I don't remember when G.K. Chesterton hit my radar as someone I should be reading.

The first book I read of his was The Man Who Was Thursday. It was a free audiobook, done pretty well, and I think listening really colored how I remember it.

It was amazing. It was fabulous. It was literature in a way I wasn't expecting, even with all the glowing reviews you'll find of G.K. in the Catholic blogosphere.

Then I discovered the American Chesterton Society and their Uncommon Sense podcast (also on iTunes).

That inspired my reading of Orthodoxy last year (and blogging my way through it).

It also inspired me to subscribe to Gilbert magazine, one of only two magazines I can manage to actually read. (I'm just so much more of a book person.)

I've been reading Chesterton in a here-and-there kind of way, getting some essays out of Gilbert and telling myself I'll buckle down and read another book...sometime.

So when I heard about In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton, I was excited. I love essays and I want to read more Chesterton!

The book includes 67 essays, some of which are published for the first time in this collection. The variety of topics covered is diverse and delightful.

There's something astounding about a volume that can contain a playful exposition about chasing your hat (and why it's fun and comical) and a serious discussion of why we need to understand philosophy.

I've heard Chesterton called a prophet, and reading a few of these essays made me understand why. He wrote a century ago, but his writing is relevant, real, and radical to us in the here-and-now.

This was one of my favorite recent reads. It's also a book that you would do well to put by your armchair and pick up every so often. You're sure to be amused and challenged in equal proportion and in ways that will surprise you.

Highly recommended.

Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard