I've read a lot of books over the years and as I lay awake one night this week I thought I should try to determine my personal favourite 12 authors (kind of like counting sheep I guess). These would be writers that have written a number of books of which I've read a significant percentage:
- Wendell Berry - only his fiction so far, his series focussing on the rural community of Port William is really some of the best writing ever, I think.
- Walter Wangerin Jr. - beautiful, sensitive, poetic writer/pastor. Have read pretty much everything he's written. Often his writing is so moving it makes me weep.
- Frederick Buechner - wonderful fiction (especially love "Son of Laughter") and nonfiction - memoir or spiritual reflections
- Philip Yancey - lots of thoughtful, honest spiritual writing. Best book of his: "Soul Survivor"
- Thomas Lynch - laugh out loud funny and yet amazing insights into life and death (he also works as an undertaker). His "The Undertaking" is one of my most favourite books.
- C.S. Lewis - one of the best minds of the 20th century. Some of his stuff is too scholarly for me ("Pilgrim's Regress") but lots is just right (like "Mere Christianity" and his science fiction trilogy) and I find the Narnia chronicles delightful (and deep).
- Stephen Lawhead - prolific scifi/fantasy writer (often with some sort of spiritual/christian take). Light but usually well-written. Think I've read everything he's come up with.
- Brian McLaren - a challenging yet gentle voice trying to bring Christian thinking into the postmodern age. Always thought-provoking with some very valid points.
- Oliver Sacks - I don't agree with all of his science but his real-life neurological case studies are fascinating. Top pick: "An Anthropologist on Mars".
- Bret Lott - mostly beautiful fiction stories ("Jewel", "I Knew You By Heart") but I liked his memoir a lot too.
- Edward Rutherfurd - captivating, intricate (and long!) historical fiction. Want to reread his "London".
- Tolkien - he just barely makes the list because he didn't write loads. But it is great stuff after all!
Music listening this week: The Choir (just love this band!) - Flap Your Wings, Wide-Eyed Wonder, Chase the Kangaroo, O How the Mighty Have Fallen (can't listen to this without thinking of my hospital stay after heart surgery in '06 - it was something of a soundtrack for that time); Bruce Cockburn - Salt, Sun & Time, Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws, The Charity of Night; Randy Stonehill - Can't Buy a Miracle, David Edwards - Dreams Tales & Lullabies