At a time when so much spiritual writing is earnest, edifying and all-too-purposeful, these books by Brian Doyle will buttonhole and charm you. The editor of Portland magazine and author of terrific essays collected recently in Leaping, Doyle is a garrulous companion. Reading one word-soaked chapter after another is like going on a pub crawl.
“We are all storytellers, after all,” he writes. “That, and the headlong pursuit of love, which is the holiest thing of all, and the greatest gift, and the most eloquent proof of God, is what makes us human beings, capable of greatness.” Parse that sentence—to be human is to be capable of greatness—and you have Brian Doyle.