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Book Memed.

October 1st, 2007 | 2 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

Friend and fellow blogger Brant DeBow has tagged me in a meme about books that I have decided to take up. I won’t pass it along, but I thought some of you may be interested. Oh, and since the Bible could fit in a number of these categories, we’ll rule it out.
1. One book that changed your life:

Till We Have Faces. It’s easily Lewis’s best fiction. A powerful portrayal of the devouring nature of love that has gone astray, I was overwhelmed at my own lack of identity as a result of sin. “We cannot face the gods until we have faces.”

2. One book that you have read more than once:

Plato’s Symposium (noticing a theme here?). A masterful critique of homosexuality and a deeply insightful examination on the nature of desire.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:

The Riverside Shakespeare. Need I say more?

4. One book that made you laugh:

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. I still read them when I go into Barnes and Noble.

5. One book that made you cry:

Sheldon Van Auken’s A Severe Mercy An extraordinary tale of passion and loss, Van Auken’s poetic prose is moving. His chapter “The Deathly Snows,” wherein he tells of the death of his wife, had me sobbing in Oxford’s Botanical Gardens. The tourists thought I was a bit off. This is going to be made into a movie, which is dangerous.

6. One book you wish had been written:

What I Really Think, by Plato. Brant’s answer to this is humorous–I commend it to you.

7. One book you wish had never been written:

Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant. If only because he created enough problems to make us all read through the hundreds of thousands of pages known as “post-Kantian philosophy.”

8. One book you are currently reading:

Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation

9. One book you have been meaning to read:

Team of Rivals. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while.

Bonus Item: One book you threw across the room:

A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov. It’s the only book that has elicited such a visceral reaction out of me. I threw it up against the wall, as I was so disgusted by the author’s vivid portrayal of the “hero” Pechorin. It’s a great book, though. Really.

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.