Since the birth of my beautiful daughter my reading time has declined precipitously, and, in consequence, I have begun casting about for shorter, more easily digestible books. Time for writing Book Notes has also been disappearing, so I am resorting to briefer summaries. Here are Notes on a few books that recently crossed my path.
Do Not Read This Book
Pat Moon and Sarah Nayler (Orchard, 2001)
160 p. First non-reading.
I wish they had titled it Do Not Buy This Book, because I would have saved a few dollars. Imagine my dismay when I returned home and took a closer look. After I stewed a while in a terrible quandary, into the trashcan it went.
Burn This Book
Toni Morrison, Ed. (HarperStudio, 2009)
128 p. First burning.
This book came into my hands a short time ago, and I was thankful for it. We had a few cool evenings, but were able to stay comfortably warm. Highly recommended.
The Book Nobody Read
Owen Gingerich (Walker & Co., 2004)
306 p. First shunning.
Who am I to argue with popular opinion? If nobody’s reading this book, I’m not about to break rank. The author’s time would have been better spent plotting epicycles.
Not For Publication
Nadine Gordimer (Viking, 1965)
I have a friend in the publishing industry, and from time to time I hear stories about the incompetence of editors and publishers. But just consider the concatenation of printing blunders and editorial mishaps that must have occurred for this book to appear. The mind reels. Respecting the author’s intentions, I have refused to read it.
Eat This Book
Eugene H. Peterson (Eerdmans, 2006)
186 p. First digestion.
I have enjoyed one or two of Eugene Peterson’s books in the past, but my enjoyment of this one was unprecedented.