Let’s talk about books!

August 3, 2006 | Books I Love | 10 comments

Georgie tagged me with this great meme. My Amazon wish list has grown by about ten items after reading what everyone else has had to say for this one.

1. One book that changed your life:

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel – It never even occurred to me that the Christian story might be true until I read this. I talked more about it here.

Runner up: Domestic Tranquility by Carolyn Graglia – The first book to make me re-examine my silly liberal beliefs about feminism and marriage.

…OK, I just thought of about five other books that are close runners up. I think I’ll just do other posts about them in the future.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:

Endurance by Alfred Lansing – Probably the best book I’ve ever read. Absolutely amazing. Go add it to your wish list right now (make sure to get the version by Lansing).

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:

The Cathecism of the Catholic Church

4. One book that made you laugh:

The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton – I love his dry, British wit.

5. One book that made you cry:

Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel – I didn’t see the ending coming, the final story she tells brought me to tears. Man, I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it. (Next time you’re in a book store pick up the book and read the last five pages. Really moving.)

6. One book that you wish had been written:

Christian Apologetics for Atheists – Nobody’s done it right yet. C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel have come close, but there’s no one book that I think I could recommend to atheist friends and say “here, read this” that I think would do any good.

7. One book that you wish had never been written:

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max – I partied with this guy and his friends one time and have never been so unimpressed with a group of people in my life. As an aspiring writer, I almost choked when I saw his book on Amazon’s bestseller list. I am so bitter that this jackass has a book and I don’t. (Not a very Christian sentiment, I know. Still working on that one.)

Runner Up: The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr. Sears – I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say I wish it hadn’t been written since I know AP works for some people, but it should at least have to come with a warning label. AP was a disaster for us.

8. One book you’re currently reading:

Good News About Sex and Marriage by Christopher West

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:

Ack! My Amazon wish list has more than 150 items on it so I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one. I’ll choose one from each list (I have one each for Religion, Nutrition, Politics, and General/Fun Reads):

Great Heresies by Hilaire Belloc
The Mind on Fire by Blaise Pascal (OK, that’s two from the religion list)
The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons
The Party of Death by Ramesh Ponnuru
1776 by David McCulloug

10. Book that you bought but haven’t read:

Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer – Looks fascinating but I had no idea how HUGE it is when I ordered it from Amazon. I’ve been too intimidated by its size to start reading it.

OK, I added #10 myself because I thought it’s an interesting question.

I’d love to hear what Jennifer, Adoro Te Devote, KathyJo, Colleen and Steve G. have to say for this meme.

10 Comments

  1. SteveG

    Ack! But I don’t have a blog! 🙂

    1. One book that changed your life:

    One? Just one? Impossible! I have to do this Miss America style…

    Winner: Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton – This book literally revolutionized the way I think about the world. He taught me ‘how’ to think by showing how valuable it is to take nearly every idea we encountered and turn it this way and that, and inspect it from varied angles to see it in a new light. If and when I get to heaven, I am heading straight for this old bear and giving him a tearful, thankful hug.

    Second runner up: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. – It’s weird because if I read this book today, I’d be far more critical of it than when I first encountered it as a non-believer. However, I simply can’t deny the profound effect this had on me at the time.

    Having given up faith at a younger age because of the anti-intellectual experience I had with fundamentalism, this book was the first time it occurred to me that a rational case for Christianity could be made.

    It didn’t convince me, but it jarred a door open that had previously been closed.

    Third runner Up: The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn – This book absolutely demolished and reconstructed my understanding of the Book of Revelations. Instead of focusing on silly end time fantasies (i.e. left behind), Hahn explains Revelations in the light of the Eucharist. OMG…absolutely mind blowing stuff. Transformed my understanding of the Eucharist for all time.

    *uh oh, this could get long…why am I such a windbag*

    2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
    Can’t answer. I’ve read nearly every book in my library at least 2 or 3 times. I take it for granted that I can’t even begin to ‘get’ a book until I’ve read it AT LEAST twice. The two books I’ve read the most…Orthodoxy, and Lord of The Rings which I have a tradition of reading at least once a year.

    3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
    Lord of the Rings

    4. One book that made you laugh:
    The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton.

    5. One book that made you cry:
    Dead Zone by Stephen King – There’s a scene in there where the main character has been in a coma for years, and his fiancee comes to his bedside to ‘tell’ him that she has to move on. Very moving.

    6. One book that you wish had been written:
    A book that I keep pondering that answers Joseph Campbell et. al. Something that adequately addresses the idea of myth, heroism, and storytelling in the light of Adam and Christ (the two Central characters of human history), and shows how all myths point to the same fundamental story that is at the heart of the human condition (fall and redemption) and which becomes incarnate in Christ. It’s a book I want to write. It’s called The Coward and the Hero .

    Stupid, I know, but it’s been on my mind for few years now.

    7. One book that you wish had never been written:
    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – This detestable book and it’s detestable philosophy was the final nail in the coffin of my faith when I was younger. It led me to the start of my insufferable Ayn Rand phase, and a libertarian philosophy. Strang…it seemed so compelling then, but so dull and shallow now.

    8. One book you’re currently reading:
    Speaking From the Heart: A Fathers Growth in Virtue by Stephen Gabriel Wonderful meditations on the virtues a husband and father needs and tips on how to practice them.

    9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
    The Fire Within by Fr. Dubay

    10. Book that you bought but haven’t read:
    The Development of Christian Doctrine by John Henry Cardinal Newman – I know many of the principles in the book and I’ve heard so many fantastic things about it, but I can’t get past out of the first chapter. The language is just so dense and philosophical that I keep finding myself drifting and putting it aside after a few pages.

  2. Jennifer F.

    This book was the first time it occurred to me that a rational case for Christianity could be made. It didn’t convince me, but it jarred a door open that had previously been closed.

    I know what you mean. That’s a great way to phrase it, and what I thought about The Case For Christ. It’s not that it was perfect, but that it opened my eyes to the fact Christianity could be defended on a logical, rational, fact-based level. I’d never heard anything like that before (probably because I didn’t want to.)

  3. Adoro Te Devote

    Jen, thanks for the tag! I responded on my blog but I don’t know how to post the link here.

    You’re the first to ever “tag” me, to the best of my knowledge. I’m honored.

  4. KathyJo

    Ack! I’m glad I scrolled down to see if I’d missed a post. 🙂 I’ll post on my blog as soon as my brain starts working again.

  5. Roger H.

    6. One book that you wish had been written:

    Christian Apologetics for Atheists – Nobody’s done it right yet. C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel have come close, but there’s no one book that I think I could recommend to atheist friends and say “here, read this” that I think would do any good.

    Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli and Christianity for Modern Pagans by Peter Kreeft are two books I’d recommend for the erstwhile atheist.

  6. Roger H.

    Sorry about the nonsensical use of the word “erstwhile.” Pretend it isn’t there. 8^p

  7. melanie b

    Something that adequately addresses the idea of myth, heroism, and storytelling in the light of Adam and Christ (the two Central characters of human history), and shows how all myths point to the same fundamental story that is at the heart of the human condition (fall and redemption) and which becomes incarnate in Christ.

    Steve, have you read The Everlasting Man by Chesterton. (I’d have thought so since you’re a fan) I rather thought it did a great job answering those kinds of questions. If you have read it, could you tell me why you think it’s not adequate?

  8. SteveG

    Steve, have you read The Everlasting Man by Chesterton. (I’d have thought so since you’re a fan) I rather thought it did a great job answering those kinds of questions. If you have read it, could you tell me why you think it’s not adequate?

    I have, and I think indeed, it’s the closest thing to what I have in mind. It’s a fantastic book for sure.

    I think he does a splendid job of handling myth in general, but 1) the book seems to me to be much broader in scope than what I have in mind 2) while it does discuss the concepts of Jesus/myth, it doesn’t particularly address them in response to the modern purveyors of the idea (i.e. Joseph Campbell), 3) It doesn’t handle the tie between Christ’s ‘heroic’ actions in contrast to Adam’s cowardly actions.

    Campbell has written a book called the ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces’ and tries to suggest that Jesus is just another of many heroes. The idea I have in mind is to try to explain that while there are elements to this that are true, only Christianity makes sense of this idea. A hero only means something in contrast to the coward. We know what one is because we know what the other is. Only the Catholic/Christian understanding has at the heart of it, both figures. All the other mythic heroes only make sense in the light of the fall of Adam. And only the ‘hero’ Jesus is the real, complete answer to the cowardice of Adam.

    Sorry, getting ahead of myself here. Anyway, the MOST important problem with The Everlasting Man is that it’s not something you can hand to a modern reader who isn’t already 1) A well catechized Christian 2) A Chesterton fan. I want something that I can hand to the average person who encounters the work of Campbell that can answer what he offers.

    Hope that makes some sense.

  9. melanie b

    Steve,
    Thanks. That does indeed make much sense. It’s been at least two years since I read The Everlasting Man and a long, long time since I read Joseph Campbell so I wasn’t sure why they don’t quite match up.

    I guess I can see how Chesterton would be a bit much to a non-Catholic. Though I pity all those people who don’t know and love him.

    I would also love to read such a book. Let me know if you ever write it. 🙂

  10. Paul, just this guy, you know?

    Runner up: Domestic Tranquility by Carolyn Graglia – The first book to make me re-examine my silly liberal beliefs about feminism and marriage.

    What a great book!

    Good blog, too! Welcome to the Church!

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