I gave a talk (Great Books for Great Minds) yesterday in Vandalia, IL at the July 5th, 2013 OSMM Retreat and I really enjoyed speaking to some avid readers at the book- signing afterwards. It seems I am not alone in being concerned about the content of today’s literature. If Amazon is able to put out over 1000 books a month and there are numerous other self-publishing sites also putting out a high volume of books every month - then we have to consider what kind of material is flooding the market and if there is any gatekeeping going on at all. I believe in free speech and I am making full use of the self-publishing industry myself …but as a reader and as a mother I believe I have a duty to investigate the books I buy, for every dollar I put down is in fact an investment. But the question is – what am I investing in? Here is a brief rundown of the themes I am finding in current books for young and old alike:
1) I am my own fate-maker – I really don’t need a God for I can call upon an unclaimed power who will give me what I want if I ask often and sincerely enough…
2) Selfishness is good and worthy to be encouraged…I must take care of myself and my interests first.
3) Most adults are stupid…especially parents. They are inadequate and unable to communicate with young minds.
4) Babies are a burden and motherhood is a prison…any woman worth her salt will limit her fertility as much as possible.
5) There are no moral laws, codes or compasses beyond the ones I make up for myself. There is no objective reality…because everyone has their own perspective…
6) God is a nice idea but He is not real…not alive and certainly not involved in the daily affairs of humanity.
7) Family gets in the way of a good time and personal and cultural family history does not matter….history is all about a bunch of dead people who don’t have any power any more.
8) There are no logical consequences for our actions…natural and supernatural reality follow no reasonable rules….you can do good or bad and there is no ultimate consequence…because there is nothing beyond this earthly existence.
Now, in my books, which by the way, have been vetted to some degree – The non-fiction book, The Road Goes Ever On – A Christian Journey Through the Lord of the Rings, has received both an imprimatur from the bishop and been awarded the Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval, while both of the Deliverance Trilogy books, ARAM and Ishtar's Redemption, have been awarded the CWG SOA, there is a distinct difference in my themes from some of those currently on the market.
1) There is real power in God. He does exist and He is involved in the intimate details of our lives.
2) There is a natural and supernatural reality and inherent dangers in praying to unseen powers as if there was an unclaimed power to grasp at. (There is NO unclaimed power in the universe)
3) Selfishness rots us from the inside and is contrary to the hope of Christianity.
4) Our sexuality and fertility are wondrous gifts in which God allows us to become co-creators in His image. They are not to be degraded to mere toys for personal gratification without serious consequences.
5) Babies are gifts and motherhood is a noble calling of the highest order.
6) Family and personal, as well as cultural history, matter and not to be forgotten at your peril. “He who forgets his history…is doomed to repeat it.”
As Pope Frances recently wrote in his encyclical Lumen Fidei (The light of Faith) “The light of faith is able to illuminate all aspects of man’s existence.” In other words. “Who believes, sees.”
We are called to see, and to believe, and to transform the world by God’s will into the wonder He has imagined…We are shaped very much by what we read. What kind of a world are we shaping today?
For more information about akfrailey books see: www.akfrailey.com All 3 books are available through Amazon.