book lover's guide became available through PaperBackSwap, I couldn't resist. Glaspey shares my desire to be well-read and to be able to discern the important messages in both Christian and secular books.
There is nothing wrong with reading for entertainment. That is certainly one of its valid functions, and a noble one at that, because many of the very greatest books are extremely entertaining. But people who read only for entertainment are robbing themselves of one of the true pleasures of reading: that of expanding the mind, the heart, the soul, and the spirit. When we stop learning, we stop growing. (p. 198)
He begins the book with a list of Christian classics that everyone should read (Paradise Lost, Pilgrim's Progress, Augustine's Confessions, etc.) , and follows that with several chapters on secular books with "big ideas" that are important for Christians to read and evaluate. (John Locke, Machiavelli, and Voltaire are just a few suggested authors.) Glaspey calls the gaining of insights from godless men "plundering the Egyptians" (from Exodus 3:22) and challenges his readers to be unafraid to dialogue with these thinkers.
I found his suggestions of specific translations of several classics to be very helpful. He recommends John Ciardi's annotated translation of Dante's Divine Comedy and Peter Kreeft's condensed version of Aquinas' Summa Theologica, for example.
If you are a regular reader of this blog you will resonate with this guide to non-fluffy literature. Glaspey convinced me to try a few of the Greek classics, and he also encouraged me to try a few books I had ignored in the past as "not for me." I'll be reviewing them in the months to come.