This week’s TTT has a Thanksgiving theme, and it’s a freebie so we can play around with it. I’m going full-throttle stream of thought here.
- I’m thankful for bookish friends who aid and abet my addiction, but more importantly, who make public their musings about the books they read. In a hurried, distracted age, I value beyond counting the company of people who can pause and reflect.
- I’m thankful for book publishers who are craftsman, not just McDonalds for airplane novels — who publish books with thicker, rough-cut pages, and use font printing that’s rich and makes the book a genuine art piece in its own right.
- I’m thankful for authors who inspire me; Isaac Asimov’s boundless curiosity and ability to write a book on anything (science, literature, religion, etymology, history, poetry — you name it) makes him a role model for a generalist like myself.
- Authors, continued: Wendell Berry’s deep love for the natural world and his appreciation for how we find part of our purpose in its stewardship
- Authors, continued: Bill Kauffman. Oh, where to begin with Kauffman? His celebration of obscure novels, obscurer words, and left-behind places; his cheerful “go to hell” attitude aimed at anyone who gets too big for their britches, his ardent love for little places and the crazy, all-too-human people within them….he’s an author I’d dearly love to hang around with in a bar listening to tell stories.
- Authors who take me back into time, full of horses and battle-cries and schemes and high towers to take. Bernard Cornwall is the king!
- Authors who provoke me thinking thinking about matters otherwise hidden to me, or help me articulate otherwise ineffable feelings; men like Jim Kunstler Neil Postman, and Anthony Esolen. I may not always agree with them (sometimes I read them just to listen, not knowing my own position enough to say aye or nay) — but they’re always interesting and appreciated.
- Authors whose wisdom I need, like Will Durant, C.S. Lewis, Wendell Berry (again – I love WB), who redouble my appreciation for history, literature, creation, etc.
- Authors who can cure what ails me, like P.G. Wodehouse. He’s never failed to lift my spirits.
- And finally, authors like Alain de Botton who make me realize I’m not the only one who feels the way I do sometimes. The following is from A Week at the Airport.
I explained — with the excessive exposition of a man spending a lonely week at the airport — that I was looking for the sort of books in which a genial voice expresses emotions that the reader has long felt but never before really understood; those that convey the secret, everyday things that society at large prefers to leave unsaid; those that make one feel somehow less alone and strange.
Manishankar wondered if I might like a magazine instead.”