In the November 1998 article What Can I Read? directives were suggested for the selection of good books. Let us now consider some more books and authors for their merits and demerits.
We have since been asked: “What about science fiction?” I like to read good science fiction, but I found most of today’s writings just rubbish. All one reads about is fighting, warfare, jealousy, sex and every single vice imaginable. This tendency is not so difficult to understand if we realize that writing about fictive alien societies gives the liberal author opportunities and excuses. God does not seem to exist anymore when planet Earth is left behind. We were once given a proof for a proposed book to read and judge. The subject was one we never saw before. An imaginary planet with a population not suffering from the consequences of Original Sin. Quite an interesting and partly religious subject. We enjoyed reading the proof as it was very well written. But do you think the publishers wanted it? No chance; they do not want that kind of literature.
There are however a few books and authors we could recommend. Some books by Anne McCaffrey are suitable for the whole family. Even the girls will like them. Dragon Flight, Dragon Drums (1979), Dragon Song and Dragon Singer (1977) are excellent romantic fictions on another planet, complete with tame lizards and dragons. Unfortunately McCaffrey turns sensual in some later books. After reading part of Dragon’s Dawn (1988), which we condemned, we stopped reading her. It is quite possible that she has written other good books amongst the many she wrote.
There are some writers of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century which as science fiction authors, should not be ignored. Jules Verne is one of them. It is amazing what this author foresaw about technical inventions which, totally unheard-of in his own time, are today part of our lives. If you did not yet read his 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea then do so. It is only one example of his many quasi-scientific fictions.
The same goes for The Time Machine (1895) by H.G. Wells, which could be considered to be past our time.
Good books for the boys (and daddy as well) are those written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the well known author of Tarzan. His books about Mars and other planets are good and clear fiction.
Let us now consider some other subjects.
In our former article we mentioned that we did not like romances. We started reading The Way of an Eagle (1912) by Ethel M. Dell thinking it was a thriller; but it turned out to be a romance. It was however so well written that we finished it. We are sure you will like it.
Do you perhaps have tendency towards Communism? Then you must read Animal Farm (1941) by George Orwell. After reading it you will be cured for life.
Another book with a lesson is The Mercy of Allah (1922) by Hilaire Belloc. We all know about our beloved writer of Catholic history. If you never read his books before, you had better start doing so. It is refreshing to read the truth about the history of our Faith. Not so well known is that he has written other books beside his histories. The Modern Traveller (1898) and Cautionary Verses (1940) are two examples.
Another book we could consider to be a lesson is A.J. Cronin’s Adventures in Two Worlds (1952). This is an autobiography by a medical doctor. Exceptionally well written.
Before we sign off, a few more reliable authors:
Westerns: Al Cody, Ernest Hayeox and Luke Short are good, clean authors.
Detectives: Victor Gunn and Rex Stout, both nice relaxation.
Once again, several of the above mentioned books are available in large print editions.