On the Bookshelf, July 2016
The Vision of the Anointed by Thomas Sowell
“Dangers to society may be mortal without being immediate.” This book has been haunting my shelf for awhile now. This past Monday night, I finally cracked it open. Sowell is erudite, accessible, and gratifyingly straightforward in a way that reminds me of Theodore Dalrymple. I'll be savoring this one, with notebook in hand.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
My second time through. They don't write love stories like they used to.
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
Five years ago, I picked up The Passage and was treated to a masterwork of post-apocalyptic fiction. Here, at last, was a vampire yarn I could get behind. Even the sequel (The Twelve) kept my interest. And now the long-awaited conclusion to the trilogy has arrived. Fingers crossed.
Bed and Board by Robert Farrar Capon
“[This book] has only one conceit to sell, and that is, that if he will take hold of Absurdity with both hands, he will be wiser than all the books that try to resolve it.” Another re-read. Next to Chesterton, there is almost no other writer I prefer to Capon on matters of hearth and home.
Masters and Slayers by Bryan Davis
Because what is any bookshelf without dragons perched upon it?
“I recall watching a TV show – ’77 Sunset Strip’ – where the hero walked into a theater named the Lyric, and I got to thinking about that word. I looked it up in my massive two-thousand-four-hundred-and-eighty-three-page dictionary Granddaddy Jaybird had given me for my tenth birthday. ‘Lyric,’ it said: ‘Melodic. Suitable for singing. A lyric poem. Of the lyre.’ That didn’t seem to make much sense in regards to a movie theater, until I continued following lyre in my dictionary. Lyre took me into story-poems sung by traveling minstrels back when there were castles and kings. Which took me back to that wonderful word: story. It seemed to me at an early age that all human communication – whether it’s TV, movies, or books – begins with somebody wanting to tell a story. That need to tell, to plug into a universal socket, is probably one of our grandest desires. And the need to hear stories, to live lives other than our own for even the briefest moment, is the key to the magic that was born in our bones.” - Robert McCammon, Boy’s Life