December 23, 2012

12 Day Book Giveaway - Day #5 - Wit and Wisdom

Each day until the end of the year, I'll be giving away a group of books from my library. These are all used but in generally readable condition. Some may contain underlining. I don't necessarily endorse the content in any of these books, but they have all been useful in one way or another.

How to Win

Fill out the form below to enter the drawing. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day today. I'll select one person at random to be the winner and they will receive all of the books listed for the day. If no one wants them they will be donated. The drawing is only open to US residents.

Day #5
These are the first two books I read by Alan Jacobs, happening upon them in the local Half Price Books store. I was immediately hooked by the thought provoking topics and the writing which was able to grab and keep my attention.

A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age by Alan Jacobs
From the inside flap: "In A Visit to Vanity Fair, Alan Jacobs reminds us that "our ordinariness and our finitude do not sanction moral indifference or the refusal to practice, publicly when necessary, moral discernment."
If indeed we were created to "look at this world with a happy eye, but from a sober perspective," as W. H. Auden suggests, then Alan Jacob shows us exactly how to do so. These perceptive moral essays crackle with wit, intelligence, and a wide range of knowledge. Jacobs, a cultural hawkeye, delivers literary finesse in relevant, down-to-earth meditations on "the way we live now."



Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs
From the Back Cover: "Essayist and biographer Alan Jacobs introduces us into the world of original sin, which he describes as not only a profound idea but a necessary one. As G.K. Chesterton explains, “Only with original sin can we at once pity the beggar and distrust the king.” Ever since Augustine, the church has taught the doctrine of original sin, which is the idea that we are not born innocent, but as babes we are corrupt, guilty, and worthy of condemnation. Thus started a debate that has raged at the heart of Western civilization for centuries. Perhaps no Christian doctrine is more controversial; perhaps none is more consequential. For whether or not we believe in original sin, the idea has shaped our most fundamental institutions--our political structures, how we teach and raise our young, and, perhaps most pervasively of all, how we understand ourselves. In Original Sin, Alan Jacobs takes readers on a sweeping tour of the idea of original sin, its origins, its history, its proponents and opponents. And he leaves us better prepared to answer one of the most important questions of all: Are we really, all of us, bad to the bone?"



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