Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Seaching Book Distributor Catalogs

Okay, so I need a book. A Christian book. Not a devotional, not a brief inspirational "you can do it" book so common on the Christian best seller lists. Something meaty. Something stimulating. Something that will cause me to pause, reflect, and maybe even change my mind about a few things. Something brilliant. Something well-written. The kind of book that has a permanent impact.

John Stott's The Cross of Christ was one of these. Gordon Fee's Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God. George Eldon Ladd's The Gospel of the Kingdom. J. I. Packer's Knowing God.

Okay, so I want one of those. One thing I can do is read another book by one of these same authors, but that's too limiting. I need to remember that, above and beyond the quest for the next book, I'm really trying to figure out a long-range searching plan for always finding the next book.

Well, I can try scrounging around at ChristianBook.com or some other online distributor's catalog. I could try their sidebar link entitled Academics, for example, then (let's see) maybe Theology. That way I get a list of 5452 books sorted by sales rank. Ugh! But the sidebar has some interesting sub-headings. How about Literature and Theology. I see an interesting title there, second one down: Leland Ryken's The Christian Imagination : The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing. I'll add that to my Library Thing list, just so I don't forget about it (labeling it "Christian" or something). Still I'm averse to browsing lists at commercial sites like CBD's. There's just not enough differentiation. I don't feel confidant that the book-descriptions really tell me what I need to know. Not a bad place to purchase books from--but not the best place to research them.

What about a commercial site that claims to have sorted out the lousy stuff already, like Discerning Reader? I'll take a peak at that in my next post.


Milton Stanley said...

Bob, if you want meaty you really ought to read Alisdair Macintyre's After Virtue. It's about the failure of Enlightenment thinking, how it changed the fundamental discussion on morality and ethics in Western civilization, and why the current moral bankruptcy of our culture can be traced to the Enlightenment. It's powerful stuff, and it changed my entire view on revelation, ethics, and human rights. It's challenging to read but accessible to the general reader.

Bob said...

Wow, that sound like something I could really sink my teeth into. Thanks. I'll add it to my growing list of titles in LibraryThing.