On and Off the Shelf

Part of the trouble with reading six or seven books at a time is that some really good works get set aside as I “sneak a peek” at other volumes, which in turn get cast aside in favor of other titles, and so on — it’s quite the vicious cycle. Call it attention deficit disorder, call it boredom, call it sheer neglect. Whatever it is, I’m often guilty of leaving well deserving books to the wayside.

Right now, however, I’m playing catch-up and I’m loving it. David Wells’ No Place for Truth is a dead-on account of evangelicalism’s theological decline in the face of modernity. As I read the book I have to be conscious of not constantly expressing vocal agreement.

One book that has indeed caused me to speak up as I read is John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s the funniest novel I’ve ever read and has sent me laughing out loud (LOL) on more than one occasion. Toole’s Ignatius Reilly is unlike any character I’ve ever experienced in literature before — quite singular.

I’ve had Rod Dreher’s Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, … America (or at least the Republican Party) for about a month now, but it remains unread. I’m intrigued by Dreher’s argument for non-materialistic conservatism, though Jonah Goldberg’s contra argument is equally compelling.

Also in the queue is Mark Bowden’s, Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle In America’s War With Milliant Islam. Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, chronicles the 1979-1980 U.S. Embassy hostage situation in Iran. If you haven’t yet read the excerpt in The Atlantic dealing with the failed Delta Force rescue mission, you’re missing out. I had to practice true restraint to keep from diving into this one when it came in the mail last week. I have to finish the other books first, right?

When I get through these — and only when I get through these, I can then allow myself to move on to the coveted summer reading list

1 thought on “On and Off the Shelf”

  1. I’m interested to see how Crunchy Cons is. I haven’t read the book, but the title would probably do a fairly good job of describing my political leanings.

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