My Favorite Books by Madeleine L’Engle
ERB Playlist #5
Compiled by Chris Smith
This is the fifth in an on-going series of “playlists,” in which we recommend books around a particular theme.
“Making a mixtape (or playlist) is the opposite of indifferent. It’s heartfelt, purposeful — often a subtle form of flirtation. … [The playlist] is a way of making yourself known, an interpersonal form of show business, of making news, of replicating sounds and words you find important. It’s like poetry, because poetry is what you can’t say in any other way.”
– David Dark, The Sacredness of Questioning Everything
(Our 2009 Book of the Year. Read our Review…)
*** A Recent essay I wrote on a theology of the playlist…
[ Previous Playlist – # 4 Top Ten Books on Cultivating Gratitude]
*** Watch for more ERB playlists in the coming weeks and months…
In Honor of Madeleine’s birthday today, November 29th…
Madeleine L’Engle has been one of the most significant writers in my formation. Part of that can be attributed to the breadth of her work, and encountering different works in different phases of life and finding that they all moved and challenged me: reading Wrinkle in Time in second grade and the other Time novels, A Ring of Endless Light, and other YA novels over the next couple of years of elementary school; finding comfort in the warmth and grace of her theological reflections during my college years, which eased me into the transition out of the fundamentalism that I had grown up with; and finally turning to her poetry and other novels in the years after college.
Here are my favorite of her works, in order from my very favorite downward. I do offer the caveat that beyond the Time Quintet, and the couple of other novels here, I am not a huge fan of her fiction…
1) Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art [ Buy now: Amazon ]
As a writer, this book is one that I keep coming back to and being challenged by; it is arguably the best reflection on what it means to be both a follower of Christ and an artist.
2) The Time Quintet – [ New Hardcover Box Set – Amazon ]
This is where most people first connect with L’Engle’s work. I’m still partial to the original three novels, but the latter two are very good as well.
3) The Rock that is Higher: Story As Truth – Buy now: [ Amazon ]
This was my introduction to the possibility of narrative theology. Again, this was one book that particularly resonated with me as I was seeking a faith beyond fundamentalism.