The last 5 years for the shul, I have picked out a "Book of the Month" for us to read and discuss together. We have gone through alot of books! We have a Summer Reading list rather than a single book. We are at around 100 books that we have read so far. This is a cyber version.
Almost all of the books are religious, so that is your warning. They are not KNITTING books.
The first book I have been given is
This is an author whose name keeps coming up the last few months, so I was eager to actually read something by him. While you may not know the name, G.K. Chesterton has influences in our modern world today. C.S. Lewis attributes his conversion to Christianity to read G.K. 's book The Everlasting Man. Without him there could be no Narnia! This year a crater on the surface of Mars was named Chesterton after him as well.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born about 100 years before I came along. By the time my grandfather was born, G.K. had died just the week before.
Chesterton wrote around 80 books, several hundred poems, some 200 short stories, 4000 essays beside the columns and plays. Choosing for such an immense body of work must have been daunting. Ever see an episode of The Father Brown Mysteries? Those are based off of his works as well.
A lot of daily books are all too often a bit of 'feel good' fluff, just a consoling word to make you feel better about yourself or the world around you. 365 days with G.K. Chesterton however is filled with words to make you think. "So the false optimism, the modern happiness, tires us because it tells us we fit into this world. The true happiness is that we don't fit."
The readings for each day, can not be skimmed, but need careful and thoughtful reading, to chew on them a bit. some common phrases in G.K. Chesterton's hands acquire a new twist.
"You should not look a gift universe in the mouth."
"Praised be G-d for all sides of life, for friends, lovers, art, literature, knowledge, humour, politics, and for the little red cloud away there in the west."
"They thought themselves secure...they believed themselves rich with an irrevocable benediction which set them above the stars; and immediately they discovered humility."
" We can only really understand all myths when we know that one of them is true."
"The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone."
Kevin Belmonte has done a wonderful job choosing these gems. The book is full of the paradoxical, "making the hidden plain." This book will be one that will be highlighted and dog-eared. I look forward to delving into the deep ocean of work G.K. Chseterton has left us.
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