readers advisory

Lacking the time, access to library literature, and overall knowledge of books that my esteemed colleague Mr. Neds-Fox has, I have still pursued my somewhat perilous goal of reading a book a week for this summer. I figured it's all the time I'll have until I'm knee deep in journal articles and the rummaging through minutiae from ages past known as academia. So far so good, though I'll be the first to admit that my book list is not built to cover a wide variety of genres, authors, time periods, etc. It's just for fun, right? Week 1: Shushaku Endo. The Final Martyrs. (already wrote about this one) so good! Week 2: Margaret Atwood. The Handmaid's Tale. It went sort of where I expected it to. Not a great book, but not a bad one either. The writing style was fabulous. Week 3: Michael Ruse. Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? His answer is "yes." My answer is "still not convinced". However, this book is so good, so different, so effective, that every person in every seminary or Christian school's science class needs to read it. The fact that it won't be read in either of those environments is symptomatic of the fact that the majority of evangelical Christians have just pretty much given up thinking through issues surrounding science and are now less prepared than ever to address real crises of ethics and education that are presenting themselves in our society. Week 4: G. K. Chesterton. The Ball and the Cross. I slogged my way through this. Probably the worst thing by Chesterton I've ever read, but I still ended up liking the characters somehow. Week 5: Walker Percy. The Moviegoer. It won the National Book Award for a reason. Fan-freaking-tastic book about spiritual malaise in the face of worldly happiness. This book will make me read more Percy. Week 6: I started reading another Chesterton collection, this one all of his Father Brown mysteries. But then I realized I should try another author for a bit--early twentieth century British literature is great but the language can get unwieldy at times. I think I'll opt for Umberto Eco's Baudolino--a Forrest Gump-esque tale about a monk who was involved at important events in the Middle Ages but somehow never got mentioned. Was he crazy? a liar? unlucky? ain't books grand? what should I read after this?


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