11 June 2012

Books to Read

I've recently been blogging about the two conferences I attended, one in Seattle, one at Taylor University. Now I'm in the midst of sorting through an amazing week I spent doing research on Charles Williams at the Wade Center, Wheaton College. During this nearly 3-week trip, I came across many recommendations of books to read soon: from paper presenters, plenary speakers, and friends -- from popular to high fiction to social commentary and beyond. 

Those of you with whom I visited, or who attended the conference(s): what other books did I miss? What would you have on your list, from either the Conference on Christianity & Lit, or from the Lewis/Inklings Colloquium? 

Here is the gallimaufry of a list: 
The Road (and others) by Cormac McCarthy
Gilead and Housekeeping by Marilyn Robinson
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins [read The Hunger Games on the plane from Seattle to Indianapolis, read Catching Fire]
Generation P by Victor Pelevin
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
White Noise by Don DeLillo
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges
all the rest of the Lord Peter books by Dorothy Sayers
The Napoleon of Notting Hill, The Club of Queer Trades, and The Ball and the Cross by G.K. Chesterton
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz
A Taste for Death by P.D. James [just finished this last night]
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion Since 1960 by Amy Hungerford
Light by Charlie W. Starr
Looking for the King by David Downing
The Lady's Not for Burning and A Phoenix Too Frequent by Christopher Fry
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea by John Patrick Shanley
The Crying of Lot 49 and Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction
The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton
Oh, and I'm in the middle of Doctor Zhivago and The English Patient, too.

Thoughts on any of these are welcome! 

OK, also, here's the complete list of novels from which we're allowed to choose for our ENG II course at the community college where I teach. 
1984, Orwell -- read
The Awakening, Chopin -- read
The Color Purple, Walker
Ethan Frome, Wharton -- read
The Fifth Child, Lessing
The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald -- read
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, McCullers
Monkeys, Minot
Rabbit, Run, Updike
The Remains of the Day, Ishiguro
Huckleberry Finn, Twain -- read
A Death in the Family, Agee
Things Fall Apart, Achebe -- read
The Road, McCarthy
White Noise, Delillo
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston
Of Love and Other Demons, Marquez

...some interesting overlaps.  

...And, for a British Novel survey a homeschool [former] student of mine is doing, I should read:  

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier 
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie


Anonymous said...

You've got a good list going! I would add Leif Enger's Peace like a River and Evelyn Underhill's Mystics of the Church.

Ron Reed said...

Wouldn't you know. I was reading the second Hunger Games book on my flight to Indiana.

Anonymous said...

The English Patient is one of my favorite books -- one of the few that I actually wept while reading and whose passages I sometimes read again and again. I don't usually re-read books, not even my favorite ones. There are just so many others!

Otherwise, your list reads like a segment of my list(s). I have them scattered about the apartment. Do you know what's terrible? Having so many interesting books awaiting me on the shelf but no time to read them! Such as Chaim Potok's The Chosen.

High on my list now -- but not on my shelves or Kindle -- are Guy Gavriel Kay's The Lions of Al-Rassan, Merle Miller's A Gay and Melancholy Sound, and Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael medieval mystery series. Have you ever read a Brother Cadfael story? I think you'd enjoy them!

p.s. figuring out how to comment on here is taking me some time...this will now be my fourth try. I am not a robot, I swear!

Anonymous said...

Wow, an overwhelming list. I'm not sure how you remembered all this. I'd also add:

Marilyn Robinson, When I was a Child I Used to Read Books
Madeleine L'Engle popped up frequently
I've ordered Crystal Downing's, Changing Signs of Truth: A Christian Introduction to the Semiotics of Communication and How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith: Questioning Truth in Language, Philosophy and Art

There was also an excellent poetry reading by a young Sorina Higgins from her book Caduceus. Just saying.

And, at dinner we heard of upcoming books on Sheldon Vanauken (an illicit biography) and Alan Jacobs is working on something about the crush of ideas in Winter 1943.

Rosie Perera said...

Other books by Kathleen Norris that are also good:

Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life

It so happens that I'm at the Glen Workshop right now, in So. Hadley (Mt. Holyoke College), where Kathleen Norris is the keynote speaker and chaplain. She's a treat to listen to.

Iambic Admonit said...

David: Thanks for the suggestions. Underhill I know, because of the Charles Williams connection, but I hadn't heard of Leif Enger.

Iambic Admonit said...

Ron: What did you think? I've just borrowed the second one from somebody here and will start it this afternoon. I really hated the first one, and not for the reasons I expected too. Well, those also, but other even more disturbing elements. I suppose I'll have to blog about it

Iambic Admonit said...

I've never read Brother Cadfael. I'd probably love them!

I've just made the commenting process easier, even though that means I'll have to wade through piles of spam. I'll do it for you guys!

Iambic Admonit said...


Aw, thanks! Good suggestions. And I didn't remember all of them; I made notes as I went along. :)

Iambic Admonit said...

Rosie: Enjoy the Glen!!!! We expect a report when you get back. :)