On My Shelf: Life and Books with Rod Dreher

Matt Smethurst | January 14, 2016

On My Shelf is a series that helps you get to know various writers through a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. We aim to interview a diverse array of people, sometimes from various faith backgrounds, on their own terms. 
I corresponded with Rod Dreher—senior editor of The American Conservative and author of The Little Way of Ruthie Leming (2014) [interview] and How Dante Can Save Your Life (2015) [review]—about what’s on his nightstand, books he re-reads, biographies that have shaped him, and more.

What’s on your nightstand right now? 

I’m a highly undisciplined reader who always has a few books going at the same time. Right now, I’m reading Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov) and Tolstoy (selected short stories), both in the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation. I’m also reading a terrific book by the theologian Hans Boersma, Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry, which is about the loss of metaphysical realism and the need for us postmoderns to recover it. It’s part of my preparation for my next book, which is going to be about what I call the Benedict Option—that is, a way for small “o” orthodox Christians to stay faithful in the post-Christian era. And I’m also…

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