It seems like every time I introduce a new book to my classes I make some comment about how much I love that particular one. A student recently asked me my favorite book--and I have yet to come up with an answer. Since it is the end of the school year, I thought it fitting to consider, if not my absolute favorite, the ones I recommend the most to others.
Farenheit 451--Ray Bradbury
I don't think Bradbury had any concept of the prophetic nature of his book on censorship, but the things he feared are coming to be fact, not fiction. The way it's happening is absolutely not in his philosophical world view, but we are becoming a nation of superficialities.
Cry the Beloved Country--Alan Paton
Alan Paton wrote this beautiful book about love and mercy and justice and redemption in 1948, before Apartheid was part of South Africa's dark heritage. His character, Msimangu, is wise, and his humility is a lesson to us all. Paton's imagery and symbolism of the land is breathtaking.
Til We Have Faces--C.S. Lewis
Anything by C.S. Lewis is part of my favorites list, but this book is special. It is a retelling (with liberties) of the Cupid/Psyche myth, told from the persective of one of Psyche's sisters. It is one of his last books, and took him 30 years--and a conversion to Christianity--to write it. In it he explores the arrogance of natural man and the necessity of complete surrender to God in order to find peace. There are layers upon layers of meaning in this text, and Lewis called it his "most mature work."
Beach Read Authors: John Grisham, Frank Peretti, Brock and Bodie Thoene
Philosophy: Donald Miller, Madeleine L'Engle, Annie Dillard, C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Jean Paul Sarte, Flannery O'Connor (a rather eclectic group.)
Poetry: Henry Wadsworth Lonfellow, John Donne, Robert Frost
Shakespeare favorites: Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing
And there you have it: my "recommended" reading for your pleaure and enlightenment. Take it for what it's worth---and enjoy.