Thanatos: A Book (Suggestion) To Die For.

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Winston Churchill said that if a book is not worth reading twice, it’s not worth reading once. Charmaine has a book suggestion that deserves double coverage.

Cross Posted at Reasoned Audacity by Charmaine:

I love nothing better as a Christmas present than a good book. (Unless, of course, the present sparkles.) After all the paper has been ripped apart, discarded, and finally cleaned up. . . to sit down with a cup of tea, ignore the kids (who are fighting, hopefully, playing happily with new toys) and lose yourself in another world. . .That’s Christmas cheer for me.

If that’s you, or someone you love, then National Review has the list for you! Kathryn put up today NRO’s annual Christmas book-buying guide.

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There are some terrific suggestions from Ralph McInerny, Michael Novak, Victor Davis Hanson, Mary Ann Glendon, and, well, me.

My own suggestion is The Thanatos Syndrome, by Walker Percy. First, it’s just a great story. But with Percy, there’s always two more layers. He’s such an unusual craftsman with words, that it’s a joy to read him, technically — to sit back and just watch the words march across the page. It’s almost like watching Percy play.

More importantly, however, I called this novel “subversive” because it’s not until the end of the book that the full import of the story becomes clear. He subtly pulls the reader along for a ride, then weaves a pro-life message into the book’s wackiness.

I was bemused at the end — I remember turning to Jack and saying, “Wow, how did he do that?” The book won a National Book Award!

Did I mention the underlying pro-life message??

What a hoot.

I think this Christmas, I’ll reread it.

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Now it’s your turn. What else should I be reading this Christmas??

Cross-posted at Zeitgeist.

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