1 Summer, 5 Great Books

My goal in recommending these particular books is to present to you authors or genres you may not normally read. For years I read almost exclusively non-fiction, mainly theological or devotional books. One of the best things for my reading, imaginative, and even spiritual life recently has been expanding into other genres and mining the riches found there as well. Plus, Dave and Keith are always going to lead you straight to the bios and histories first, so lets mix it up…

I submit to you 5 books you should definitely read this summer:

1. Bobos in Paradise. David Brooks, a columnist for the New York Times defines the new upper class in America by coining the term “Bobo.” A Bobo is a Bourgeois-Bohemian, an individual with the traditional money associated with the upper class but the ethics and values of the Bohemians. After you read this book you will see these fascinating individuals everywhere you look and even see streaks of their influence in your own life.

2. So Brave, Young, and Handsome. Leif Enger picks up right where he left off in his first novel, Peace Like a River. New characters, new story, same tone of hope and goodness in the midst of trouble. Enger has a unique style I find engaging. His main narrators feel just like I feel: ordinary, feeble, and doubtful in the face of giant undertakings, but his books are littered with quirky, fascinating characters that make for an entertaining read.

3. The Name of The Wind. Classic fantasy (if you are into that sort of thing). This is Patrick Rothfus’s first novel and the first installment of a 3 part series (the next is due for publication in April of 09). It is an incredible accomplishment for a “first go” and I cant wait till the next 2 come out in the following years.

4. The Things They Carried. Tim O’Brien tells the stories of his experience in Vietnam. The book is fiction, but, as the author claims, true war stories are not just about the facts. This book is so exceptionally written it is worth its cost and time simply to read a great author at his craft.

5. Teaching a Stone to Talk. This small collection of short essays is the most accessible book to introduce yourself to the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Annie Dillard. Dillard looks at the same world you and I do everyday, but “sees” so much more. Her descriptions of nature and human meaning communicate an utterly unique perspective and voice in the literature I have encountered.

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