Probably Chesterton’s most popular book of essays, back in print at last! Reflections on life that are hilarious, touching, and sometimes even terrifying. Trifles? No. Chesterton goes deep even when he seems to have a light touch. Laugh at “What I Found in My Pocket” and “On Lying in Bed”, meditate on “A Piece of Chalk” and warm up to “The Dragon’s Grandmother” and shiver at “The Diabolist.”
The thirty-nine short essays that make up Chesterton’s delightful book are the result of “sitting still and letting marvels and adventures settle on him like flies.” Actually, the author does move around quite a bit—to Germany, France, and on foot in England when he tires of waiting for a train. Everywhere he goes, Chesterton looks at ordinary things and asks us to see how extraordinary they are: the contents of his pockets, the items in a railway station, pedestrians in the street. What appear to be trifles are actually tremendous, and he uses them as a springboard to expound on Christianity, the nuclear family, democracy, and the like with supreme clarity and wit.
The essays gathered here are a testament to G.K. Chesterton’s faith—not his faith in religion or a higher power, but in the ability to discover something wonderful in the objects, the experiences, and the people that cross our paths every single day. With his unique brand of humor and insight, he demonstrates how the commonplace adds enormous value to the landscape of daily life. Full of both good sense and nonsense, Chesterton’s commentaries—first published nearly a century ago—remain fresh today.