Thursday, December 30, 2010

Books in 2010

The beginning of my virtual library.
Here's a sampling of the books I read this last year. It's not all of them; I have stacks of half-read books at home and at the office that I'll have to finish in 2011… or 2012. And, of course, I read for hours everyday studying for lessons and sermons and reading the news and such on the internet––none of that is really represented here.

One of the key differences in my reading this year was the release of Apple's iBooks on the iPhone in April. Now I have a library in my pocket at all times. Now I'm chipping away at my reading three or four extra times a day, even if it's only for five minutes a time. The iPhone is a bit small for comfortable reading, but the ease of use and convenience is unparalleled.

  • Directions for Christian Living by Derek Prime, 1986. This was a nice little book covering the basis of the Christian from doctrine to Bible study to evangelism. We used it for a home Bible study.
  • Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne, 1926, e-book. This was my first proper e-book (not counting stuff I've read on the internet over the years), Pooh was the free book included in Apple's iBooks. The children's classic was sweet and adorable, in a strong and sentimental kind of way. But when read to a child, I'm sure it would be just right.
  • Before I Go by Peter Kreeft, 2007. I was a little disappointed with this one, as Kreeft is one of my favorite philosophy teachers and the subject – parting notes from a father to his children – is particularly dear to me. But 90% of this book was forgettable or perhaps under-developed. Oh, well.
  • War by Sebastian Junger, 2010, e-book. Junger is a masterful writer but after reading a few "modern journalist in a modern war" kinda books, I wasn't expecting too much. But War, an account of a company of American paratroopers in Afghanistan, is written with wit and insight and a very honorable point of view – not condescending or ill-informed. This is how I wish all journalists approached their topics.
  • The Well-Behaved Child by John Rosemond, 2009. We used this book for a parenting class at church; I highly recommend it. It's the wisdom our grandparents just knew but modern psychology forgot.
  • Eugenics and Other Evils by GK Chesterton, 1917, e-book. Chesterton was the preeminent British Christian apologist of the early 20th century that CS Lewis read and respected. This volume, about liberal "experts" wanting to control the breeding habits of mankind, sounds like it could be talking about the abortion issue today, even though it was written 90 years ago.
  • Helmet for my Pillow by Robert Leckie, 1957. The first of two WW2 books upon which the HBO miniseries, "The Pacific," was based, Leckie's book is very well written and an interesting memoir. Leckie was at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, and Peleliu.
  • With the Old Breed by EB Sledge, 1981. The second "Pacific" book; in my opinion, Sledge's book is one of the best WW2 memoirs ever written. Sledge was at Peleliu and Okinawa.
  • A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1887, e-book. This is the first Sherlock Holmes book, all of which I'm trying to read now in the order they were published. Being able to tap a word and get a dictionary definition is incredibly useful here.
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, 1843, e-book. I read this Christmas ghost-story for the first time here after having seen several versions on film and TV. Something a little different in the printed version, Scrooge is almost immediately repentant in the book. His heart turns easily but he's still forced to suffer the visits of all three ghosts. In the film versions I've seen, it takes more prodding to finally get through to him.

No comments: