Tuesday, November 30, 2004


"Religious books now represent 11 percent of trade sales, or $1.9 billion out of a $13.7 billion market, according to Book Industry Trends, an annual report."*

I think the "Religious" genre label is amusing. Like the rest of the genres are written for/by/about heathens, right? Spiritual or inspirational would be more appropriate, not to mention more accurate.

Deliver Us From Evil by Dr. Tom Dooley (1927-1961)was one of the first non-fiction "religious books" I read as a kid (This is not a book you should let an eight-year-old read, btw.) My mother has always believed that Dr. Dooley, who had died the same year I was born, should be made a saint, and still prays to him. Likewise StarDoc was influenced by my early exposure to Tom Dooley's experiences as a jungle doctor.

People accuse Tom Dooley of starting the Vietnam War, influencing Kennedy to initiate the Peace Corp and, that dreaded of all things, being a gay man. The latter is also the reason he will never be made a saint. Yet ultimately all I see Tom guilty of was devoting his brief life to giving medical treatment to those who badly needed it. That qualifies him as a saint for me.

*from this NY Times article, registration may be required to view

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.