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Book Lovers Guide to Great Reading: A Guided Tour of Classic & Contemporary Literature by Terry W. Glaspey epub pc original online free

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It doesnt take the reader too long to discover Terry Glaspey proves himself to be a rather untrustworthy guide on this guided tour of classic and contemporary literature. Under his section of Great Books of the Christian Tradition, in addition to several dubious mysticism-driven works, Glaspey includes the poems of William Blake and prose of Friedrich Schleiermacher, then he tosses in de Chardin, Bultmann, Barth, and Tillich for good measure. And thats in the first quarter of the book. Glaspey is reticent throughout to make any definitive or resounding claims on anything negative about the books and authors he is recommending/listing. He almost never comes out and says this author is way off the beam, theologically or this book has lots of bad language and explicit sexual content. The sternest he gets is for Sue Monk Kidd (her later books veer into serious theological heresies and must be read with a great deal of discernment - in a section on books to help you grow in your spiritual life!) and John Updike (some may find his fixation on sexual issues to be a little too graphic and anatomically detailed for their taste). Its like he feels embarrassed for recommending them but not enough and is almost but not quite sorry for not being embarrassed enough. Hell often try to cushion his warnings with meaningless little youll need to read it with a grain of salt or some say hes not quite orthodox expressions. Its difficult to trust him in many categories, especially when he only recommends Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer by Twain but recommends all four of the other books he (Glaspey) has written thus far.Many of the classics he lists are given with similar meaningless recommendations: this is quite a classic or he uses artful, authentic language or this is a fine experience sort of comments. None of those are verbatim, but thats the generic feeling one gets from several of his entries, especially for the classics. W. H. Auden, he says, wrote powerful poems on many topics (and this is verbatim). One gets the impression he is being sponsored by Pizza Hut and only wants to get free pizzas from kids doing well in the Book-It! program, as if his glowingly tepid summaries will motivate students to read older books. Either that, or he is auditioning for a back-cover writer position at Penguin. Then he comes out and says The Lord of the Rings can only be read on one of two levels: an exciting adventure story or personal mythology drawing on Norse, Christian, and Arthurian influences. Im pretty sure there are more avenues of interpretation than just those two.Even though the title does not imply this is for Christians, many of his brief chapters at the beginning and ending of the book strongly indicate he is primarily aiming his lists for Christians. The many lists about growing in the Christian faith and regaining the Christian tradition indicate that fairly strongly as well. This makes his reticence to say look out for the intense bad language and sexually explicit content all that more confusing. He will nonchalantly say Aristophanes is vulgar and graphic with an attitude of check it out and see how he does it! but he will only say of Darwin most of his critics have misunderstood him. Its hard to understand at times why he is recommending some of the books he is recommending - even when his last chapter is about the importance of plundering the Egyptians. The main focus of that plundering the Egyptians chapter is about recognizing all truth is Gods truth (a very tiresome expression), and so we shouldnt feel bad about reading books by non-Christians. Yet, most of the non-Christians he recommends dont say things that are true! Although Nietzsche is, from a biblical viewpoint, wrong in most of the conclusions he draws, he can be exceedingly prophetic in his insights. Huh? I dont think even Glaspey knows if he is praising or condemning Nietzsche. He is very ambivalent throughout the book on my topics/authors.Obviously, Im all for reading books by non-Christians (and not just because all truth is Gods truth). Glaspeys survey of books hes read (or, in many cases, likely just heard about) does not give Christians many good reasons to do it, though. Nor does he give adequate warning about many authors worldviews, especially considering his stated purpose in the book throughout the early chapters. He does toward the end say Christians can border (or tread into) arrogance if they think they only need to read the Bible and cant learn anything from non-Christians, but it comes far too late in the work and does not explain so many perplexing entries for classic works. And it certainly doesnt explain why he has William Blake in the section on Christian heritage!One small thing in this books favor is his section on Contemporary Fiction. For him, thats 80s-90s novels, for the most part, and since its quite likely many people who read this today have not heard of most of them (like I havent), its good to have a list of titles and authors (even if what he says about them is potentially unreliable).If one has never read a heres a lot of great books you should read sort of book before, and this is the first such book one has come across, I suppose its not a thorough waste of time. Yet even his chapters on the importance of connecting to the rich Christian intellectual heritage do not make this book easy to recommend. If you know someone who has it, ask them to type of the titles of the books he recommends and then just get the list and go from there. Youll get about as much insight from a simple list of nouns than you would reading his annotations. Calling John Keats [a] fine English poet ... indeed! Im giving you a Bill Cosby look of disgust right now, Mr. Glaspey.

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