Monday, June 19, 2006

Something for myself for a change

While scouting for new inventory on Saturday I was happy to find a copy of Gilead : A Novel by Marilynne Robinson. I rarely find a book for my own personal library while scouting. This book won the Pulitzer Prize last year and I meant to purchase it after reading a library copy. Now I don't have to.

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading this work of elegant literature, I recommend you do so. A letter written by a dying preacher in Iowa to his young son in the 1950's probably doesn't sound like fascinating reading, and if you require fast-paced, thrilling drama, then this might disappoint. An Amazon reviewer said this, "It is another example of what the English language is capable of. The prose is spare, as the subject demands. But it quickly becomes a meditation on how even the simplest life can be touched by grace and wonder. I am not a Christian. In fact, I am an atheist. But this book communicated to me the nurture that can be derived from heartfelt, clear minded, prosaic Christianity."

The preacher, John Ames, marries late in life and has one young son. "It is still true that I will never see a child of mine grow up and I will never see a wife of mine grow old. i've shepherded a good many people through their lives, I've baptized babies by the hundred, and all that time I have felt as though a great part of life was closed to me. Your mother says I was like Abraham. But I had no old wife and no promise of a child. I was just getting by on books and baseball and fried-egg sandwiches."

I happy to have this book sit on my shelf now and I hope to find more copies so I can give them away. I'm not ready to reread the book, however, and am desperately seeking suggestions for novels to read this summer. I'm giving Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne a try right now.
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Blogger Mimi said...

I've heard good things about "Gilead". And the cover is lovely.

I've not read "Journey..." but my oldest son has. I try to read classics during Lent, and have read some lovely ones.

9:57 AM  

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