Jeff tagged me for a book meme. I had to ask him for assistance. He obliged and here goes.
A Book that changed my life.
Actually there have been a couple of books that changed the direction of my life. One of them is “Seven Storey Mountain.” I read it at a time when my life was emerging from chaos and it really touched me. It continues to animate my life nearly 28 years later. Thomas Merton taught at St. Bonaventure College (University) which is 20 miles from where I live. I frequently visit many of the places he visited in this county. I feel a closeness to him and his spiritual journey that I don’t get from other writers. Another book I’ve read that changed my life is “Conquest of Fear” by Basil King. King died a long time ago and most of his books are no longer in print. You can read “Conquest of Fear” on line at the Gutenberg Project.
A book that I’ve read more than once.
There are several books that I’ve read more than once. One of them is “The Tao of Pooh”. That book was originally recommended by a nun from Philadelphia and it is well worth your time. I would recommend it to anyone. I’ve read parts of “Seven Storey Mountain,” “Seeds of Contemplation” more than once. I’ve read “Conquest of Fear” many times. I’ve also read Matthew’s Gospel many times through. It is my favorite Gospel.
A book that I’d want on a desert island is “The Spirituality of Imperfection” and nearly anyone of former President Jimmy Carter’s books. I think Jimmy is a great storyteller and a great human being. If I was going to name an authentic Christian it would be Jimmy Carter. I’d also recommend “Father Joe” by Tony Hendra and Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris.
A book that made me laugh.
Anyone of George Carlin’s books are great. I really like “When will Jesus Bring the Porkchops?” I read that last year while convalescing from my embolism. I had to stop reading it several times because I got laughing so hard that I was in pain.
A book that made me cry.
I really connected with “Roots” by Alex Haley. I cried more than once reading that book. I’m not an African-American and my ancestors were not enslaved, but there still a lot of common ground in that book. When Alex Haley died I wrote his family and told them how much he and his work meant to me. I got a reply one day and it touched me very much. I kept the reply letter for a number of years.
A book that I wish had been written.
I wish there had a been a book written that would guarantee that the world would live in peace. I long for the day when all men will live in peace. I long for the day when they will beat their swords into plowshares. I had hoped it would happen in my lifetime and it might yet, but I doubt it.
A book that I wish had never been written.
I suppose there are lots of books for this category and everyone has favorites. I think any books that promote hate and intolerance should not have been written. That list would fill pages.
I’m currently reading “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman. I haven’t gotten very far into it, but it is interesting.