The Choice Called Atheism by Orlo Strunk, Jr.
It’s a bad idea to read books of philosophy by writers whose names you cannot pronounce without giggling. If they are 36-year-old books with the opposite viewpoint from what you hold, this is even more contra-indicated.
That said, this was not a terribly bad book. An attempt to formulate a Christian response to Atheism that doesn’t involve wooden stakes and fires, it gets points for meaning well even if he starts by getting rid of the only definition of “Atheist” that applies to all atheists.
The Mezentian Gate by E. R. Eddison.
One of the great sadnesses of life will always be that E.R. Eddison died before he could complete this, the last book of a fantasy trilogy that had great influence on many of the seminal authors of fantasy in the latter half of this century. Fortunately, he left voluminous notes and indicated to his brother that he wanted the notes published in the book, to show what would have happened had he been granted the time. And, fortunately, he had already written the ending in full.
I found this to be a slow read, because Eddison writes many important descriptions and description is something I usually blip over. Also, he writes so very forsoothly; it’s wonderful to read but slow going is best.
Consider this opening paragraph: “Pertiscus Parry dwelt in the great moated house beside Thundermere in Latterdale. Mynius Parry, his twin brother, was Lord of Laimak. Sidonius Parry, the youngest of them, dwelt at Upmire under the Forn.” Doesn’t that make you wanna go on?
Unfortunately, I don’t know how easy these are to find. I had to search used bookstores, and was fortunate to find in good condition (over the course of a few years) 1970s-ish editions of the Del Rey paperbacks of all three books of the Trilogy plus their pre-courser, The Worm Ouroborous. I don’t even know if they’re still in print!
Anway, highly recommended, if you like that sort of thing.