One measure of how much I like a book is by how much I keep talking about it. In one way or another it has captured me, provoked me, stayed with me.
Here are twelve, in no particular order, that I’ve read in the last two years which I keep thinking about. As they range from fiction to nonfiction and from academic to popular, I think you can find one in the list below that you’ll really love too.
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
A mindblowing book that shows with solid data (1) that the world is much better economically, politically, educationally, medically than we ever thought, (2) why we are ignorant of these facts, and (3) why this gives us hope to keep working on what needs fixing.
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Believable, well-rounded characters that we care about and a sci-fi page turner all in one.
Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer
Stephen Colbert meets Strunk & White in this informative and cheerfully acerbic guide to grammar, style, and punctuation
The Road to Character by David Brooks
A much-needed book about the importance of eulogy virtues (the impact we have on others) over resumé virtues (our achievements) which reveres the “crooked timber” school of humanity; that is, people who are very aware of their flaws and who, as a result, push against their bent selves to achieve strength.
Them by Ben Sasse
A U.S. senator says America isn’t polarized for the reasons we think but because we are lonely people who have lost connection to our communities.
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
This fun supernatural novel is an homage to H. P. Lovecraft and his spooky, weird pulp fiction of the last century while also serving as an incisive critique of Lovecraft’s bigotry.
The Crucifixion by Fleming Rutledge
A substantive and pastoral celebration of Christ’s crucifixion as God’s victory over Sin, Death, and the Devil, while seeing his substitutionary work (in our place and on our behalf) as the necessary partner to this cosmic triumph.
12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
Peterson is the crusty, old coach who does not tolerate excuses, lack of effort, or stupid choices. He expects the best from you and won’t settle for anything less—not because he needs another victory but because he wants the best for you.
Originals by Adam Grant
From what makes a great base stealer to how to parent for moral development to why you should get rid of the suggestion box to how to write a great headline to creating change as a minority in a majority culture, the book offers wide ranging, stimulating ideas we can put into practice.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Great fun all the way through, at the intersection of books and technology, old knowledge and new.
The Myth of Equality by Ken Wytsma
This important and eye-opening book reveals how state-sponsored racist policies did not end with the abolishment of slavery, what biblical justice calls us to, and how we can move ahead individually and corporately in concrete ways.
The Theological Intentions of Mark’s Literary Devices by Dean B. Deppe
A tour de force; a systematic unpacking of the structural and other devices Mark uses to highlight four themes: the Messiah is a suffering, crucified servant; discipleship will also be met with suffering, confusion, and failure; the Gentiles are welcomed into the new community in Christ; many Jewish regulations are fulfilled in Jesus and are no longer in effect.
What are the books you keep talking about?