Paris Review staffer likes Wendell Berry's work
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Starting Wendell Berry

Today is the birthday of Wendell Berry, the writer, farmer, and activist from Port Royal, Kentucky.

Berry is my favorite author. Only twice in my life have there been authors I loved so much that I wanted to read not only everything they wrote but also everything that had been written by the people they considered to be friends, mentors, and influences.

C.S. Lewis was the first. Lewis, the Inklings, and his favorite medieval writers dominated my reading lists in my late teens and most of my twenties. Wendell Berry is the other. His fiction, poetry, and essays, as well as his published letters and interviews, have profoundly changed my thinking over the last ten years. They’re changing my actions too…slowly. (Side note: What’s been interesting has been to go back to C.S Lewis now and notice in retrospect the parallels between the two writers.)

Which Wendell Berry Book Should I Start With?

Every couple months I get a text from a friend or family member who is at a bookstore right now. They want to read some Wendell Berry but don’t where to start.

Those are fun messages to get. I tailor my answer to the person asking the question, and so the string of texts they get from me is probably longer, more detailed, and more earnest than they expected.

To mark Berry’s birthday, Chris and I put this question to our friends on Facebook and Twitter: If someone asked you which Wendell Berry book they should start with, how would you answer?

Read the whole post by John Pattison at Slow Church.

Check out Getting Started on this site ... and thanks for the link & kind words, John!

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