Terry Teachout has undertaken an unusual posting theme for Tuesdays: 5 X 5, or five recommended books. When he launched the concept, I thought the task he'd set for himself was a tad lofty, even for a guy who writes and reads as much as he does. But yesterday, his second Tuesday, he listed five titles from Mark Sarvas' James Wood reading list. Yes, well ... I have a friend on the south side of the hill who reads more voraciously than I and could provide five new recommended titles for my blog every week, too.
Still, it's quite the list and my eye finally settled on the last of the five — God: A Biography, by Jack Miles. Curiously, this is a book my father recommended to me. Wood is someone I admire for his intelligent criticism, but he's also someone with whom I feel some affinity because he's a pastor's kid who seems to read and write in the hope of discovering something holy. Here Wood uses God: A Biography as a standard with which to judge some of Harold Bloom's religious musings. And here Wood gives Miles' follow-up, Christ: A Crisis In The Life Of God, his full attention.
As for my own thoughts re: Miles, I'm rather embarrassed to admit I haven't read him — yet. And on that issue, I'm sure Reverend Wood and my father could easily relate.