Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Best Books of the Year

Because it's close to the end of the calendar year and because we have already entered the new liturgical year, it seems appropriate to reflect on reading this last year. The book reviews are all naming the "Ten Best" in various categories. So I've been thinking a little about my own critical responses. I can't get up to ten, yet. But here are four titles (to which I will add more) and a more general entry that I have especially appreciated:

Out Stealing Horses by Per Pettersen (named by the New York Times as one of the five best novels of the year, too!)

Matthew: A Theological Commentary by Stanley Hauerwas (big surprise there!)

Christ Present in Faith by Tuomo Mannermaa (the "Adam" of the Finnish school of Luther interpretation)

Fifth Business by Robertson Davies (probably not fair, because it's about my fifth reading of the book, but I do love Robertson Davies)

several by Wendell Berry (and while I will claim that Jayber Crow remains my favorite, I feel that to highlight one as better than others is a little like preferring one child over others).

As usual, the Saturday Book Group required me to read books I probably would otherwise not even heard of, and also as usual, even if I didn't especially enjoy the book when I read it, I came away from the discussion feeling much more impressed with the work. It just goes to show you that the Great Books program has it right: It takes a village to explore a novel! (The danger, of course, is that enjoyment leads to the temptation to buy more books: Frankenstein drove me out to buy Paradise Lost, which I'm now reading and loving, but can't list because I'm not finished with it yet.)

I'll list more as my mind clears and I have a chance to review the bookshelves.

But for now, how about everyone who reads this lists five worthwhile of your reads during 2007.

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