These stories have not been around long enough to truly qualify as “classics,” but we have little doubt that they will continue to impact people for the good in generations to come. We have selected these great works either because they depict the true, good, and beautiful in a way that captures our imaginations and cultivates our love for the true, good, and beautiful; or because they provide a powerful and clarifying analysis of the human condition. Because they capture our imaginations, good novels can be an important force in cultivating our growth as a whole person. Our lives are not transformed when we merely inform our intellects of truth. Our hearts must also be directed to love what is good, and this is accomplished when our imaginations are captured by depictions of goodness and beauty in stories, whether imaginative or true.

Please recognize that these novels are seldom overtly “Christian.” Many of them reflect and contribute to the formation of a Christian worldview, but some are selected simply because they have deeply impacted our culture and help us to understand the society we live in. We try to avoid books that include gratuitous or overly graphic depictions of evil, but any true analysis of the human condition or any realistic account of redemption must reckon with the reality of evil and sin. We also recognize that readers have varying levels of sensitivity, and urge you to exercise discernment as you read.

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Wendell Berry
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