Modern Non Fiction Books


I had a “Simple Pleasures in September” post all planned in my brain until the gust from two friends blew those plans to the Marshall Islands.  Now I’ve got a terminal case of Maddy Prior and book lists.  We all love book lists, don’t we, precious? If you are a glutton for tilting and tottering stacks of books, stick around.  If you “don’t have time to read” walk on by.  I’ll pray for you.  [Please!  I’m joking.  I crazy silly happy.]

This is a list of best books by one of the best best-books guys around, George Grant.  He is certainly in the top five of most influential people in my life.  If he is unfamiliar to you, go here, and start exploring.  These lists are in a book he wrote with his wife, Shelf Life

Let’s make this a book meme:  Copy the list and color code it however you’d like.  Books I’ve read are, of course, red.  Books I’ve just ordered from PaperBackSwap and am planning on reading within the next year are purple.  Books on my shelf are brown.

There are six sets of lists on George Grant’s site.  Let’s take one at a time, shall we?  Oh, people, September is my favorite month, and this is just whipped cream on top of my mocha. 

Modern Non Fiction

1. Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton
2. The Stone Lectures, Abraham Kuyper
3. Knowing God, J.I. Packer
4. Mont St. Michel and Chartres, Henry Adams (Yikes! I’ve never heard of this one!)
5. The Servile State, Hilaire Belloc
6. Up From Slavery, Booker T. Washington

7. The Birth of the Modern, Paul Johnson
8. Hero Tales of American History, Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge
9. The Gathering Storm, Winston Churchill
10. A World Torn Apart, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
11. Home, Witold Rybczynski (another yikes!)
12. A Texan Looks at Lyndon, J. Evetts Haley (huh???)
13. How the Other Half Lives, Jacob Riis
14. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
15. I’ll Take My Stand, Donald Davidson, et al.
16. George Whitefield. Arnold Dallimore
17. 84 Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff
18. The Calvinistic Concept of Culture, Henry Van Til
19. A Wake for the Living, Andrew Lytle
20. A Christian Manifesto, Francis Schaeffer
21. Where Nights Are Longest, Colin Thubron
22. Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman
23. Civil Rights, Thomas Sowell
24. Essays and Criticisms, Dorothy Sayers
25. Ideas Have Consequences, Richard M. Weaver

Well,  I’m off to  to add books to my wish list (up to 159 books!)

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18 thoughts on “Modern Non Fiction Books

  1. Mont Saint Michel and Chartres is one of my favorites….not an easy read, but it was one of the course books in my Adams Family seminar taught by Russell Kirk at Hillsdale ….long ago.
    Worth owning, as I do, but only in paperback.

  2. I just ordered it from PaperBackSwap. And, AND, my friend, I have a Jacques Barzun ***hardback***, from Dawn to Decadence, coming my way!!When will the fun stop??? I’m so giddy, my head is spinning….

  3. Kirk quotes Barzun.
    It was neat for me to make the interconnections with all these culture guys.  When I first heard all this *stuff* from Kirk, I couldnt absorb it all.
    But the Geo Grant’s lists do help focus what’s missing in our home library, besides the shelves!! Teehee.
    BTW – Dont you wish you lived close enough to attend those b’fast lectures on the Middle East?  ‘Course sign me up for something, making it count for credit, takes the *fun* out.
    Back to the grind stone.

  4. As you know, I love books. I do believe that between the two of us Ryan and I have several of these. We have spent much of the past week organizing our books into the newly rearranged bookshelves in our apartment. For people like us, it takes hours. Everything is organized by genres, authors, and other subcategories within genres. Such fun!

  5. Have you heard anything else?  What do you mean that his wife sounded more encouraged?  I’m really anxious to hear anything else and my husband hasn’t been available all day (which is probably a good thing since I think I would be constantly bugging him asking whether he’s heard anything.)  Thanks!
    I love Dr. Grant’s lists.  I have not ready so many of those, more of his modern fiction, but of his lists, the one I’ve read the most of is the theology one…I guess that’s good.
    You are right, books and lists of books is the cream on my mocha, too!  Ain’t it loverly?

  6. Margaret, this is what was in this morning’s email:Update 9:03 PM: I just wanted to let you all know that we still have not found him but I am greatly encouraged by some information I have received. I no longer fear for his life. The police are still searching for him and the men from our church are looking for him. In the morning we will get a picture to the police for them to hand out to their patrol. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and prayers on our behalf. Please continue to hold us up in prayer.I just ordered several books from these lists. One of the swappers sent me an email asking if I was Magistra. It’s a small world!!

  7. OMG! I’m so embarrassed. I have heard of many of the authors, but less than 1/2 of the books! I love book memes and will have to check into several of these.And, my gracious! What terrible thing are you talking about in the last two comments??!! It sounds scary.

  8. I went and checked out the King’s Meadow. To be honest I a bit disappointed in his theology list. Is he Reformed?, because it really shows. It got me thinking, “What would be on the list of a Lutheran, Catholic, and Orthodox pastor?” Well, I don’t personally know any Catholic’s or Orthodox priests who blog (they have blogs- but I’ve never commented to them), but I do know a Lutheran pastor, so I asked him. I’ll probably post his answer at my blog, if he gives one.

  9. Deb, yes, Dr. Grant is Reformed (as I am).  It’s *his* list so I guess he can put his favorite books on it.  I think his reading is more catholic (small c catholic) but to put what he considers the best would reflect his own theology. 
    Can you tell what region of the country he’s from by the lists?  He’s from the South, as reflected in Andrew Lytle, I’ll Take My Stand collection and Faulkner in the fiction.  I’ve never been able to develop a taste for Faulkner.
    Margaret mentioned a missing man on her blog.  We must run in similar circles because our church was asked to pray for the same man, a father of young children.
    Carmon, the whipped cream mocha was a metaphor, silly!! Wait, I’ve been the one acting silly today! 

  10. Now, that I went back to his site, I remember hearing Dr. Grant speak many years ago at a homeschooling conference (yes, he’s definitely southern ).   Its good to know its his personal “favs” on the theology rather than what he would suggest for a survey type class.So sad about the missing father.  I hope he is found in good health soon.

  11. Thanks for the additional info!
    Dr. Grant is definitely a southern gentleman.  We get to hear him speak often (every couple of years or so) here in wonderful Virginia.
    I think it is interesting that someone would think his list is narrowly Reformed (my words) because there is Chesterton (Catholic) and Luther and Athenasius…etc.
    His survey (class) book lists are farther down on his booklist page.  I’ve read several of those on his ancients page (I had lots of time to read back when my, now, grown sons were studying ancients in highschool).  I hope to cover many of the others when my second batch goes through those.

  12. I copied Dr. Grant’s Shelf Life lists a few years ago and have used them for my book collection since then.  I’ll have to see what I can do about a list on my blog.
    About Faulkner–my oldest son loves Faulkner, and consequently the rest of the family has each read at least one of his novels.  I have developed a taste for him (as I have for Williams).  The first of his books that I tried was The Hamlet.
    Cool about the Dawn to Decadance hardback coming your way!  I bought that in hardback back when it first came out .

  13. Kathleen, I’m hoping if I hang around your cyber-neighborhood, your taste for Williams will rub off on me.  I only had time to read the Divine Comedy and Ascent to Love this summer, and William’s Figure of Beatrice (for which I paid $20!) is languishing on my bedside stand.  I have to move forward with my reading and am sorry that I couldn’t read this Williams while Beatrice was fresh in my mind.  To be honest I haven’t really worked at Faulkner.  I have three books on my shelf and I should just discipline myself and get all the way through one.  Someday…

  14. I read Faulkner’s short story “The Bear” in a high school literature class. I don’t recall liking it very well, but I was rather proud that I puzzled out the symbolism in the story of the decline of the South. I love finding themes and images in literature. I am not a big fan of the depressing nature of much “modern” literature, but now that I’m older I do find a richness in some of it that I didn’t notice in my younger impatience.

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