Ok, time to get nerdy. Let’s talk about books, authors and (gasp!) reading. I enjoy reading and I’m betting most of you do too. So here are some of my favorite authors and what I’ve been reading lately, with notes.
Shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering references to the Dark Tower Series abound on Dichotomy. I also really liked The Stand, The Green Mile Series, On Writing and tons of his short stories. I’ve read more pages by Mr. King than I have any other author, but in total books I’ve read, he comes in second only to C.S. Lewis.
If you don’t know who I’m talking about, you’re waaaaaaaay behind. Go catch up. With books such as the Space Trilogy. The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity and the Screwtape Letters in his catalogue, he’s an ace. I revere him more than almost any other mortal man that ever lived. If C.S. Lewis believed it, the belief holds weight with me (which isn’t to say I agree with everything he believed). He was a good author with a great mind and an unparalleled gift for explaining theological truths in a clear, beautiful way. My favorite author ever and probably the favorite author of several readers of this blog.
This is where my romance with British Christian authors from the 1900 – 1940 era starts to become evident (included in that list would be Tolkien, Charles Williams, T.S. Eliot and Dorothy Sayers, all giants of literature). I just picked up another Chesterton book a couple weeks ago and my passion was rekindled for his works. His Father Brown mysteries and novels such as The Ball and the Cross and The Man Who was Thursday are brilliant and full of truths that are all the more “truthy” because of the great story in which they are clothed. Chesterton was Catholic and was a staunch defender of Catholicism and I admire that, although I myself am not a Catholic.
Hunter S. Thompson
Just getting into him. Loved Johnny Depp in “Fear and Loathing…” and am reading the book now. I figured with Depp starring in the Rum Diary soon, now was as good a time as any to get into the wild world of Gonzo Journalism, amiright?
Absolutely loved Slaughterhouse Five, which I read this past winter (it was the only good part of that dreadful season). Then I read a collection of short stories called “Welcome to the Monkey House” which contained “Harrison Bergeron” which many students read in school. I love short story collections from good authors and this was certainly one.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Man, “Everything is Illuminated” was such a fun book. Hilarious and touching and wildly outlandish, I’ve never read anything like it. If you didn’t like the movie, I understand. It wasn’t that good. Then “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” came out and that was good too. I don’t think he’s written anything else. I don’t agree with much of his worldview, but he’s an excellent writer, for sure.
If you like (or can even tolerate) children’s books, read “The Series of Unfortunate Events” as soon as possible. I own the first edition of all 13 books and read them all on tour in 2006. They’re short and super fun. Great for kids, but also extremely witty with great allusions for adults. The first 3 are fairly straight forward and simple. After that, the plot gets twisted and very crazy.
*Lemony Snicket is the pen name for Daniel Handler. After a short read into a couple of his books, I do not advise reading any books with his name on them.
As a Southern Catholic, O’Connor wrote about the “Christ-haunted South” which I think is a great picture for where I come from. Her short stories were great and her theories and views were even better. She believed lots of great things, and a list of some more memorable of her quotes can be found here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/22694.Flannery_O_Connor (my favorite is “Our age not only does not have a very sharp eye for the almost imperceptible intrusions of grace, it no longer has much feeling for the nature of the violences which precede and follow them.”
I could go on and on (maybe I will in my next blog), but I’d like some feedback on these. Also, don’t do the “I liked that book” or “I think so-and-so is pretty good” stuff. I want you to express yourself and tell me why you like so-and-so and what particular parts of a book you like and which elements disgust or baffle you. Sweet.