From the North Wind Library: More Than Words


Like beauty, books are meant to be shared. The library at North Wind Manor has been created as a place for books to be shared. With sections such as “Ghost Stories” and “Literary studies,” “Rabbit Room Authors” and “Children’s Books,” “Philosophy” and “Theology,” and entire shelves devoted to Lewis and Tolkien, this is no ordinary library. We thought it would be fun to feature some of the books housed at the library, while also welcoming those in the area to stop by and borrow a book.

To kick off this series of posts, today we’re featuring More Than Words: Contemporary Writers on the Works That Shaped Them, a series of essays compiled by Philip Yancey that examines the bookshelves of twenty-one authors. In one chapter of the book, Walter Wangerin Jr. exactly captures the power of a story, and in doing so encapsulates the purpose of the entire book:

This is how the tales of Hans Christian Andersen so mightily influenced me. They were my world for a while. They named and shaped the universe in which I dwelt, and something of that shape has remained forever: not the fantasy but the faith that created the fantasy continues even now to explain existence. By his fairy tales Hans Andersen welcomed me to his bosom, and I delivered myself for safekeeping unto him. Those things which were horrible and senseless in my external world were, in Andersen’s world, horrible still; but his stories gave them a sense (often a spiritual sense) which I could grasp, by which the horror might be mastered, if not by me then by someone, by goodness, by God.” –Walter Wangerin, Jr., “Shaping the Child’s Universe,” More Than Words, pg 133

In More Than Words, contemporary authors such as Eugene H. Peterson and Robert Siegel discuss the writers who have shaped their stories. From Luci Shaw to Shakespeare, tributes are raised in such a way that will leave the reader with a long list of books to read, of worlds to explore, and of libraries to make home. If you find yourself at North Wind Manor, you are invited to check out More than Words or any other book on the shelves, enter a world, let goodness and God master the horrors, and be shaped.

Sarah Bramblett has a PhD in English Rhetoric and Composition and resides in Kennesaw, Georgia with her husband Lane and daughter Shiloh (a "joy tornado"). Sarah was an intern for the Rabbit Room while in undergrad and still believes in the life-giving power of Story; she loves passing on that power to college students who don’t think they can write.


  1. Lisa

    Sounds like a great book! I love books like these that give some insights into other writers and send me scurrying to add to my own groaning bookshelf. Now for the time to read them all…..

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