Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Literary Lists

As readers of my blog will know, I like books. I try to always have a few books going at a time, so I have something to read no matter what mood I'm in. However, there's only so much time in life, and so I don't like to read bad books. To this end, I keep a folder with various book lists from sources I trust to give me recommendations. I also always add books that friends recommend, so I've got a literally unending reading list.

The best source I have is a document by George Grant that he used to have on his website. I have never gotten a bad recommendation from this list. Unfortunately, the list is no longer online, and so I'm going to post it here so others can benefit from it. (Books I've read are underlined. As you can see, I've got a long way to go.)

Literary Lists
By George Grant

Modern Non-Fiction List:
1. Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton
2. The Stone Lectures, Abraham Kuyper
3. Knowing God, J.I. Packer
4. Mont St. Michel and Chartres, Henry Adams
5. The Servile State, Hilaire Belloc
6. Up From Slavery, Booker T. Washington
7. The Birth of the Modern, Paul Johnson
8. Hero Tales of American History, Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge
9. The Gathering Storm, Winston Churchill
10. A World Torn Apart, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
11. Home, Witold Rybczynski
12. A Texan Looks at Lyndon, J. Evetts Haley
13. How the Other Half Lives, Jacob Riis
14. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
15. I’ll Take My Stand, Donald Davidson, et al.
16. George Whitefield. Arnold Dallimore
17. 84 Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff
18. The Calvinistic Concept of Culture, Henry Van Til
19. A Wake for the Living, Andrew Lytle
20. A Christian Manifesto, Francis Schaeffer
21. Where Nights Are Longest, Colin Thubron
22. Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman
23. Civil Rights, Thomas Sowell
24. Essays and Criticisms, Dorothy Sayers
25. Ideas Have Consequences, Richard M. Weaver

Modern Fiction and Verse List:
1. Oxford Book of English Verse, Arthur Quiller-Couch
2. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Father Brown Stories, G.K. Chesterton
4. Witch Wood, John Buchan
5. The Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot
6. The Space Trilogy, C.S. Lewis
7. A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
8. The Four Men, Hilaire Belloc
9. Penhally, Caroline Gordon
10. Collected Stories, William Faulkner
11. The Wizzard of Oz, L.Frank Baum
12. Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
13. Scaramouche, Rafael Sabatini
14. The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
15. Kristen Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset
16. Love in the Ruins, Walker Percy
17. The Velvet Horn, Andrew Lytle
18. The Footsteps at the Lock, Ronald Knox
19. The Weekend Wodehouse, P.G. Wodehouse
20. Falling, Colin Thubron
21. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingles Wilder
22. The Anubis Gates, Tim Powers
23. Song of the Lark, Willa Cather
24. Possession, A.S. Byatt
25. At Home in Mitford, Jan Karon

Classic Theology List:
1. City of God, St. Augustine
2. Confessions, St. Augustine
3. Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis and Gerhard Groote
4. Institutes of Christian Religion, John Calvin
5. Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther
6. Westminster Confession of Faith
7. On the Incarnation, St. Athanasius
8. Merle D’Aubigne, The History of the Reformation
9. Treasury of David, Charles Haddon Spurgeon
10. Revolution and Unbelief, William Groen van Prinsterer
11. John Knox, The History of the Reformation in Scotland
12. Book of Martyrs, John Foxe
13. Religious Affections, Jonathan Edwards
14. The Death of Death, John Owen
15. Christie Magnalia Americana, Cotton Mather
16. Practical Christianity, William Wilberforce
17. Collected Sermons, Thomas Chalmers
18 Journals, George Whitefield
19. Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
20. Scots Worthies, John Howie
21. A Crook in the Lot, Thomas Boston
22. The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes
23. The Life of God in the Soul of Man, Henry Scougal
24. The Covenant of Grace, Matthew Henry
25. The Reformed Pastor, Richard Baxter

Bannockburn Reading Lists:

1. The Epic of Gilgamesh
2. Ryken, Literature of the Bible
3. Wines, The Hebrew Republic
4. Aesop’s Fables
5. Johnson, Rasselas
6. Eddershiem, Temple Worship
7. Plato, Republic
8. Aristotle, Rhetoric, Politics, and Poetics
9. Portable Historians
10. Plays, Aristophanes, Euripides, Sophocles
11. Bulfinch, Mythology
12. Homer, Iliad
13. Homer, Odyssey
14. Plutarch, Noble Lives
15. Sienkiewicz, Quo Vadis
16. Confucius, The Analects
17. Bhagavad Gita
18. Portable Reader
19. Cicero, Orations
20. Sparks, Apostolic Fathers
21. Augustine, City of God

1. Augustine, Confessions
2. Athanasius, On the Incarnation
3. Rushdoony, Foundations of Order
4. Mallory, Le Mort d’Arthur
5. Haney, Beowulf
6. Tolkien, Sir Gawain
7. Machiavelli, Prince
8. Dante, Inferno
9. Aquinas, Shorter Summa
10. Runciman, First Crusade
11. Scott, Talisman
12. More, Utopia
13. Scott, Ivanhoe
14. Chaucer, Canterbury Tales
15. Shakespeare, Taming of Shrew
16. Goethe, Faustus
17. Scott, Great Christian Revolution
18. Calvin, The Golden Booklet
19. Vasari, Lives
20. Shakespeare, Sonnets
21. Westminster Confession
22. Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress
23. Chalmers, Parish Life
24. Spurgeon, All of Grace
25. Pascal, Pensees

1. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
2. Van Til, Calvinistic Concept of Culture
3. Scott, Robespierre
4. Austen, Pride and Prejudice
5. Eliot, Silas Marner
6. Scott, Antiquarian
7. Johnson, Birth of the Modern
8. Portable Romantic Poets
9. Conrad, Heart of Darkness
10. Dickens, Hard Times
11. Grant, Big Stick
12. Mansfield, Then Darkness Fled
13. Ferguson, Pity of War
14. Buchan, Greenmantle
15. Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby
16. Belloc, Servile State
17. Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath
18. Mencken, Crestomathy
19. Mansfield, Never Give In
20. Quiller-Couch, Q and I
21. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
22. O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find
23. Hall, Arrogance of Modern
24. Lewis, Experiment in Criticism
25. Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House
26. Powers, Dinner at Deviant’s Palace
27. Kunstler, Geography of Nowhere