Light reading, sort of
The other book was Wolf Time by Lars Walker, which was recommended here. This is a book that was published by Baen Books, but is now offered by them freely on the web. In fact, there are quite a few Baen titles available in this way, and many others available for a fee. Though I prefer paper books, I'm quite happy reading a book online. (Some years ago I spent several weeks at the university in Innsbruck, and the books that I had brought with me ran out within a few days. This was distressing until I realized how much there was available over the Web. Project Gutenberg, the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, and the Gaslight site provided everything I could want. I could put a solid weekend of reading, compressed, on a single floppy. What delight!)
Anyway, Wolf Time is a remarkable mulligan stew of a book, a wild combination of Lutheran theology, rural Minnesota culture, Viking history, Norse mythology and magic, campus politics, social satire, etc. I tried to describe it to a friend by saying that, if Charles Williams had grown up in Lake Wobegon, he might have written this book. Amid all this wonderful and entertaining stuff is a fairly serious meditation about keeping faith and living the truth in a world that seems to have gone off the rails, together with a rather bleak picture of the ruinous state of institutions that once served that faith and that truth.
Do I recommend it? Yes -- with the warning that my own tastes are known to be a bit peculiar. I am not sure that Wolf Time is a really good book, exactly. Yet for me, it was a stimulating entertainment and also, in an odd way, a kind of spiritual preparation for Lent. Caveat lector; but also, just possibly, tolle lege.