I’ve been “tagged” to take part in this game, but I think I might revisit it a few times. Here’s my first attempt:
1. One book that changed your life:
Fr Fenton nominated Ceremony and Celebration by Paul H D Lange, and yes, I guess that did have a bit of an impact. But so did Eugene Peterson’s “Working the Angles” (I remember being on vicarage reading a passage which said that the pastor’s role is not simply a series of jobs to do, when the door of the other office slammed open and my vicar-father emerged saying “Well, that’s that job done, now for a cup of coffee!”). Perhaps Herman Sasses’ Here we stand could be in for a running… But in the end, I would have to say that two books combined to finally change my life all together: Joyce Little’s “The Church and the Culture Wars” and Cardinal Ratzinger’s “Called to Communion”. After reading those two books I became a Catholic.
[Reader: They said one book, not five.
Schütz: As Michelangelo said to the Pope in the Monty Python skit: “One?”]
2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Well, along with many others, I would have to nominate “Lord of the Rings” here.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
I should say the Bible, but I will show how far down the slippery slope of Catholicism I have fallen by nominating Joseph Ratzinger’s “Introduction to Christianity”. I might finally get the time to give every sentence the attention it deserves. I generally advise people to take it in bite-sized chunks and to chew slowly.
4. One book that made you laugh:
Douglas Adams “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. Actually, all five books in the trilogy (sic). I love the line that goes “The huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don’t.” Masterpiece.
5. One book that made you cry:
Actually, this is an odd one, but I’m going to nominate Stephen Lawhead’s “Byzantium”. I don’t normally get teary about books, but I can remember being terribly moved by the ending to this one.
6. One book that you wish had been written:
“Interfaith Dialogue for Dummies” (the sequel to “Ecumenism for Dummies”).
7. One book that you wish had never been written:
I’m sorry, but this is a bit obvious: Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code”. There are probably others, like “Mein Kampf” that would be in for the running, but it would be a close fought race.
8. One book you’re currently reading:
Like Fr Marco, I also have books all over the place. The Petrine Ministry: Catholics and Orthodox in Dialogue edited by Walter Kasper is in my office at work. Next to my bed is N.T. Wright’s The New Testament and the People of God, the first volume in his multi-volume work on New Testament history. And in the car, the audio-book of Rumpole’s Last Case (I’m taking a break from attempting to listen to all 25 of Alexander Kent’s Richard Bolitho series).
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
The Koran. (I’m waiting for either a decent translation or for when I have finally learnt Arabic…)
10. Tag others.