CONTACT: Rev. Dr. Chris Shorow email@example.com 405.341.3544
I love books, so I was intrigued to see that PBS is doing an eight-part series celebrating books and compiling a list of the 100 best-loved novels in the United States. At the culmination of the series, they will announce the winner of America’s best-loved book as voted on by viewers. The list is available on-line and includes many familiar and great books. I must admit there were 2 or 3 books on the list that I thought were absolutely awful that were included, but it just goes to show how each of us have our own likes and dislikes.
Coincidentally, not knowing that PBS was doing this series, we had scheduled a summer reading series here at the church. Starting June 17 and ending on July 15, we will be looking at 5 books from classic literature. Although they are not specifically books of faith, they all deal with important issues of faith—life, death, forgiveness, sin, judgment, etc. The books we have selected (we may take a vote on future lists we do) are: To Kill a Mockingbird, Les Miserables, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Crucible and Candide. All are classic pieces of literature and each is a unique work—from an epic novel to a play to a satirical piece.
I would invite you to pick at least one book and read (or reread) it and come prepared for an in-depth look at the book. During this series, we will be offering a summer Sunday school hour where we have invited a visiting English teacher to come and lead a discussion of the book. Reading the book beforehand will not be a requirement, but you will have more fun if you have recently read the book.
Now I realize that there are movie versions of each of these books (with the exception of Candide), but I would like for you to do the reading instead. Appreciating the literary art of these classic works is one of the benefits of this study. It is the same way that we appreciate the Bible—there is no substitute for reading it. In that vein, we will spend the final two weeks, July 22 and 29, looking at the Bible, the ultimate classic work. We will look at how we got our Bible and the different books that are included in it.
So this summer is a good time to brush up on some classics. You can watch the PBS series and come to church and deal with some classic human themes of existence. Here is the lineup:
June 17—To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
June 24—Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
July 1—All Quiet on the Western Front—Erich Maria Remarque
July 8—The Crucible—Arthur Miller
July 22—The Bible—Its Origins
July 29—The Bible---What is Included?