Who's In Your Six?

A writer is careful what they read, because what they read is what they will know, and what they know is what they will write. - Annie Dillard

We are not what we eat, we are what we read. - Robert Benson

I've done something randomly that I am now going to pursue more carefully. I'm going to try and read everything a particular author has written. If there's a chance we are what we read, then this is what I want to be. My goal right now is to read through the works of six writers.

Robert Benson - Robert writes books that are small, but intensely deep. He knows and lives the rhythms of prayer.
Rick Bass - Bass first wooed me with his book Winter; he is a man who truly loves the land and all the creatures that walk upon it. And he grew up in Texas.
Robert Capon - An Episcopal priest who consistently knocks me over with words regarding the grace of God. He espouses a sacramental theology. And so do I.
Kent Haruf - His novels Plainsong and Eventide are two of my most prized books. He writes about small towns and trouble and redemption.
Annie Dillard - I first read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek over fifteen years ago. I realize she's the only female in the list, but if you're going to invite a lady, for pete's sake invite Annie.
Wallace Stegner - Someone called him a "secular saint." I call him probably the best writer I know. Angle of Repose sat on a shelf in my parent's home as a decorative, lightblue hardback, alongside other lightblue hardbacks. One day it said, "Take, eat." And I did. Lord, what a meal. I never gave it back to my mom and if she wants it, she'll have to pry my cold, dead fingers from it.

There they are, my six. They have already nourished me in many and varied ways, but I now want to be intentional about my diet. How about you?


  1. Richard Rohr

    Eugene Peterson

    Frederick Buechner

    Barbara Brown Taylor

    Brian McLaren

    John Blase

  2. Hi John...
    I was on a reading kick right after Tom Greer died. He always wanted to know what we were reading. Will have to give my intentional reading some more thought. Perhaps delving into particular authors or using one or two authors and branching off into non fiction to delve deeper into the subject matter... Something librarians call mapping.