Monday, February 20, 2012

Book review: Common Sense 101- Lessons from G.K. Chesterton

            After months of reading, I am finally finished!  I have been known to finish a whole book (sometimes two) in one day.  My rule is when love a book, really love a book, I get so wrapped up in it, I literally cannot put it down until I finish it.  Every rule has its exceptions though.  

Dale Ahlquist’s Common Sense 101- Lessons from G.K. Chesterton is my exception.  I loved this book.  I really loved this book.  I loved it so much I would pick it up and get so wrapped up in it, that I had to put it down.  I had to put it down so I could process the depth of wisdom, truth, and just plain common sense that infused every page.  I had to put it down so I could ponder Chesterton’s radical observations and his amazingly simple ideas that blew my mind with their complexity.  Sometimes my mind was so twisted with his explanations of the paradoxes and crazy contradictions of truth that I had to put the book down just to sort it all out.  This was not a book that could be read in one day.  This was a book to take my time with, to savor, to relish.  

It takes time to understand the amazing mind that was G.K. Chesterton.  On the surface so much of what he said and believed was absurd.  Yet through his writings and through Ahlquist’s wonderful explanations and commentaries that accompany all of Chesterton’s quotes and passages, he shed so much light on what should be obvious.  

Ahlquist calls himself a Chestertonian and in this book he seeks to convince the rest of the world to join him in reading, understanding, and revering the 300 lb British journalist, who despite his absentmindedness, spontaneity, and overwhelming humility, was truly a genius.   I, for one, am convinced.  

Chesterton makes common sense obvious.  He makes common sense make sense.  He makes the contradictions that seem impossible and that the world passes off as balderdash, so apparent they cannot be denied.  I have heard that reading Chesterton’s original works is a little like traveling through a complex labyrinth without a map or guide.  I have heard his writing rambles and twists and many get left behind long before they truly grasp the depth of the words or truly appreciate the wise messages.  Ahlquist makes Chesterton available and accessible.  Ahlquist makes Chesterton understandable.  Overall, a fabulous read full of wisdom, paradox, and humor- like Chesterton himself. Highly recommended!

You can purchase this book here.  I wrote this review for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.
Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.
I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

1 comment:

  1. Kari,

    I have bookmarked this book for next time I need some good reading. I was tempted just to buy a copy but I have decided to be good and finish the other dozen books I have started but not yet finished! Then I will get a Kindle copy and start reading. It certainly sounds like a valuable book.



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