Health Magazine

Tables of Books

By Melissa Boles @_mboles

I finished Preston Yancey’s Tables in the Wilderness around 1:00AM this morning.  I remember setting the book down next to my bed, switching off my bedside table lamp, and laying in the dark for a while.  I couldn’t sleep.  I wanted to read every book in my house.  I wanted to read every book Preston listed in the back of his book.

After a while, I opened my computer and began looking for Great Books-type programs in the area.  I found two different “Classics” programs, but couldn’t determine whether or not they were what I was looking for.  Or even if I knew what I was looking for.

Tables in the Wilderness is about infinitely more than books.  It’s about God and growth and change.  It’s about figuring out who you are and who God is.  And all of that is something I’m incredibly excited to continue to explore.  I feel like Preston’s book is the beginning of a beautiful journey for me.

But more than anything, what stuck with me was the books.  The Great Books.  The Classics.  What you can find in books.  What you can discover from writers like Plato, Aristotle, Dante, Homer, Plutarch.  Preston’s book made me want to teach others how to understand the classics.

‘Course, I’d have to understand the classics first.

There is a film, a TV film, called The Librarian, that I have loved for a long time.  It’s about a young man who is a lifelong scholar, and who is chosen to be The Librarian – the keeper and protector of all information.  I honestly believe that this is my dream job.  To be The Librarian.

Tables in the Wilderness reminded me of this.  It reminded me that I am called to swim in books.  And it reminded me that religion and God hold an important place in my heart, even if I don’t know what that place looks like yet.

tables in the wilderness

Preston Yancey’s book is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a long while.  And if I could say anything to Preston, it would be thank you.  Thank you for reminding me where my love lies.  Thank you for reminding me why I love books.  Thank you for your honesty, and your vulnerability, and your exquisite writing.  And thank you, also, for your Suggested Reading list at the back of the book.  I can’t wait to read them all.

Pick up a copy of Preston’s book at any Barnes & Noble or online on or  To find out more about Tables in the Wilderness, visit Preston’s website.

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