Monday, July 30, 2007

Book Tags!

I was also, after begging, tagged by Monty for a list of top-ten most influential books in my life. You'll probably see more fiction on my list than most because of my respect for narrative. Story tells us so much more about God, ourselves, who and what we love, than any book of theology, history, or whatever. By the way there is a Bible exemption for the list. So don't be thinking you're holier than me because you would include the Bible. There are a million and one other reasons why you are holier than me, so don't even think about it. Anyway, here goes:

10. On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Probably speaks more about when I grew up than anything. It is a book that speaks to particular subcultures of every generation.

9. Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington. Brilliant with one of the most remarkable last paragraphs ever.

8. The Logic of Renewal by William Abraham. Mmmm, canonical heritage. (gurgling sounds).

7. How to Travel with a Salmon by Umberto Eco. This is a book of essays, but to be fair I would add his novel Foucalt's Pendulum.

6. Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard. Oh to be a Knight of Faith. Oh, also Philosophical Fragments and Post Unscientific Conclusion to the Philosophical Fragments by Soren Kierkegaard. The first time I read the first volume I read it over night. It was too much for one night.

5. The entire Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. What a brilliant story. With wonderfully (though I am sure unintentional) theological themes such as victory over death, community, turning the other cheek, good vs. evil, etc.

4. Ethics and Infinity by Emauel Levinas. Brilliant!

3 1/2. White Noise by Don Delillo. Yeah, just read it and you'll understand why it's at 3 1/2.

3. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. Ahh, the wonders of the anti-detective story.

2. Of Water and the Spirit by Alexander Schmemann. This very sacramental Eastern look at baptism has probably influenced my thinking of what sacrament is more than any other book. From exorcism to chrismation, it deals with the entirety of baptism. There's also a very poignant look at infant baptism.

1. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. This is a book that I have read too many times to count. It is also a book that I have given away copies of too many times to count.


11. Here I add a few that should be top ten, but that there wasn't room for: The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (this would list at number eleven even though I believe it to be tied in first place as the greatest work of literature in all of history with James Joyce's Ulysses), In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen, Openness of God by Clark Pinnock, Killing Mr. Watson by Peter Mathiessen, and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

There's my list. It probably changes a lot and I would say that it should. Coming up with a top ten is ridiculous.
Oh, yeah, for my tags . . . hmm . . . Chad, Eric, Caleb, Ben, Marsha, Joy, and John.

1 comment:

Monty said...

Great List! I thought about having "The Moviegoer" on my list. Anything by Walker Percy is awesome!