Two Books on Reading – Crossway

GuidetoClassics-LRykenRecently I requested and received from Crossway publishers two new books on reading, one of which also relates reading to writing. The first is titled A Christian Guide to the Classics by Leland Ryken (2015). I will feature that book in another post, but will give you this time the blurb from the publisher:

We’ve all heard about the classics and some of us have even read them on our own. But for those of us who remain a bit intimidated or simply want to get more out of our reading, this companion to Crossway’s Christian Guides to the Classics series is here to help.

In this brief guidebook, popular professor, author, and literary expert Leland Ryken explains what the classics are, how to read them, and why they’re still valuable. Written to help you become a seasoned reader and featuring a list of books to get you started, this guide will give you the tools you need to read and enjoy some of history’s greatest literature.

Writers2Read-DWilsonTonight I point you to the second title, Writers to Read: Nine Names That Belong on Your Bookshelf, by Douglas Wilson (2015). Crossway provides this brief description of the book:

If books are among our friends, we ought to choose them wisely.

But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. In Writers to Read, Doug Wilson—someone who’s spent a lifetime writing, reading, and teaching others to do the same—introduces us to nine of his favorite authors from the last 150 years, exploring their interesting lives, key works, and enduring legacies. In doing so, Wilson opens our eyes to literary mentors who not only teach us what good writing looks like, but also help us become better readers in the process.

And now I quote from Wilson’s introduction, where he writes about the connection between good books and good writing:

     My hope in this book of introduction is to help us all become better readers of some fine writers.

…Some emphasis here and there is placed on those writers and aspiring writers who want to have their outlook on the world,a nd their resultant writing, shaped by these literary friendships. Good writers never tire of seeking out ways to develop their skills, and I trust this book may prove to be a help in that regard. He who walks with the wise will be wise. He who reads good writing will come to know what good writing is. For those who wish to become better writers, i hope to explain in the course of this book why anyone who wants to write well should return to these authors again and again. They should be regular companions.

…Good readers do more than just sit slack-jawed. They learn something of the craft of writing, if only to understand and appreciate what they are reading. Reading and writing constitute a conversation, and the point should always be to have an intelligent conversation, whether or not one of the parties intends to go off and repeat – as a writer himself – what he had heard. An intelligent conversation should be able to stand or fall on its own, whether or not it is repeated or continued somewhere else (p.12).

And which are the nine authors Wilson suggests we read? Here’s the list from the Table of Contents:

  1. G. K. Chesterton
  2. H. L. Mencken
  3. P. G. Wodehouse
  4. T. S. Eliot
  5. J. R. R. Tolkien
  6. C. S. Lewis
  7. R. F. Capon
  8. M. S. Robinson
  9. N. D. Wilson

Looks inviting, does it not? Look for more quotes from this book in the future as I make my way through it.

Published in: on September 1, 2015 at 10:46 PM  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very interesting Chuck my friend. I agree with most of his writers.! Thanks for your blog!

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    • Thanks, Greg – good to hear from you again.

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  2. […] of the recent books I received from Crossway publishers for review is A Christian Guide to the Classics by noted English professor Leland Ryken […]

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  3. […] of the recent books I received from Crossway publishers for review is A Christian Guide to the Classics by noted Wheaton College English […]

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  4. […] In a previous post I pointed you to two recent books on reading published by Crossway, one of which I have referenced several times since (L.Ryken’s A Christian Guide to the Classics) and one to which I have not yet returned. […]

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