I am not complaining; there’s really no such thing as too many books, unless you’re in college and had to take out a loan to pay for a semester’s worth of overpriced textbooks.
I started out 2006 with a stack of new books, all of which I was anxious to read. I say “was,” because I’ve finished two of them. For several years, I read very few novels. For the last couple of years, I have been restless without at least one good novel lying around that I can get buried in. I admit that I have, on occasion, resorted to re-reading books, especially those by James Blaylock and Dean Koontz. I’m re-reading Life Expectancy now, because it was handy. I’ll probably put it aside and pick it up again whenever I need to fill in some time.
When you’re a internationally known book reviewer like I am, people send you books, for free. It’s a very cool thing. I am, by the way, known by at least 2 people internationally, so my claim is accurate. And, I sometimes get e-mails from people who appreciate my reviews, so I guess I could say that I am an internationally respected book reviewer; but, I won’t go that far.
Before the holidays I received an advance copy (catch that? – advance copy) of Brian McLaren’s soon-to-be-published new bestseller, The Secret Message of Jesus. I’m just a couple of chapters into it, but I have to say that so far, I am not terribly impressed. But, if you’ve read my entries on John Eldredge (see the categories on the sidebar), you know that my first impressions are not always correct. It seems that McLaren has been reading NT Wright, but I’m not sure he’s drawing great conclusions. I’ll let you know after I’m done with it.
Speaking of NT Wright (how’s that for a great segue?), shortly before the holidays I received an e-mail from Barnes & Nobel inviting me to buy NT Wright’s just released The Last Word (when you’re an internationally known book reviewer, sometimes Barnes & Nobel will send you personalized e-mails about books you might like to buy). The Last Word is about how both conservative and liberal theologians misread the Bible, a topic near to my heart, so I am quite anxious to read that.
The other book I read this month was Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which is an extremely enjoyable book. It’s not one of those books that grips you and compels you to speed read it, it’s just one of those rare books – like Lord of the Rings, or something by Dickens – that you just enjoy, page by page.
So, books, books, and more books. Never too many, but certainly not enough time.