Thursday, January 15, 2009

Book Love

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy.
~Edward P. Morgan

So I found out the other day that I can import a book "widget" from which showcases some of my favorite reads. See it over there on the right? So exciting! So cool!

The books that one reads can speak volumes about one's personality, values, and belief systems. I feel an instant friendship, for instance, with someone who favors a book that I love. When I once quoted a line from Anne of Greene Gables and an acquaintance grinned and said "I love Anne Shirley, too!" I knew we would be fast friends. "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one!'" (C.S. Lewis).

And so I excitedly began compiling my list of favorite books to share with you.

But as I began compiling my fancy-schmancy widget, I started feeling insecure...for people who don't know me in real life, what might they presume about me based on my selections? Should I stack my list with Christian books only? Should I pick only books that lack controversy or foul language? Which side of myself do I want this book widget to represent? Or do I even want to put a cool little widget on my blog at all?!

But then I thought about how I came to read some of those books on my list. I agreed to read Harry Potter because my 50-something neighbor agreed to read a book about Jesus if I would read a book about wizards. Fair enough--I prayed, and then opened the book. I recommended The Shack (mind-blowing) to our teenage daughter. She agreed to read it if I would read a love story called Twilight about vampires (of all things). Fair enough (and she was right--it wasn't a dark and evil tale--actually a more wholesome book than many books her teachers have assigned). The Time Traveler's Wife? I chose that one on my own, and have had many wonderful discussions with people of all faiths and no faith, about the whole idea of "time".

God seems to work a lot in my life through books. I have credibility at the party when I can say I've read a NY Times bestseller in one breath and recommend a book about Jesus in another. And I have credibility arguing falsehoods and blasphemy an author has spewed out when I have read the book myself (some of those are definitely not favorites and won't make the widget list). And more importantly, God seems to grow and stretch (and protect) my own faith in Him as I gather such a weird repetoire of genres and authors.

For me, keeping the Book as my life's foundation is the key to expanding my library and expanding my mind.

So enjoy my new widget over there with a sampling of my favorites.

And if you've got a favorite book to recommend, I'd love to hear about it.


Mrs. Dunbar said...

What a neat idea. I now have some ideas of things to read next.
Oh, but I must say I did NOT like the Time Traveller Wife. Way out of my sphere of comprehension.

Mrs. C... said...

I like Mrs. Dunbar wasn't a fan of the Time Traveler's Wife, but then again we are friends, so maybe we rubbed off on each other. One recomendation I would give is Jack Cavanaugh.....His American Portrait series is mind blowing and fabulous all at the same time. Actually, anything by him I adore. I do however, love your list! Keep it up.

Lori said...

I'm new to your blog and look forward to checking out your books. I don't have that widget on my blog yet, but I'd have the same thoughts that you shared about what to showcase. :) And for the record, I adored The Time Traveler's Wife. I even got my husband to read it (he maybe reads 1 book a year) and he loved it too. Heard there's going to be a movie about it...

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