Have you read Chance or the Dance? by Thomas Howard? If not, don’t tell a soul, because to admit this is akin to picking one’s teeth in the Queen’s company. Do not draw attention to yourself now, but just quietly click on this link and order it and read it as soon as you are able to do so and then the painfully embarrassing nightmare will be over. All kidding aside, this is one of those spectacularly well-written books that contains such a treasure of thought that not to have read it is to be seriously deprived. No truly conservative worldview is complete without the knowledge it contains — that’s not hyperbole, kids — and did I mention how gorgeous the prose is? In a nutshell, the book is a masterful comparison of the dreary secular humanist modern view of the universe with the spectacularly bright medieval Christian view. Anything by Tom Howard is required reading, but this book is at the very tippy-top of the list. Are you still reading and haven’t purchased it yet? Go go go!
In the same vein as Howard’s small classic is another small classic which you’ve likely heard of and perhaps read, but have you read it recently? I’m talking about Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. WFB would read it aloud on long sailing trips. It is one of those precious stones that supports the edifice of Western Christendom.
While we’re at it, have you read Jules Verne’s masterpiece, The Mysterious Island? Many haven’t even heard of it and don’t know that it’s probably the very best of his great books. Don’t confuse it with H. G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau. The two as are different as chalk and cheese. Verne’s worldview is profoundly conservative. If the supremely doughty colonists of his story can create a vibrant little society almost ex nihilo, perhaps we can dig ourselves out of this financial mess, eh? Buck up!
— Eric Metaxas is the New York Times–bestselling author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and is the editor of a new book, Socrates in the City: Conversations on Life, God, and Other Small Topics, published by Penguin Dutton.
For more gift suggestions for those who still have a list, click here.