Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh, what to read...

I'm having a little difficulty picking out the next book/books I want to read. I've got too many too count on the to-read queue, and don't know what to read next. So, I thought I'd open up to my readers out there and let you help me. Below I'll post several book titles and if you could, in the comment section, put down your choice. By this weekend, as I should be done with my current book by then, I'll choose the winner/winners. Thanks.

1. The Idiot by Dostoevsky
2. Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor by D.A. Carson
3. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. He is there and He is not silent by Francis Schaeffer
5. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
6. Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards
7. Praying: Finding our way from duty to delight by J.I. Packer
8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


  1. The Dostoevsky. Because I haven't read "The Idiot" and would like to know if I should.

    Then maybe Schaeffer. Because I want to know if his thinking is better than what he displayed in "How Now Brown Cow?" (whatever).

    Then Imitation of Christ. I read it in high school and liked it a lot. I wonder if I still would, now that I'm so picky about theology?

  2. I read "Of Mice and Men" in seventh grade, and it blew me away. I knew about the Great Depression, but in terms of the history, it was all I understood. Later, I lived in the Monterey Bay area, of Cannery Row fame and fellowshipped at a church in Salinas. I told a woman in her 80's how much of a Steinbeck fan I was, she said she knew him. She didn't like him. Another woman was an Okie, as in Grapes of Wrath, who survived those early years of starving and picking tomatoes. She didn't really like Steinbeck, either. As I asked around, a little more cautiously, it appeared that Steinbeck was never liked for the things he said by the people he wrote about. But I think you should read OMAM, you will get hooked.

    As for Schaeffer, I read "He is there and He is not silent" in college and it was good at the beginning--especially about the Trinity--but it lost me in the middle. You seem much more smarter than me, so you would have no problem with it. But I think you would agree with me that the first two chapters are the only ones that aren't boring.

    Dostoevsky sounds more appealing. As you can see, I recommend fiction. I like stories.

  3. Religious Affections is my favorite book outside of the Bible. The thing that's so unique about Edwards is the way he combines a depth of theology with a vibrant heart for God.

    The background of the book, as I understand it, is that in the Great Awakening, some people said that every ecstatic/charismatic/emotional experience was from God, and others said that no such experience was. Sound like a familiar debate?

    Edwards responds by saying that emotions are an essential part of Christianity. Then he talks about how to determine the ones that are really from God, and the ones that are not.

    As a result, it's a great look at the Christian life that treats love for God not as bad or as optional but as essential. A very unique emphasis.

  4. Anonymous5:51 PM

    of mice and men can be read in 2 hours, so read it after you read the idiot so you feel like you're making some progress. then, read the normal-length this side of paradise. i get bogged down in devotional books unless i take them a chapter at a time with my devotional, so i suggest just that. all of schaeffer's books run together for me, but there are great points in each one. read death in the city instead- my fav.

  5. For me it would probably depend on the nature/genre of whatever book you're finishing; i'd probably go with something a little different.

    Off the cuff, I'd vote The Idiot.