Bedside Books—The Stuff I Don’t Have to Read

6 September 2008

7 September 2008

14 September 2008

1 October 2008

About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

10 Responses to Bedside Books—The Stuff I Don’t Have to Read

  1. Doug Geivett says:

    Lucid, this makes sense, and may be the most to expect from great literature.


  2. lucidlunatic says:

    To the extent that it makes you think about faith in new depth (or perhaps breadth), yes. But at the same time it has no predetermined conclusion, which is generally a requirement for a persuasive piece.

    Perhaps it has a persuasive aspect, but I would argue that rather than being a persuasive novel which gives you the answer, it introduces you to the question. Which, in the end, is more important than all the persuasion in the world.


  3. Doug Geivett says:


    Do you think the faith perspective reflected through characters in the book has a persuasive aspect? I’m interested in the persuasive power of literature and film, not only for people who are unaware of their influence, but for people who acknowledge its presence.


  4. lucidlunatic says:

    I had a teacher back in school who read portions of it to his class. I immediately went to the library and read it. I’m not sure I fully appreciated it at the time and then went on to read it again more recently.

    The best thing about the book for me was how you were given a sense of both character’s growth throughout the progress of the story. But that could be said of any well written book. What made this one special for me was Owen’s sense of duty. He was capable of simultaneously wanting to live and being prepared to give his life to save those children. Imagine the strength of character it must take to spend most of your life, from childhood, preparing for your death.

    The second thing is seeing this through the eyes of another, through the eyes of someone who has trouble accepting that type of faith. It made the book special for me, and I know I’ll read it again at some point in the next few years. I am not a religious man, but A Prayer for Owen Meany demonstrates a faith that I greatly respect.


  5. Doug Geivett says:


    When did you first read A Prayer for Owen Meany? What did you like most about it?


  6. Doug Geivett says:

    That sounds right to me, David. Today I’ve posted a piece titled How to Cultivate the Reading Habit.


  7. David says:

    I must admit my interests in diverse subjects (music, philosophy, technology, rafting) serves to overload me with reading material. Something always seems to cut in front of How To Read a Book (testing HTML tags) in the queue. I will set aside a weekend and go at it so I can start reaping the benefits in my other reading. Its sort of like procrastinating about taking a time management course because you are too busy! 🙂


  8. lucidlunatic says:

    A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of my favorites. I also enjoyed Cider House Rules, also by John Irving, but he was at the pinnacle of his art in writing A Prayer for Owen Meany.


  9. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi David,

    My first time through How to Read a Book was in 1985. It’s timeless.


  10. David says:

    Ironically, “How to Read a Book” has been on my reading stack for quite some time!


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