightful, informative book comparing the various "Worldviews".  Check it out for yourself.  It will bless your life.  Dr. Sire "wrote  the book" on Worldviews.  Check out The Universe Next Door:  A Catalog of Worldviews.  I heartily recommend both of these books.

Catherine Agee is a friend who shares her latest John Grisham book with me and I welcome these escapes.  If he could only learn to end his books "happy" instead of trying to surprise us.

I hope you've enjoyed this little map of my reading.  Whenever I can't decide what to read next I often go back to Alan's blog and let him suggest.  I find his taste to be challenging and rewarding - sure reminds me of someone we both love dearly.

Be good to yourself.