This week marked the 91st birthday of pastor and novelist Frederick Buechner.
In honor of the occasion, we offer this introductory reading guide to Frederick Buechner books …
We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and we offer a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.
In a similar vein to Brendan, comes Godric, Buechner’s depiction of the 12th-century saint–born to Anglo-Saxon parents in Norfolk almost in the year of the Norman invasion (1066 for those of you long unschooled!). He was a peddler and wanderer long before he settled into the life of a hermit in northern England, led there by the famous hermit St. Cuthbert, who told him, “your true nesting place lies farther on, [and] until you reach it, every other place you find will fret you like a cage.”
In Godric Frederick Buechner captures the voice and the times of this saint with a style that recalls the richly alliterative language of Middle English poetry. So too does it recall the beautiful earthiness of that literature, reminding us that this time of deep spirituality was also a time of real flesh-and-blood folk. And in some ways this is the deepest point of this delightful (and at times comic) novel: these people, like those who live among us today, become saints not by leaving the body behind but by finding a way to live more deeply within it.