Essay / Uncategorized “But it seems to me to be a good sign that a serious reader would have reread a modern novel twice, and if any in the blogging community would like to offer those novels they have been through at least twice, I will link those posts here as a handy guide to Christmas book giving and getting. “Hugh Hewitt is a very serious man, if not a serious football fan. We can only thank God he defends the Cause better than the Browns defend the pass, run, or the beer concessions.So what modern novels have I read twice? Not to sound like a college professor, but what counts as “modern”? Anything after Descartes? Stuff from the twentieth century forward?I will go with the Victorian’s forward. . . just because it lets me put in a plug for one of my favorite writers: Anthony Trollope. Do you like Dickens, but hate his conflicted politics? Try Trollope, a happy Victorian with more realistic characters. His Lilly Dale is one of the best female characters in all of fiction. If students come and ask me about being married, I point them to Small House at Allington. His take on politics, secular and sacred, is a sure guiding light in times of storm. Whenever I am sad, I read a Trollope. Phillip E. Johnson, who may be the smartest man in California, got me started on Trollope which is not the smallest debt of gratitude I owe him.Hewitt may have put the Inklings off the list, but let me plug Dorothy Sayers. If you have any taste for detective fiction, the most Christian of modern literary forms, then her Peter Wimsey is must reading. Gaudy Night is the best book. I have read it every year since college. Nine Tailors is the best mystery.If you wonder what causes a philosopher to start Torrey Honors, and hope to change the world by gardening, you must read That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis. I think I have read this book every year since I was twelve. The only book close to this would be Lord of the Rings, which needs no link.Anything by Flannery O’Connor will show God’s grace to you in the middle of human pain.Other guilty pleasures include the Horatio Hornblower series. Here is the first. If you have not read Sherlock Holmes every few holidays, you are missing a treat. Most wonderful, though not great literature by any means, is the reliable Rafael Sabatini. Start with his Captain Blood. John Buchan is not politically correct, but tells a great story.As for Christian fiction, it is improving fast. Though they are not books to re-read, James Bell writes the best airplane books on the market today. You will enjoy all his works, though the latest are the best.

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