I love to read. At one point, you might say I did it for a living.
I'm a history guy, so many of my favorite pieces of literature are history books. However, I think limiting a "top 10" list to include only certain literary works, would deprive you, the reader, of your right to choose from a host of wonderful thoughts and stories written down on paper. These are my Top 10 English Language Writers.
I will try to reference as many good pieces of their works as I have read, and hopefully you can prove Egon Spangler wrong when he said, "The print is dead."
10. J.K. Rowling- Her Harry Potter series are an incredibly imaginative and interesting set of books. They are a little advanced in structure and content for young children, but her writing style is unique.
She has not yet written anything else that is widely available, so until she writes more than one successful series of books she won't gain much more traction in my top 10.
9. J.R.R. Tolkien- Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. They are the histories of the "middle earth" we saw on the big screen a few years ago. The movies and books specifically deal with "A Hobbit's Tale." Again, one genre, and that is the only reason from not ranking Tolkien higher.
He is also a bit slow and long-winded, but he had to write down the world he had created in his mind. It is pure genius.
8. Winston Churchill- "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." He meant it, and he did it. 43 books in 72 volumes, 15 of which were written about his involvement in the affairs of the British Empire leading up to and during the second world war.
It is unique to view history through his eyes as he lived it. He definitely has a slant to his writing, but he was a bit of an ego-maniac. Read him with a grain of salt.
7. David McCullough- A brilliant historian who is a Skull and Bones Yalie. He has six Pulitzer Prize winning works. He does a good job of bringing interest and intrigue to the story of our American History.
6. John Eldridge- A Christian author that does such a good job of exploring and dissecting the human condition in a variety of ways. Check out the catalog of his works to see what you want to mull over a bit more.
5. John Piper- He can break down the practical application of the will of God better than anyone I have ever encountered. Whether you are a Christian who is struggling with faith, or a doubter and skeptic who believes the Christian God to be vengeful and unjust, John Piper can bring the discussion back to scripture and God's expressed intent of this life experience.
He might even dissuade the skeptic about the loving nature of God.
4. William Shakespeare- I have a copy of Shakespeare's complete works in my den. Everything from his plays to his sonnets are classic pieces of English literature. If you don't own his complete works, you should visit the amazon link and buy it right now.
3. C.S. Lewis-There are so many "minor" works that are rarely published that only 25 of his 70 plus works are readily available for purchase today.
Lewis called himself, "the most unwilling convert," as he set about to debate Christian contemporary, J.R.R. Tolkien, about the existence of God while they were teaching at Oxford.
This series of debates set the wheels in motion, through Lewis' own study of scripture and philosophy, to be converted to Christianity. Thus, we have his thoughts preserved on paper to help us on our road to eternity, as well as future generations.
2. Mark Twain- Maybe the first great American writer in our history. His wit and wisdom is unparalleled, save one other author. His quotes and works have lived-on and remain relevant and potently humorous even today.
Check him out, and tell me I'm wrong.
1. Lewis Grizzard- My absolute favorite author of all time. He was the modern Mark Twain, as his wit is the only one I've seen that matches Samuel Clemens'.
He was probably an unlikable character in his deep personal life, as he had four wives. The way he writes so passionately, yet humorously about life circumstances and The South is what keeps me reading his books over and over.
When you read his books, I promise you will laugh out loud. His book titles are intriguing enough: Chili Dogs Always Bark at Night, Elvis is Dead and I Don't Feel Too Good Myself, Shoot Low Boys They're Riding Shetland Ponies, and Southern By The Grace of God are my favorite Grizzard books.
The Newnan, Georgia native passed away in 1994. His biography is interesting, as Lewis wore his flaws on his sleeve, and those faults and wit endeared him to millions. If you're Southern, I guarantee you will greatly enjoy his writing, even if he is not your favorite.
Enjoy your Wednesday!