Thursday, June 25, 2009

Next Logos Reading List

Two years ago, I approached Pastor Stephen at Lake Murray about starting a monthly literary discussion group to talk about various books, classics, recent novels, and Christian works. He approved, and Logos was born. God had impressed on my heart the desire to start such a group, but it took me awhile to "screw my courage to the sticking place" and approach Steve about it. He was very gracious, asking merely for a list of books we would be reading. So for two years we have met on the final Sunday of the month at various home for lunch and fruitful discussion. Some books were extremely popular and others not so much, but it's been a learning experience for all of us.

Our first year's list was one that Kitty and I put together with much prayer; we saw the Shakespeare together at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park:

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
Measure for Measure by Shakespeare
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
We are now finishing up our second year of reading. This list was more of a group effort in which everyone suggested books, and then I checked to see which ones the library had enough copies of, and then prayed over which ones to list. We had hoped to attend the Shakespeare together as well, but the Globe raised their ticket prices out of the reach of most of us. This list is also in my sidebar, but I will reproduce it here:

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
All's Well That Ends Well by Shakespeare
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Cry of the Peacock by Gina B. Nahai
Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey
So now it's time to make the list of books for our third year. I have quite a list of ideas that I will have to narrow down to the eleven we'll read and discuss this coming year. (We take December off because it's so busy). We're all quite busy now as well, so some had suggested meeting every other month; however, what we're going to try to do is alternate books with titles that have movie versions so that those who do not have time to read every month can watch the movie version and still join in the conversation. We'll see how it goes. Here are the ones I listed as we chatted last month (asterisks denote books with films):

Mila 18 or Exodus by Leon Uris
The Bean Trees or Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens *
Bell Canto by Patchett
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
Avalon or another title by Stephen Lawhead
Gifted Hands by Ben Carson
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery *
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer *
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen *
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee *
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Jean de Florette by Marcel Pagnol *
Scream Quietly by Elizabeth Carlson
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
And I have a few books I would like to add, especially:

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo *
The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
Twelfth Night by Shakespeare *
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult *
So I shall see what the library has on hand and then pray over the books. Our desire in Logos (which we chose because it means both "word" and The Word Incarnate, whom we seek to glorify) is to seek what is good and right and pure and excellent and praiseworthy in literature (Phil. 4:8), discussing these works through a Christian lens yet being willing to stretch our intellects and spirits to become more conformed to Christ and more easily identify with the world who needs Him.

I will post the final list when God gives it to me; I will need to have it by Sunday, our meeting for June at which we will be discussing Yancey's Soul Survivor which presents us with additional authors (like Chesterton) to read.

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