On the Bookshelf

Knowing God by J.I. Packer
I can’t believe I’m only now discovering this book. What an amazing read, in every way deserving of the title “classic”. I’m about halfway through it at this point, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre
I started this one primarily because I was interested in seeing the movie (which hits theaters next month). I’ve learned to appreciate it for its own merits, however, and I can honestly say that it’s one of the best espionage thrillers I’ve ever read. The plot is intricate and smart, the tension is gradually built but relentless, and George Smiley is now one of my all-time favorite literary characters.
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
A scathing and profound indictment of a media-drunk society obsessed with being “entertained”. Neil Postman is a brilliant writer, both smart and darkly humorous, and his examination of the cultural effects of show-business and television are eye-opening and thought-provoking.
Knox’s Irregulars by J. Wesley Bush
A sci-fi military thriller set in the 25th century. The author served as an airborne infantryman, military intelligence cryptolinguist, NGO worker, and historian… and he’s also a Reformed Christian. To quote one of the reviewers on Amazon.com, “Take a Tom Clancy novel like The Teeth Of The Tiger… set it in a universe like the one depicted in Firefly… sprinkle in a respect for the sensibilities of the Protestant Reformation, and you’ve got J. Wesley Bush’s new novel Knox’s Irregulars.”
Empire by Niall Ferguson
A well-written account of the rise and fall of the British World Order, as well a fascinating account of its impact – both positive and negative – on the surrounding world. I’m not entirely certain I agree with all of the author’s conclusions (and I don’t believe he’s writing from a Christian perspective), but nevertheless, it’s a superb read so far.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
What can I say? It’s a classic and I should’ve read it years ago. I’m not the biggest fan of Dickens’ – it is my personal opinion that he waxeth a little too verbose sometimes – but I have to say I’m really enjoying this one.
Carry a Big Stick by George Grant
An inspiring little biography of the inimitable Theodore Roosevelt, one of my favorite historical figures. I had to laugh at the Amazon.com reviews denouncing it as a “right-wing Christian propaganda piece”. *gasp* Well imagine that! A book about a Christian man written from a Christian perspective? *double gasp* Preposterous! How dare they…
Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
Who knew economics could be so interesting and fun to study? Hazlitt does a superb job of making even the most complex economic theories easy to grasp, without dumbing them (or the reader) down. Concise, painlessly intructive, and a vigorous contender for free-market capitalism. Definitely recommended.
A Summary of Christian Doctrine by Louis Berkhof
A brief but instructive presentation of the Christian religion written in the 1960s. So far, very little of the subject matter is new to me (one of the advantages of growing up in a Christian home), but I always welcome a good “refresher”.

What’s on your bookshelf right now?

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22 thoughts on “On the Bookshelf”

  1. Well those books are on my bookshelf, too, but I’m not reading them all. AND, what does a mother say when her son now has to explain some of the books to her? :) I’m just glad you’re finally liking Dickens. Told ya…..

    And how wonderful to know that the course by Berkhof is a refresher. May you always have a teachable spirit, my son.

    Your comment box is the perfect place for me to remind you again how much I love you and how thankful I am that God chose me to be your Mama!

  2. Great reads.

    On my bookshelf currently is

    The Vanishing Conscience – John MacArthur

    Spurgeon’s Sermons Vol. 2 – Charles Spurgeon

    The Existence and Attributes of God – Stephen Charnock

    Systematic Theology – Normal L. Geisler

    Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe – Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears

    Plus I want to start reading “Timeline” by Michael Crichton soon, I picked it up at the library, and another Grisham novel, “Bleachers”.

    1. Oooh, awesome choices, Mike. I need to add some of those to my TBR list. Don’t you love Spurgeon’s sermons, though? :) Timeline sounds interesting; I’m hoping to giving Andromeda Strain a try next year. I’ll give Crichton a chance to redeem himself after the disaster that was Terminal Man. :D

  3. Tale of Two Cities is one of my all-time favorite novels, tied with Les Mis.
    Somehow I missed reading Knowing God all these years — must remedy that.
    I think Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy may have been a movie or mini-series way back in my youth, but I never saw or read it, Sounds very good!

    1. Yes, I believe TTSS was made into a BBC mini-series starring Alec Guiness (which I’ve heard is very good). I’m hoping to watch both it and the more recent adaption when I’m finished with the book. :)

  4. *cheers for Dickens*

    Right now, on my bookshelf? (er… floor-next-to-my-bed…)

    ~Moby Dick (loveth!)
    ~Saint Iggy (just started…)
    ~William Henry is a Fine Name (haven’t started just yet….)
    ~xxxholic (a manga series that crosses over with another series that I read.)
    ~The Book of Three (rereading…)
    ~Design and Setting (a writing book)
    ~Character and Viewpoint (another writing book)

    whew! *falls over*

  5. Recently I read Dicken’s “Hard Times”. At first I wasn’t too hot on it. But once it’s all over, it turned out to be a good book, even if it does require a lot of relatively ‘dull’ reading to understand it. :D

    “Amusing ourselves to death” Sounds wonderful. *slobber*

  6. Speaking of Dickens, once my friend is done I’m going to start on “Our Mutual Friend,” which apparently is really good. I read Nicholas Nickleby earlier this year, and it was terrific…. and I read it in under two weeks :P

  7. Currently reading:
    Knowing Scripture – R. C. Sproul
    Josiah’s Reformation – Richard Sibbes
    Portrait of Calvin – T.H.L. Parker
    Love or Die – Alexander Strauch (reading this as part of small group Bible study)

    Waiting in the wings:
    John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology – This is reread because I’d like to start The Institutes of the Christian Religion next year.

    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and others by LeCarre are probably the best espionage I’ve read.
    I need to get my own copy of Amusing Ourselves to Death. It’s interesting when unbelievers see things more clearly than believers.

    1. Cool list, Persis! When I’m finished with TTSS, I’ll probably try and get hold of the rest of the Karla Trilogy. And you’re right on about Postman’s book: he’s not writing from a Christian worldview, but man oh man, his insight is astounding.

  8. We have “Knowing God”. Maybe I should read it… “Knox’s Irregulars” sounds really interesting and I’m trying (and so far failing) at writing a review of “A Tale of Two Cities”. I loved that book!

    I think I’ll do a post of what I’m reading too… I hadn’t really thought about it before, but it’s a good idea! :D

    To the KING be all the glory!
    Rebekah

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