Golden Books

In my last post, I mentioned there are certain digital books I’ve read over the last year which I will eventually purchase in actual hard copy format. One might naturally ask the question, Why? Since I’ve read these particular volumes digitally, what’s the point in acquiring them as hard copies? The easy answer is because I’ve found hidden treasure during my initial readings … and I anticipate more richness with each subsequent reading.

Image by Petra from Pixabay

Like most people, I may read a novel once and quickly dismiss the story line. Even with non-fiction, the content is (all too often) forgettable. But some books, I think of them as golden. Certain books, and occasionally even a few specific authors, have found a unique place, burrowing into my heart, and thus have earned an esteemed position on my bookshelf next to other Greats. (Note well, I said Greats, not necessarily Bestsellers, many of which would never qualify as great – except on the publisher’s ledger.)

There are (at present) almost 200 books in my digital library. Some are classics (Dante’s The Divine Comedy, Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, etc.) but others are modern (histories, mysteries, poetry collections, etc.). I’ve collected multiple works of a couple writers I enjoy, but with more than two dozen volumes, one author’s name stands out in my personal library:  Andrew Klavan.

I first became acquainted with Klavan’s work some 25 years ago. I knew he had written True Crime (which was made into a movie with Clint Eastwood) and Don’t Say a Word (which was made into a movie with Michael Douglas). I purchased his hard copy book Empire of Lies long before digital books were readily available.

Klavan is intelligent, irreverent, and highly entertaining. His twice-weekly podcasts provide a unique slant on a host of issues and topics. I may not always agree with his opinions but I appreciate hearing his thoughtful commentary. Because we share a similar worldview, I’m often inclined to rethink or soften my own opinions as I consider his.

His novels (mostly mystery and suspense) are fast-paced and tightly plotted. From what I understand, his recent works (The Great Good Thing and The Truth and Beauty) were labors of love, both meant to delve deeper into explaining who he is and how the meaning and presence of a personal God gave purpose to his life. Though I’ve enjoyed these two books in digital form, I will be adding them to my bookshelf of treasured volumes. They are (in my view) golden!

For a deeper look at Klavan’s life, he has offered a stirring video on YouTube entitled God Saved My Life! This video reflects why I hold Klavan in such high esteem.

My paean to Klavan, the sonnet below, was written many months ago. In the interim, his podcast has been revamped and no longer includes the musical intro that featured his playful song (with the line about tickety-boo). Nevertheless, I offer the sonnet with those now-defunct lyrics here. (The playful song may still be found in older Klavan YouTube videos.)

Professor K, a sonnet

In observing Klavan on his podcasts and interviews, one finds a man who is intensely joyful. He may talk about (and write about) serious situations or world events, but he often uses the tagline, laugh your way through Armageddon. It’s an apt approach for those of us who understand this world is not our home.

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