Speaking of the essential Lutheran library, while I was in my local Christian bookstore today I noticed a handsome new edition of Roland Bainton's classic, Here I Stand, A Life of Martin Luther, courtesy of Hendrickson Publishers, who deserve the acclaim of English-speaking theology lovers everywhere for their affordable re-issues of indispensable classics, including Schaff's History of the Christian Church , The Creeds of Christendom and the Ante and Post-Nicene Fathers series.
This is probably still the best biography of Luther in English for the average reader, who will only rarely be interested in wading through Brecht's three-volume magnum opus - but that's not a bad thing since Bainton eschews speculation (unlike several other quite tendentious biographies of Luther which shall remain nameless here) and sticks to the facts (in the time-honoured, pragmatic American fashion..."just the facts, Ma'am"), which he presents in a lively and readable style.
Sure, there's not much theological analysis of Luther here, but as Bainton wasn't a Lutheran anyway we can probably be grateful for that - and that is available elsewhere in a format easily digestible for the lay-person, for example in Eugene Klug's Lift High The Cross , published by CPH (Australian readers I can direct you to a local stockist of this volume if required).
This edition is cloth-bound with a dust jacket and illustrated with reproductions of many period woodcuts, and thus represents quite good value at AUS$25.95. If you don't have a copy, now's the time to get one; for many years now Bainton's 1950 classic has only been available in a cheap paperback edition, so it's good to see it get the publishing treatment it still deserves.
Oh, yes, as you'll notice from the pic, there's a goodly amount of sangria on the dustjacket...natch.
(Click on the post title to be taken to the local Australian stockist of the Bainton book.)