What’s read is read. Here’s what’s read:
14. The Pilgrim’s Progress / Bunyan – Classic.
13. Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn / Tim Challies – for every man.
12. Raising a Modern-Day Joseph: A Timeless Strategy for Growing Great Kids / Larry Fowler – mostly recommended
11. Chaplain Turner’s War / Moni Basu – Story of my friend.
10. Daniel Webster: Defender of the Union / Robert A. Allen – Wish we remembered DW better.
9. Evanjellyfish / Douglas Wilson – colorful pop-church fiction with a lick of sacchariney sarcasm
8. From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology / John Dyer – Tech and Gospel smashed together.
7. The Myth of the Garage / Chip Heath – Good collection of business essays outside the box.
6. Unbroken: A World War II Book of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption / Laura Hildenbrand – Amazing story.
5. The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving / Randy Alcorn – Pilgrims travel light.
4. Hannah Coulter – Wendell Berry – There is something to be said for agrarian and community-close living, close to the soil, near to God. This book, in part, says it…and well. (Audiobook)
3. Les Miserables / Victor Hugo – Not exactly what I was expecting…it was rich in ancillary history which can bog a body down…though some was fascinating. You know Les Mis because of the play…which bears only a little resemblance to the book. I won’t enjoy the music/play nearly as much anymore. (Kindle)
2. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch / Jean Lee Latham – Fantastic early-American non-fiction for younger readers. You should know, Nathaniel Bowditch!
1. Raising a Modern Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood / Robert Lewis – Great idea book. Emphasizes ceremony and milestones.
20. The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant / Terry Felber – Not sure I remember why I bought this book. Catholic prosperity Gospel. Not entirely worthless but not a solid read at all.
19. Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? / R.J. Maybury – Helpful read. Good primer.
18. Biblical Economics: A Commonsense Guide to Our Daily Bread / R.C. Sproul – Great read. Very helpful presentation and material; basic for beginniers (me). Highly recommended.
17. Out of the Depths: A Survivor’s Story of the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis / David Harrell – Sobering account of a hidden story–the greatest sea disaster in American military history. Riveting first-hand account. (Kindle)
16. The Red Badge of Courage / Stephen Crane – All the trappings of an instant classic. (Kindle)
15. The Helmsman / Kenneth S. Coley – I have a Master’s in Ed. Admin. and found this to be a good refresher course.
14. Johnny Tremain / Esther Forbes – Fantastic and compelling story. How was I never exposed to this book before? I read this out loud to a classroom of kids and I was as smitten by it as they were.
13. Monster in the Hallows / Andrew Peterson – The third book in the four book series. We took our sweet time reading this, because we loved it so much. This series is so beautifully written with such endearing characters, we ache for the next book to be written. We bleed Annieran blood.
12. Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN / James Andrew Miller – It’s hard to tell on Kindle that a book is really long before you buy it, but this was a doozy. Interesting but not real compelling. Sports nuts will like it, after that you shouldn’t feel too drawn to read it. The part that is interesting is the big overarching story of how a tiny little bug of a station became so global and dominant. (Kindle)
11. True to the Old Flag / G.A. Henty – Embarrassed to say this was my first Henty book. It was also my first read of a book sympathetic to the British during the American Revolution. I’m looking forward to learning more scope of history through his many other works. (Kindle)
10. The Man Who Was Thursday / G.K. Chesterton – My first GKC book was also the first book I’ve ever read on a Kindle. Both were more fun than I was expecting.
9. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years / Donald Miller – My first DM book was a good experience. He and Nate Wilson have a very similar style, though I have some questions for him about his orthodoxy. Really enjoyed the overall theme of seeing and understanding life itself as a story.
8. Ordering Your Private World / Gordon MacDonald – “The man of action has the present, but the thinker commands the future from his study,” O.W. Holmes. Very helpful book attempting to help order the private part of life.
7. 100 Cupboards / N.D. Wilson – One of our world’s finest wordsmiths. Very good story. I’ve heard even more about the next two books in the series.
6. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief / Rick Riordan (audio book) – Great concept. Poor execution. I had been hopeful.
5. The Paidea of God: And Other Essays on Education / Douglas Wilson – Slurp, slurp, slurp. Don’t know what I was eating, but it sure tasted good.
4. The Search for God and Guiness: The Biography of the Beer That Changed the World / Stephen Mansfield — Chock full of history, marketing, and noble deeds…and vitamins?
3. The Fiddler’s Green / A.S. Peterson – Really good story. Very good writing. I’ve been shocked to have been reading so much fiction lately, and can easily justify it by the quality of the writing and the breadth these books are bringing to my soul. Very compelling.
1. The Innkeeper / John Piper – A great pull into the backdrop of the nativity. Well done as normal.
31. The Fiddler’s Gun / A.S. Peterson – Whoa! Two fiction works in a row?! An instant classic from Rabbit Room Press. A gripping tale just waiting for a happy resolve. Even so come quickly Book Two. (Not for kids.)
30. Island of the World / Michael O’Brien – I feel that if I gave the book only a 4 out of 5 star review on Amazon, I would be setting my life in motion to be perpetually running from the critical review equivalent of the Ustashe. This is book is very highly regarded by many. You can see here that I read very little fiction (the last fiction for adults was August 2007, according to this list). It’s certainly the first 850 page, Croatian-based, theologically and philosophically dense, poeticly-charged war novel I’ve ever read.
29. The Wordy Shipmates / Sarah Vowell – Vowell is anomaly. She despises the Puritans for so many things, yet is truly endeared by so many others. She cleaves and pushes so…I don’t know, weirdly. The book centers around 1630 and following Boston especially John Winthrop, whose City on a Hill sermon (at least the communitariansm) was Vowell’s hope and light during 9/11/01. Roger Williams, John Cotton, and Anne Hutchinson are all fully-featured characters, as well. I learned a lot in this book about the time period that’s already one of my favorites (I do get bogged down in some of the Indian plots/subplots). Vowell’s caustic and sarcastic tone are actually well-received on me, because I appreciated hearing the facts from a different slant; and the book is very factual and not just a bunch of left-leaningness.
28. What Would Lincoln Do? Lincoln’s Most Inspired Solutions to Challenging Problems and Difficult Situations / David Acord – This was a gift from my brother-in-law and was a good nightstand book with short chapters. As I’ve learned before and was reinforced here, Linc was the master of extending patience to the one in a temper, soft words for bitter, even an uncommon and sometimes jaw-dropping grace for the one who was an internal enemy. Add to that the choice economy of words as found here. This is mostly a how-to manual for training your responses and would be good medicine for those sanguine and cholerics among us [channeling my inner Tim Lahaye].
27. Fatherhood: What It is and What It’s For / Tony Payne – Bought this at T4G and just got to it. Payne is a lot of fun and the book was good on some fundamental and crucial parts.
26. Truman / David McCullough – (Audiobook version) – Read it because it was by McCullough, read by McCullough, available from the library and someone I knew almost nothing about. The man who agreed to drop the first atomic bomb AND fired General Douglas MacArthur (I would have, too) was usually just an average, quiet New Deal kind of guy (but an above-average pianist).
25. The Prodigal God / Tim Keller – “If you seek to control God through your obedience, then all your morality is just a way to use God to make him give you the things in life you really want.” The whole “big brother” stuff really ripped me apart.
24. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal / David McCullough – (Audiobook version) – I knew nothing about that.
23. North! or Be Eaten / Andrew Peterson – Book two of the Wingfeather Saga. Spread the word; it’s a classic-in-waiting.
22. Perspectives on Your Child’s Education: 4 Views / Timothy Paul Jones – Homeschool, private-open, private-closed or homeschool? This book gracious examines and critiques each.
21. The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education / Leigh Bortins – Public, private or homeschool, if you own kids, you should read what they ought to be learning.
20. Bringing Up Girls: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Bringing Up the Next Generation / James Dobson – I was encouraged and helped, but the review is necessarily harsh. My review.
19. Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer / James Swanson – We listened to this full audio book in the van and finished it on our way to MI a few days ago. I had no idea it ended like that.
16. Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will or How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc. / Kevin DeYoung – Fantastic, summary book for those seeking God’s direction. My review.
14. Sergeant York and the Great War / Skeyhill/Wheeler – The bulk of this book is York’s diary. It’s rough reading as he was very, very backwoods. The editors left it that way, and I’m glad they did. But the editors/wr didn’t really do a good job with the rest of the book; it’s a little hokey and serious errors are throughout. But…the story is epic! York was a one-man army and did some amazing and heroic things. York is a outspoken testament to the goodness and greatness of God, too. I watched the 1941 movie about York a few weeks ago, and found it coincided beautifully with the book (except for some minor issues). Must read.
13. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto / Michael Pollan – Don’t read it. Don’t. It’s not the evolutionary tripe, the scientific lingo or the presumptuous airs that will put you off though. It”s the fact that after reading it you can’t love your Western diet like you do now. This book will ruin you. (Looking forward to more of his, with that painful kind of “looking forward”).
12. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe: A Story for Children / C.S. Lewis – Reread, but good as always. This is a great “celebration of the first edition” edition. Read to first grade class.
10 Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, and their diverse tribe of counter-culteral conservatives plan to save America (or at least the Republican Party) / Rod Dreher – This is what happens when you read books your friends recommend [two of them in this case]. Crunchy Cons is the fleshing out of so many of my own philosophical and idealistic dogmas in a coherent and concise space. At the same time it presented new challenges and considerations. Dreher is openly and extravagantly religious (we all are) and how our religious affects everything. I wish I owned this; I would have marked it to pieces.
8. Small Things, Big Things: Inspiring Stories of Everyday Grace / Michael Milton – Not exactly what I was expecting. My review.
5. Even If I Have to Walk There / Holley Halford Peters – This is a self-published history (from the viewpoint of one alumnus) of the founding and first years of Westminster Academy, a classical and Christian school in Memphis, TN.
4. Rocket Boys / Homer H. Hickam – Audio. Only two things mattered in 1950s Coalwood, WV: mining and football. This is the story of a group of boys who hit the reset button on the communities eyes, and the world was helped because of it. Very compelling true story.
3. The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great / Benjamin Merkle – Very interesting and engaging read. My first foray into medieval biography was a good one. My review.
2. Paul Revere: Boston Patriot / Augusta Stevenson – Read to my 1st grade class.
1. A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love / Milton Vincent – Probably the most important book I’ve ever read. Needs dozens of rereadings to internalize and make new. Need to wear this book out.
12. Peace Like A River / Leif Enger – We listened to the unabridged audiobook version on our trip to and home from Michigan. Unlike anything we had ever encountered. It was a stirring and beautifully written tale. Read the overwhelming reviews on the attached link.
11. Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt / Jean Fritz – (Reread)
10. The Christmas Sweater / Glenn Beck – This book has been the rave. Didn’t love it because of the muddled Gospel. It’s basically a story of changing your life by changing your mind. I do love how the story is crafted and how personal it is so GB. Enjoyed the afterword. This would be pretty compelling to give to unbelievers, but I couldn’t because, while it points to something higher and better than trusting yourself, it does so very vaguely.
9. The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection / Robert Farrar Capon – This has been on my nightstand since I got it for Christmas last year. It is unlike anything that is written today, sort of a theology and reflection on food. Very interesting and lots of tasty bites.
7. Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World / N.D. Wilson – Reread. Yes, it was that good.
April – July 2009
7. Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World / N.D. Wilson – One of my favorite books ever, favorite themes ever. Completely unlike anything you’ve ever read before. Hang on.
6. On the Banks of Plum Creek / Laura Ingalls Wilder – We still enjoy the series.
5. Safely Home / Randy Alcorn – Wake-up call.
4. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln / Doris Kearns Goodwin – Humbling. Stirring. Amazing. Where did that man get such an amazing dose of fortitude, clarity and magnanimity? Dazzled.
3. For a Glory and Covering: Practical Theology of Marriage / Douglas Wilson – Wish I hadn’t read it. Now I need to change.
2. Farmer Boy / Laura Ingalls Wilder – What a great story that really takes you back 130 years. We loved it.
1. Little House on the Prairie / Laura Ingalls Wilder – Reread (25 years ago). Read this to the boys. Still fascinated.
24. War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles / Paul David Tripp – Good.
23. Little House in the Big Woods / Laura Ingalls Wilder – Reread (25 years ago). I read this to my boys, and we are fascinated by life in primitive 1800s wild America (Wisconsin). Still good.
22. Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate / Jerry Bridges – Whoa! Piercing, pinching, uncomfortable words. Needful and important.
21. Apostle of Liberty: The World-Changing Leadership of George Washington / Stephen McDowell – Very good book that really opened my eyes to the heroic and virtuous nature of Washinton’s life. Many questions were answered about problem spots about which GW’s critics rail. “First in the hearts of his countrymen.”
20. George Mueller: He Dared to Trust God for the Needs of Countless Orphans / Faith Coxe Bailey – Reread. I read this to the boys over the last two weeks. The most significant biographical account of true faith I’ve ever read. Let’s go build a school!
19. Each for the Other: Marriage As It’s Meant to Be / Bryan Chapell – Very good. Cuts to the quick.
18. Young, Restless Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists / Collin Hansen – Good overview of the coming re-reformation.
17. Never Get Sick on the First of July (unpublished) / Larry J. Miller, M.D. – Reread. This was written by my wife’s second cousin. A stellar compilation of anecdotes from his unusual years of medical school, residency and early work in emergency medicine. A super-enjoyable read.
16. A Heart Promptly Offered: The Revolutionary Leadership of John Calvin / David Hall – My first real introduction to Calvin, besides all the naughty names. Book was less story (biographical), than it was theological (categorizing his mind on the matters). The weightiest of the books in this series, I presume.
15. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name / Sally Lloyd-Jones – I cannot recommend this book highly enough, from two year old to seminarian. Stellar Christianity encapsulated. Every Christian home must have one.
14. A Divine Light: The Spiritual Leadership of Jonathan Edwards / David Vaughan – Thankful for Edwards.
13. Dare to Lead: Proven Principles of Effective Leadership / Byrd Baggett – Oops. I judged a book by it’s cover. Not a total loss, but I advise you away from this book. 45 minutes I could have used otherwise.
12. Luther and His Katie: The Influence of Luther’s Wife on His Ministry / Dolina MacCuish – Presented the warm joy in husbandry and fatherhood of this stellar man.
11. Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, A Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt – David McCullough (Audiobook, Abridged) – Good read, but expect the book to start winding down right as Teddy starts taking public offices…at least the audiobook version.
10. Forgotten Founding Father: The Heroic Legacy of George Whitefield / Steven Mansfield – I had forgotten about him being a founding father of America. Now I see it. I love biographies.
9. Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God / Joshua Harris – I thought this wasn’t a needful book for me…for a few pages. Compelling truth. Needful.
8. FairTax: The Truth / Neal Boortz – Enormous repercussions. Let’s get America back! Stellar and winsome idea.
7. What is a Healthy Church / Mark Dever – This book was gifted to me and really helped me to understand some important matters.
6. The God-Centered Life: Insights from Jonathan Edwards for Today / Josh Moody – Very pleased that the author did what he said he wanted to do with the book. Very helpful to me.
5. John Adams / David McCullough (Audiobook, Abridged) – McCullough does not disappoint. Enjoyable and insightful.
4. The Case for Classical Christian Education / Douglas Wilson – Reread. Still as important; much more real.
3. The Last Battle / C.S. Lewis – “Further up and further in.” May I never put this series down.
2. Real Men: Ten Courageous Americans to Know and Admire / R. Cort Kirkwood – Stellar idea. Good content. Poor style.
1. Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without / Tom Rath – This book was sitting around the place I was sitting around today. It was an interesting compilation of studies that tried to demonstrate how important real friendships are to productivity and satisfaction in the workplaces. I noted many biblical principles being uncovered. Ponderous.
32. The Generosity Factor: Discover the Joy of Giving Your Time, Talent, and Treasure / Ken Blanchard and Truett Cathy – Helpful again.
31. Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People / S. Truett Cathy – A welcome and helpful book. I couldn’t wait to read this and found it very simple but important. I’ve only been to Chick-fil-A once or twice but am so pleased to be introduced to this wonderful man and organization. Perfect timing.
30. Managing the Nonprofit Organization: Principles and Practices / Peter Drucker – This book stretched me some and made me think about some essential cogs in the workings. Helpful.
29. Logos School Development Basics / Ed Van Nuland – Essential for me.
28. Putting Feet on the Trivium: A Handbook for Administrator’s of Classical Christian Schools / Tom Garfield – You don’t give a rip, but this book was immensely helpful to me and goes on the 4′ bookshelf for ready reference. So many things that seem like starting from scratch don’t have to be. Indispensable.
27. The Silver Chair / C.S. Lewis – Brilliant and breathtaking.
26. God Gave Wine: What the Bible Says About Alcohol / Kenneth Gentry – Hot potato!
25. Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt / Jean Fritz – A good light reader giving a simple overview of this President about whom I knew little. He was a stellar example of bravery, industry, fortitude and gumption. I look forward to my boys learning more of him. Fun.
24. Jonathan Edwards: A Life / George Marsden – It was a profitable two months in these 505 pages. A substantive biography that offers a good amount of setting and mindset to the doings of this man. This biography offered me the opportunity to learn about the man beside the narrow bit I knew of JE as the preacher of the Sinners sermon. It was weighty as it dealt with the heavy issues of a heavy man; it was personal as it gave me a better understanding of his relationships; it was useful as it showed me the effectiveness of a man with whom I share some similar personality quirks. Magisterial.
23. Your Reactions Are Showing / J. Allan Petersen – It’s not enough to do right; we should also respond right. We know who we are best by the way that we deal with the sudden moments and pressure moments of life. What is inside will spill out. Telling.
22. Tyranny of the Urgent / Charles E. Hummel – Great booklet, much needed…don’t have time to explain it…work to do. Needed.
21. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader / C.S. Lewis – Wow!
20. Your Home: A Place of Grace / Susan Hunt — Well done book mostly discussing the important and overriding doctrines of the home.
19. A Family Well-Ordered / Cotton Mather — Originally printed in 1699, this is a fearsome reminder of our duties as parents (part one), the duties of children (part two) and a very small section of great import on the education of children. The Puritans know how to get your attention. Fearsome.
18. Point Man: How a Man Can Lead His Family / Steve Farrar — I didn’t love his style (would love more God-centeredness), but the content is really important and some issues are rarely dealt with elsewhere (including an excellent treatment of talking to your children about sex). Patriarchal.
17. The Brethren / John Gresham — Makes me want to read more novels. Suspenstasticul.
16. Worldly Saints / Leland Ryken — I was born in the wrong era, or at least I thought so after the first fifty pages made me long to be a part of that movement. Even so, at the end, I sigh…”oh, to have been a puritan.” Includes a good treatment of how they were wrong. The book left me wondering how to incorporate the puritan mindset into 2007. One of the most important books on my shelf. Gold.
15. Creating Classrooms Where Teachers Love to Teach: And Students Love to Learn / Bob Sorenson — I wish I were better able to tell the good from the bad here. There are some good interaction tips for kids, but some of the motivations aren’t rooted in biblical notions. I see some behaviorism in the philosophies, but can be read discerningly. Kinda good I sorta guess.
14. Hints for Parents / Gardiner Spring — This little book is a reprint of advice from Pastor Spring published originally in the 1830s. It is right on and as applicable as ever. The comments by Tripp are worth the price alone and the excellent little admonition to formally catechize (last chapter by Archibald Alexander 1837) is a well-needed argument. Basic but helpful.
13. Sketches of Home / Suzanne Clark — A beautiful collection.
12. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything / Levitt and Dubner – A collection of unique perspectives on a wide variety of theories backed by lots and lots of numbers. Interesting.
11. For Kirk and Covenant: The Stalwart Courage of John Knox / Wilson – My first introduction to this early church hero. Unique and pleasing organization of the biography. Heroic.
10. Prince Caspian / Lewis – Gooder and gooder.
9. Wisdom and Eloquence / Littlejohn and Evans – An intriguing book asking me to resettle some ideas I’ve come to hold dear. The fact that I would have loved some more pragmatic bits from this book speaks volume as to why I needed this book and why it’s important to be preparing my sons and students for a life of Wisdom and Eloquence (the ends of learning). Startlingly-important.
8. A Son of Old Ironsides (1931) / John Stuart Barrows – I don’t know when the last time I read historical fiction was, but I guess there probably wasn’t much fiction in here. This is a great book that summarizes the exciting escapades and adventures of the great American ship U.S.S. Consititution. The story is set mildly around the life of a young sailor. Lots of technical nautical and shipping terms were the only parts that made it feel like wading. It’s good to read books that are not new and shiny but frayed and stained so as to combat our chronological snobbery. Fun.
February – May 2007
7. The Abolition of Man / C.S. Lewis – So, yes, I finally got around to this book, and, uh, I guess I’m going to need to read it again…not because I wasn’t trying, but I really don’t know what he was trying to say, yet. Conundrum-inducing.
Wow. Life has been bogging me down. I haven’t been faithful to sitting down and plowing through anything except the four books (or at least these are the four that I’ve read completely) listed below over these several months…
6. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century / Thomas Friedman – I’ve never read a book of this genre before: economics, history, technology, politics all rolled into one. There were points that were a bit tedious to me but generally an excellent read and well worth my attention. I believe the world is flat, and I am wondering how Christians can take advantage of it. If you can find a decent review [because this won’t be it] and are inspired to buy this book, make sure you buy the revised and expanded edition (it was updated a year after it was published).
5. The Horse and His Boy / C.S. Lewis – Contains some of the most important writing Lewis ever wrote. This link is to the actual version of the series that we read from. It has decent illustrations.
4. William Bradford: Plymouth’s Faithful Pilgrim / Gary Schmidt – A reread. The story of one of my heroes.
3. 1776 / David McCullough – A reread. Excellent history of the American Revolution. It really reinforced to me the events and the geography of the early part of the war.
2. Cure for the Common Life / Max Lucado — Lucado isn’t the deepest writer on the block, but I am drawn to his analogies and storytelling gifts — Jesus told stories to teach truth too. While I am always wary of fluff when I read him, I was really pleased with this book. We have a need to use the gifts God gave us, to know our propensities, to use them for His glory. At the same time, I was glad he exhorted his readers in the last chapter to, “Every day do something you don’t want to do.” Revel in His gifts for you. Encouraging.
1. Financial Peace: Revisited / Dave Ramsey — There are different reasons for being popular. I think Ramsey is popular because he has a program that will work, and he packages it so neatly. If you will only read one of his books, read the Total Money Makeover.
23. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe / C.S. Lewis — Heavy heapings of goodness.
22. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War / Nathaniel Philbrick — I read very few bestsellers, but this topic and era are fast becoming treasured to me. Though I finished it yesterday, my thinking about the book is still not settled. It was very helpful to learn of the history that occurred after Plimoth Plantation was settled, especially pertaining to King Philip’s War. The first half of the book was written around the character of William Bradford. The second half centered on the doings of Benjamin Church. I was sorry to see Bradford die in the middle of the book (I wasn’t surprised by his passing, I just enjoy that part of the story). The second part of the book started to bog me down in Indian names, but I got them mostly arranged and proceeded to read the rest of the story. I’m still processing what biases I was fed or perhaps I was finally learning the truth (that Squanto was helping the settlers to promote his own power trip? among other things). It was helpful to the geography of the book in that I have passed through these regions twice in the past two years. I recommend this book to all who wish to be a pilgrim.
21. The Magician’s Nephew / C.S. Lewis — I will never call the Chronicles of Narnia children’s literature. Lewis said that whatever was worth reading at age 8 should be equally worth reading at age 80. While my boys were enthralled with Aslan, Digory, Strawberry/Fledge, the newly created world of Narnia and Jadis, my jaw was open equally wide. The fifteen chapters taught me much about God, good, and evil (and, yes, I know that Lewis didn’t call this a metaphor) through obvious inference. Tightly-Treasured.
20. Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens / Paul David Tripp — I don’t have any teenagers in my house, but I’ve been practicing on 30 or 40 of them per year for the last 9 years. This book would be an asset in every Christian home. Few writers today have such a God-besought way. Sterling.
19. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes – Volume 1 (of 3) / Bill Watterson — Six pounds of really, really good belly laughs. Indispensable.
18. A Father’s Stew: The Biblical Integration of Family, Work and Ministry / Stephen Beck — My first book by Beck might be my last. It was a good book with good principles and I recommend the ideas, but he did a lot of sidetracking and a lot of informal promotion of other ministries [I like Douglas Wilson’s writings a lot, too, but I didn’t want to be reminded so many times that I should like them as well as Beck likes them or be told to “buy Pearl’s book today!”] [The fact that he referred on Pearl so much was a little unnerving. I’ve read some Pearl but not enough to criticize him–though I admit he makes me nervous.] On content: the radical call to do something very important was well done. On style: parts of it were too chatty for my preferences. Mixed feelings.
17. It’s Not About Me: Rescue From the Life We Thought Would Make Us Happy / Max Lucado — A truly excellent topic that speaks to all of us, seeking to draw us away from our self-absorbed lives. Superb.
16. The Case for Classical Christian Education / Douglas Wilson — A reread. There is no good reason why there were three years since my last reading of this excellent text.
15. A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness / Gene Edwards — I heard this book casually recommended this summer. I am so glad I picked it up. I look forward to reading more by Edwards. Very good!
14. Everyday Talk: Talking freely and naturally about God with your children / John Younts — The big idea is good and important, there are some helpful bits, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was hoping.
13. Shepherding a Child’s Heart / Tedd Tripp — A reread. This is for every parent and adult who works with children. Superb!
12. Reluctant Disciplinarian: Advice on classroom management from a softy who became (eventually) a successful teacher / Gary Rubinstein — I am not a reluctant disciplinarian, but I know those who are. Classroom management is in some ways a lot like sanctification in that we can always be improving. Though he was coming from another world, Rubinstein is hilarious and his stories are insightful. I need to reflect on the implications of some his advice, though, as he seemed to be advocating being an actor in front of the kids instead of being yourself and a good classroom manager at the same time. Good.
11. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change / Paul David Tripp — One of the most important and necessary books I’ve ever read. Basically, I learned that I learned very little from my four year degree in counseling (or at least didn’t learn enough). This is not the sort of book that you can really every finish. While you can read all the words, its truths must be constantly revisited and can never be fully mastered. It is God-centered in its objectives and avoids the common attempts to cure problems by throwing spiritual grenades at them or plastering on spiritual band-aids. There are fistfuls of gems on nearly every page. It is a call to live a daily ministry lifestyle that is rooted in God’s Word. Tripp does an exceptional job finding words and spirit to delve into those problems about which I could barely even recognize or even utter a grunt. I found this book to be exceptional.
10. Godless: The Church of Liberalism / Ann Coulter — This is my second Coulter book (Slander). It’s a book to love and hate. It’s chock full of important truths about our times, especially how the heavy-handed liberals are distorting and supressing truth and writing history for their own aims/agendas. Among other things, the book touches government scandals, racism, evolution, science, and education. A lot of people will be put off by Coulter’s severe writing style. While the truths are solidly Reaganian, the style is rife with harsh sarcasm and includes some crudeness…though the cloak of wit may be the most becoming garb. On content–excellent. On style–the tender should avoid.
9. The Total Money Makeover / Dave Ramsey — Every family should read at least one financial book per year. This book lays out an excellent, doable, long-term game plan and does so in a very readable and understandable way. There is some good biblical groundwork laid all along the way. This plan has helped tens of thousands of families free themselves from the bondage of debt. Whether you are in debt or not, you know lots of people who are, and you can help them to a very great extent by recommending this book to them. Excellent.
[I can’t remember what I read in early June right now. These are since June 15th or so. Certainly, since we’ve been in Greenville for 3 weeks so far, I’ve read a ton of education articles and parts of books. Also, I only list the best kid’s books I read…though I am reading to the boys when I am able, and I don’t count those books toward my total.]
1. The Time of Your Life: Finding God’s Rest in Your Busy Schedule / Susie Davis — Very good. This is from Chrissy’s pile. I read it in a day and then bought one for each of my female staff members for summer reading. Very God-centered.
2. Treasuring God in Our Traditions / Noel Piper — Again, this is from Chrissy’s pile. I’m almost all the way through and will finish it soon. Very good.
3. Sex and the Supremacy of Christ / John Piper, et al. — Edited by Piper. These are lectures from the 2004 Conference of the same title. Excellent.
4. Being a Successful Principal: Riding the Wave of Change Without Drowning / Schumaker — Practical but generally unrecommendable.
5. They Smell Like Sheep: Spiritual Leadership for the 21st Century / Lynn Anderson — I read this for class and gave a 25 minute book report. Interesting concept, but heavy eisegesis and lots of stretching and a little bit shallow. The guy’s church leadership structure confuses me. The first chapter is good, but otherwise poor.
6. Sex, Romance and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know / CJ Mahaney — This is an expanded version of one of the best chapters in Piper book above and by the same author as the chapter author. Very good.
7. George Washington: A Photographic Story of a Life / Hort — A good summary of Washington’s life for teen readers. It’s a big slanted and makes sure to note the woman GW really loved for his whole life (even though he never married her because she was already married to one of his friends). Good.
8. Humility: True Greatness / CJ Mahaney — This is a little book but it really slapped me around with its really important theme. It did a good job addressing the humility/greatness paradox, offering thoughtful suggestions, addressing heart-issues (as opposed to offering steps or lists to get rid of pride). There were several topics that made it unique including a chapter on accepting the gift of sleep and identifying evidences of grace that gave me some fresh ideas. This is my second Mahaney book, and I find him very readable, personable and God-centered. Very good.
Great Kids Books
Fox in Socks — I had never read this Suess book. It’s a fantastic feat and a tongue-splitting treat; I thought it neat. 6/06
Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes/Jackson — Each of the 15 subjects gets 4 short chapters to explain a major character trait he possessed. Includes…Muller, Tyndale, Wesley, Carmichael, Booth, Luther, Moody and more. I believe this is the first in a series of four books. Each chapter has review questions at the end. Kar and Had give four thumbs up though I need to reword most of the questions to their level. 7/06
Squids Will be Squids: Fresh Morals and Beastly Fables/Sciesczka — I bought this book on a recommendation and have enjoyed it. It has a secular bent and some minor unnecessaries, but I love the wacky tone and underlying humor. Great full-page illustrations. The boys like it too. We laugh pretty hard together when we read it. [Thanks, Doug!] 7/06