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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What's In My Library?

Ok, so I have been tagged by Anne the Palm Tree Pundit (I feel so very cool). The topic centers on one of my favorite things...books!

(1) Number of books I own - Umm, I just asked my wife, and she rolled her eyes and muttered a disparaging "hundreds." I take that as a good sign, because it's actually well over that (probably somewhere between 800 and 1000). Which means she's lost count and I can keep asking for more... :-)

(2) Last book I bought - two by Lauren Winner: Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity, and Mudhouse Sabbath. I've read part of the second (it's ok), and I'm reading the first one a second time (it's excellent - which you can tell from my previous posts). Prior to that I purchased Subversive Spirituality by Eugene Peterson (which I am still working through - also excellent).

(3) Last book I read - Real Sex. You can read some of my thoughts on it here.

(4) Five books that mean a lot to me: (aside from the Bible, of course!)
  1. Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz – This book provides penetrating, provocative reflection on Christian spirituality. Accessible and entertaining, it should resonate with the postmodern unbeliever in all of us. If I met a non-believer who was willing to read one book, this would be the one I would give them.

  2. C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce - Ok, if I was dealing with a thinking non-believer, I would probably give them C.S. Lewis rather than Donald Miller, and I would probably start them here, although I would also encourage them to read the Chronicles of Narnia (but it really needs to be a old, original-order hardcover set from the 60's, or better yet, a set like this!). Even better, I'd want them to read Lewis' Space Trilogy (this is absolutely one of the best pieces of science fiction of all time, by a real author who understands how literature actually works and can write well to boot!)

  3. G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy - Chesterton is a lot like Lewis... this is a great work more people need to read. Somehow I think Chesterton would easily hold his own in this rising tide of postmodernism.

  4. Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty – This profound little book elegantly captures the heart of the gospel and illustrates how Sanctification by Faith fits squarely in the Reformed tradition.

  5. For this last one, I'm going to change gears and list some favorites in the children's lit. genre, many of them very old and hard to find (and you REALLY need the hardcover versions of these - can be a great resource here) - Fred Gipson's Savage Sam, Alfred Ollivant's Bob Son of Battle, Hilda Lewis' The Ship That Flew, Edward Ormondroyd's David and the Phoenix, and more recently, Kate Dicamillo's The Tale of Despereaux. And of course anything by Tolkien and Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea Trilogy. And, as a bonus if you can lay your hands on a copy, Steven Lindblom's The Mouses' Terrible Christmas (a mere 30 pages or so, with illustrations, but you will pee your pants laughing).
SO! How's that for eclectic? Now it's my turn... I tag Ryan, Charles, and Andree Seu (of World Magazine fame).


At 10:19 PM, June 14, 2005, Blogger Charles said...

OK, so I made two rules for myself when I started my blog. One, never put any of my friends’ names in it. They know who they are. And two, never, I mean never, post those blog questionnaires or games or anything of that sort that people clutter their blogs with. I’m sticking to my guns here

I did, however, post about this, along with other things, here.

OK, I have to tell you, I think your list is a little Tailored to the audience here. You have to have a few books on there that us non WTS students and sinners would enjoy. I mean in your top 5 books, there has to be a book about beer, coffee, cigars, or killing defenseless cute animals with fully automatic weapons. Shouldn't there be?

And dude, Calvin didn't make the top 5? What about Java? I mean last time I checked your bookshelf, it looked like you were a Calvin freak. And we’ve all heard your tirades about Java, which you are shamelessly pushing onto your son (If you are reading this Micah, PUT THE BOOK DOWN). I could have sworn your bookshelf was something like Java, Java, Java, Java, Java, Java, Java, Java, Java, Java, Java, Java, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin...

At 7:38 AM, June 15, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

Ah, gee Charles - we already have a permanent link to your blog on the main page anyway (so it's not like you are anonymous). You do read though, right? :-)

As for tailoring the list for seminary students, that's actually something I intentionally avoided - of the list I gave (13 books in all), I'd be willing to be that most WTSers have only read two or three at most (Lewis and Luther). And all the books in #5...DUDE! Those should be CLASSICS for anyone!

As for cute defenseless animals, I did once borrow a book called Bear Attacks: Their Causes And Avoidance in hopes that a more scientific approach to the whole bear thing might make Marilyn less nervous in the mountains. Big mistake. The book spends hundreds of page analyzing bear attacks in gruesome detail and then reaches the reassuring conclusion that "We really have no idea what sets these buggers off. Heading out into the wilderness? Good luck pal..." Marilyn hasn't camped out overnight since.

As for Java and Calvin, I have those memorized so I thought they shouldn't really count... (so don't listen to him Micah!!!! 8-)

At 11:20 AM, June 15, 2005, Blogger Anne said...

Thanks for playing along, Christian! Good list. I'm looking forward to reading Real Sex based on your review. The Great Divorce is probably in my top ten favorite books. Now I really want to read On Christian Liberty. So many books, so little time...

At 7:45 AM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Charles said...

If I had to pick 5, they would be, in to particular order, The Invisible Man, The Great Gatsby, The Jungle, Conscience of a Liberal, and The Millionaire Next Door. Although I did leave out computer book Bibles like Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment, which is really a life changing book for young programmers who want to get into a little systems programming.

At 9:02 PM, June 16, 2005, Anonymous Karyn T. said...

Gosh, Christian, I think that relegating "anything Tolkien" to the children's genre category is a little limiting (I'm refraining from using vocabulary like "demeaning" because Mark says I'm being a literary snob). But, hey, someone has to stick up for all his creativity. Have you read his translation of Beowulf?

At 9:51 PM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

Hey Karyn - eek! Please don't see the fact that #5 is "children's lit" as in any way limiting or demeaning; for me, that's the niche I actually hold dearest, not because it's good for me, like some of the theological works are, but because I flat out love them!

While I haven't read Tolkien's translation of Beowulf, I love a lot of his lesser known stuff (yes, at one time I could actually read the elvish in his books). Same thing w/ Lewis - everything I read by them simply amazes me.

So while I tend to lump both of them into this category at times (because of Narnia and LOTR), I am a fan of the whole kit and kaboodle when it comes to these guys. It's just difficult to get all my favorites into a "top 5" list, so I had to fudge a bit :-)

At 10:29 AM, June 17, 2005, Blogger Karyn said...

I have to agree with you, Christian. Some of my favorite books are in the "children's" category.... and hence, often missed as the terrific gems that they are! We'll have to talk more about books when we are both back in town. We're enjoying Maine right now... then off to PA, VA, PA, VA, the Sudan, Colorado, and finally back "home" to PA in August. Thank goodness for libraries that allow internet book renewals!

At 10:30 AM, June 17, 2005, Anonymous Karyn T. said...

good grief. i didn't realize that "aunt karyn" was my blogger name (must be a remnant from when my niece started a blog). How embarrassing!

At 11:02 AM, June 17, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

I kind of like it. I'll think of you as 'Auntie Karyn' from now on :-)

At 9:44 PM, June 17, 2005, Anonymous Uncle Jake said...

There is nothing on ballistics here! Sheesh! Now I know why you use a .284! Ignorance is BLISS!

And to think, such a good mind, gone to pot!

P.S. Anne: Beowulf is good, but Tolkien's "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth" is really good, with my favorite being "Farmer Giles of Ham." Just read that to the kids (6,4,2,7 mos.)and they loved it, though the girls thought "Smith of Wooten Major" was better......

Christian, you need to try "Western Skies" by John Barsness, and "Big Two-Hearted River" by E. Hemmingway. That is what we call L-I-T-E-R-A-T-U-R-E-.

At 8:44 AM, June 18, 2005, Blogger rs said...

Sorry C, I finally got my courage up to answer since you "called me out!"

I'd have to say my five favs are:

1. The Count of Monte Cristo.

2. Brothers Karamazov even though I didn't finish it.

3. Reforming Marriage by Doug Wilson - I can't believe I'm admitting this, but it is a great read on marriage.

Sadly, that is all I can think of or have time to write right now.

At 12:10 AM, October 22, 2005, Blogger Mark Traphagen said...


Just found this post. You will win 16 points toward convincing me to move to Montana (and save folks money, too!) if you'd link your books to instead of Amazon (for the ones we carry). Keep me employed, bro!


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