Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

March 15, 2005

The 1st "R"

As I approach the final pages of any book, I inevitably begin to think about the next one. What shall it be? Fiction, biography, theology? I dislike not having a book to read (at least one), and I usually begin the next book shortly before finishing the last.

And yet I don't have a strict reading plan, or a books-to-read stack waiting beside my bed, as some do. I simply ask myself what sort of book I am really thirsting for at the moment, then seek one out that I think seems best suited to quench that thirst.

Just now I've picked up George Marsden's recent biography of Jonathan Edwards (check out this fascinating review from I'm enjoying it a good deal. Marsden is able to do what any good biographer should: recreate his subject's world, both the one surrounding him, and the one within.

I like to read history, of course, and I have resolved myself to read at least one or two biographies this year. I have also resolved to re-read at least one book each year. It was C. S. Lewis, I believe, who said that if a book is worth reading through once, it will surely repay reading through again.

Speaking of which, here's a question: if the next book you read had to be one that you've already read before, what would it be? What would quench your literary thirst just now? C'mon, don't be shy!


Anonymous Milton said...

It would be The Silver Chair from the Chronicles of Narnia. Puddleglum is a heroic character. The fact that the book is pure fiction makes Puddleglum's heroism pure, with no room for cynical skepticism. In fantasy there can be no questions of "Oh sure he looked like a hero, but what were this man's dark secrets that even his biographer doesn't know?" Puddleglum's a hero, period.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

hanks for chiming in, Milton. Excellent choice. I've been thinking I might re-read the whole Narnia series.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Hmmm....difficult question. I'd say the Chronicles of Narnia, but I read them again a couple of years ago. I might go for the Winnie the Pooh anthology, though. I could use something light and funny and that might do it.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Violet said...

I've just finished reading some CBA fiction - so feel hungry for something meaty. Maybe that's why a book I pulled out of my bookshelf (along with my Tozer collection) a few weeks ago, and just began rereading on Sunday is, at the moment, so satisfying: That Elusive Thing Called Joy by Calvin Miller.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Michele said...

My friend recently mentioned a particular scene from the book Beloved, by Toni Morrison. It's been years and years since I read that book. I think it's high time to read it again. Great question, Bob.
Peace to you,

2:50 PM  
Anonymous John said...

I am re-reading A W Tozer's Men Who Met God whilst I am waiting on delivery of John Stotts The Cross of Christ!

2:50 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

You guys are naming many of my favorites. Thanks for the input. Rebecca, I'm right there with you on Winnie the Pooh. What wonderful books. Until next time, "bak sun."

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Kim in ON said...

I think I'd have to give another vote for Narnia, specifically Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I love the part at the end when Reepicheep goes to the end of the world.

2:51 PM  

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