Out of the Best Books: Eternal Truths from Classic Literature by S. Michael Wilcox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Christian non-fiction
Book Description: From Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables to Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, the characters of classic literature have stood the test of time. There are countless reasons to pick up a good book—but is it possible to find eternal truths in secular works? In Out of the Best Books, Latter-day Saint scholar S. Michael Wilcox demonstrates that when it comes to learning gospel principles, truth can shine forth in all good works—and literary classics are a prime example.
With underlying lessons on life, faith, and eternal characteristics, secular works can inspire as surely as religious volumes. It is through the experiences of characters like Atticus Finch, Elinor Dashwood, and Ebenezer Scrooge that their authors' inspired words have the power to create life-changing lessons for readers. Learn to find inspiration, wisdom, and spiritual knowledge in the age-old classics. God is in every good thing—you just have to look.
My thoughts: I love to look at the books that I read and think about what lessons they taught or emphasized to me. I am finding that I want to read books that uplift me and make me think. (Mainly fiction.)
S. Michael Wilcox looks at twelve books of classic literature and discusses the truths that they teach. Eleven come from works of fiction and the last is from the teachings of Jesus Christ in the bible. I have to admit that I have not read all of the books that he looks at, and found myself skimming for the main message of the book instead of reading all of the chapter. That is why this is a four star instead of five star rating.
One of my ecclesiastical leaders has mentioned more than once "don't read junk". This book fits along with his teachings. I felt my burdens lightened as I read some of the chapters. There many wonderful insights in the pages of this book. I think that I may have to read some more books to fully understand the message being taught.
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About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads) S. Michael Wilcox is an instructor at the institute of religion adjacent to the University of Utah. A frequent speaker at Brigham Young University Education Week, Michael also conducts tours of the Holy Land, Church history sites, Europe, China, and Central America. He received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brigham Young University, a master’s in media from the University of Arizona, and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in educational philosophy. He is the author of House of Glory and When Your Prayers Seem Unanswered.
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