Friday, January 05, 2007

troisieme fois

Well the last blog has me thinking about other books I've read that have influenced me. ... In case you are wondering, there is no plan with this whole sequence of events here, no one should be offended because they have not yet been mentioned. There is no subliminal order of significance or any such thing!
I must say that much of my most recent reading, the past 10 years lets say, has been influenced by two things, one being music... the other being a need to take a break and read something disconnected from where I am at.
So in light of that, the first category...
Terry Taylor, who will surely take the whole subject of one of these blogs some day, has introduced me to literary music lyrics. Those have made me head for the source of his creative writings, the original books themselves. For that matter, Philip Yancey does the same thing for me, he too quotes so many interesting other authors that it makes me pursue them. The most shocking thing to me is the extreme overlap between Yancey's sources and Taylor's inspirations. They either think alike ( and I like them) or there is something to these writers worth pursuing... or both, or some other option I don't care to consider right now.
Yancey's book Soul Survivor introduces us to some of that overlap. There he goes into the lives and writings of a few of my personal favourites. In no particular order here they are.

Frederich Buechner. A Presbyterian minister from Vermont, he looks for and finds God in extraordinary places. He looks at life and the Scripture from a very human perspective, honest to a fault you might say. And refreshing.

Annie Dillard. No one writes like Annie Dillard. No one I've ever read anyway. I wish her books would never end, even if she had nothing to say, just seeing how she says it makes it worth the time. She laces in black humour and a unique perspective as a Christian on the fringes of mainstream Christianity. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is her most famous book and affected my thinking like no other written by mere mortals.

Fyodor Dostoevsky. Russian novelist of the 1800's. Writes the dark human heart and the struggle for redemption like no one else. Crime and Punishment is likely one of my favourite books, certainly as far as novels go.

GK Chesterton. A British newspaper guy and I believe Catholic. Humour and theological depth intermingled. Writes novels and non fiction, he reminds me of CS Lewis with a lot more earth thrown in than Lewis who is a little more mystical.

I think that's enough for this post,
more to come... for what its worth.

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