I enjoy Douglas Wilson as a writer and a blogger (Blog & Mablog), so I was interested to read about the writers he most appreciates. In case you are wondering, they are:
- G. K. Chesterton
- H. L. Mencken
- P. G. Wodehouse
- T. S. Eliot
- J. R. R. Tolkien
- C. S. Lewis
- R. F. Capon
- M. S. Robinson
- N. D. Wilson
I had a feeling before reading it that I'd like the book. Truth in Advertising and all... However, I ended up enjoying this book very much. Each chapter about an author and their works taught me quite a lot I didn't know, even with those authors I've been familiar with.
Of course, there are the familiar favorites such as Chesterton, Wodehouse, Tolkien, and Lewis. But he had me interested immediately by including Robert Farror Capon, whose book The Supper of the Lamb, I am embarrassed to say... is still on my "To Read Soon" list. Where it has resided for a decade or so. After reading about him in Wilson's book, that will be remedied soon.
His chapter about Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping, Gilead, etc.) helped me understand my love/hate relationship with her books. It is all about our differences in theology. I'll leave it there. You can read the chapter.
You may notice he shares the same last name with the last author on his list. N. D. Wilson, as many of you know, is his son. I have not read any of his fiction books (shame on me!) but I thoroughly enjoyed Death By Living and Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl.
I like the way he writes about what we would call, "the worldview" of each author and how they coincide with his own. If you know who these authors are already, then you will also know that most are people of faith and many... are not.
I appreciate authors being included in the book who bring something to the table other than their faith. Many teach us to think well and they all teach us to write well. It is a good thing when a "Christian" author shares the ideas they appreciate from those who think differently. Reading about these particular authors (and even the Christians of different theological persuasions) helped me understand their writing.
I recommend this book highly to those who love books, books about books, and books about authors.
An e-book version of this book was provided by Crossway Publishers but the opinions are my own.
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