Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Lovers' Guide to Great Reading by Terry Glaspey

I thought I'd given up reading books about books since my TBR list is so long I'll need two lifetimes to complete it. And my tastes have matured enough that I no longer feel I have to read everything the "experts" tell me to read. But when this 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.

Blessings,

5 comments:

Amy Marie said...

Sounds good! My pile right now is SO high that I'm almost feeling uninspired by it. We are deep into our home school term too, so I often feel on overload mentally. :) I'm probably going to have to cull a bit and pick a few lighter things as that might be all I can handle currently until Christmas break. :)

Michele Morin said...

I love a good list of book recommendations -- even though the pile just keeps getting higher and higher!

Barbara H. said...

I agree with that quote - and about needing another lifetime to read all the books I want to read. I have a couple of books about reading on hand that I have not yet gotten to, but this sounds like a good resource.

Carol said...

'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. ' - so true & I like books such as his one for that reason. I also like reading book recommendations by authors or people I admire.
Thanks for leaving a comment about my wrong link. This is the one I meant to link to (great book, btw):

http://journey-and-destination.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/the-franchise-affair-by-josephine-tey.html

Janie said...

I had both of his guide to reading books but moved on his one about Christian books and kept this one. I, too, think many of his comments and suggestions have been helpful.