I'm interested in hearing what Quaker books you're reading and really enjoying right now and why?

Three I've recently ploughed through and have loved:
a) Catholic Quakerism - Benson
b) George Fox - Thomas Hodgkin
c) Through Flaming Sword - Arthur Roberts

I'm really impressed with all three of these books for different reasons. The Hodgkin book is particularly well written and insightful, I've never read any of his stuff before. Steve Angell told me about him this summer and suggested I check him out. I'm glad I have.

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I have had such mixed feelings about "No Shame, No Fear" -- I am very interested in knowing your reaction when you finish it. As a story it's a good read, and as another Friend pointed out to me, it is a great first day school discussion starter on the question: why were early Friends so willing to suffer persecution for their faith?

But the characters it depicts, the things they say and believe, are much more like modern liberal Friends than like early Friends. -- Paul Buckley wrote a Friends Journal article a few years ago about where we got the apocryphal story of George Fox telling William Penn to "wear thy sword as long as thou canst." Buckley said (I'm paraphrasing) that we do the original Friends a disservice when we try to make them be more like ourselves. I've come to suspect we do ourselves and God a disservice as well. I'm afraid we often act as if putting our viewpoints into the mouths of early Friends (or using the words of early Friends out of context) will give authority to our version of Quakerism, rather than having the "authority" be the Spirit we encounter in our own response to the challenge, "What canst thou say?"

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