Fredrick Buechner takes up more shelf space in our home than any other author. And when you love and immerse yourself in the original works of any author, why would you pick up a book that is about that author and his or her writing?
Jeffrey Munroe’s recent book Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian and Preacher is one very good reason.
In a foreword, artist and author Makoto Fujimuro shares how Buechner’s Longing for Home gave him the “map” that would help to navigate his way through the lost feelings he had post 9/11. Like Fujimoro, Buechner helped Munroe to make sense of a life-changing event early in his adult life. Munroe self-confesses to be one of those people who stumbled across Buechner’s’ writings and then just could not get enough of his storytelling, insights, wisdom, and comfort. Grouping them by genre, Munroe reflects on ten of Buechner’s works, weaving his own life story and responses in each chapter. Each chapter is an invitation to read the book on which the reflections are formed.
Munroe does lament the fact that Buechner’s works have never reached the place of widespread recognition they deserved: too secular for the Christian book store and too Christian for the secular outlets. It is as if the good news shared through Buechner’s work truly is passed on by word of mouth.
And so this book about Buechner is recommended as a perfect gift for anyone who was and is touched by Buechner’s writing. It is sure to invite a first read or re-reading of any of the great works by Fredrick Buechner. (IVP)