I had a good reading year in 2015. Here, in no particular order, are my ten favorites.
Patrick Henry is definitely the most underrated of the founding fathers. This book will help you to appreciate the man, flaws and all, who helped to build our nation. It also shows you that it didn’t take long after the revolution before the very people who fought against the throne wanted to replace it with something eerily similar. Patrick Henry did his best to keep that from happening and we should all be grateful. The United States could really use a Patrick Henry these days but if he were running for president today, he’d probably be polling around 3 percent.
“As this government stands,” Patrick Henry thundered, “I despise and abhor it … I speak as one poor individual but when I speak, I speak the language of thousands. If I am asked what is to be done when a people feel themselves intolerably oppressed, my answer is … ‘overturn the government!'”
I started reading this book just as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was gaining traction. The similarities were troubling.
“Coley would make a beautiful candidate – loud, outrageous, colorful, able to say anything with no concern about the fallout. An anti-politician the press would follow like ants.”
I’ve never read a Stephen King book before. Unlike his usual work, this one is simply meant to help you to become a better writer. Whether that’s what you want or not, you’ll still find On Writing interesting.
“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words, because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones.”
Weir knows his science. At least I think he does. How would I know? This book reads like he does. The Martian gets pretty technical but it is a very interesting concept and the story really picks up at the end.
“Six days into what should be the greatest two months of my life, and it’s turned into a nightmare.”
I read this book while preparing to preach on Jesus calling his twelve disciples. MacAruthur did in this book what many authors try to do but fail. He gave a lot of information in a readable, efficient manner. If you’d like to learn more about the disciples as the real men that they were, I can’t think of a better book for you to read.
“In other words, he knew all their faults before he chose them.”
This easy to read book uses the life of Daniel to encourage Christian men to live with conviction in a culture that is hostile to their faith.
“God abandoned the nation, but God never abandoned Daniel. God never abandons His people, even in times of great distress and tyranny.”
I read this book for a counseling session that I was leading. If you have a friend who is struggling with depression and you don’t know how to help him, it would do both of you a lot of good to read through this book together.
“Therefore, depression, regardless of the causes, is a time to answer the deepest and most important of all questions: Whom will I trust? Whom will I worship?”
There’s a pretty big difference between the Lincoln you grew up learning about and the real Lincoln. This is a fascinating book.
“Between 1800 and 1860, dozens of countries, including the entire British Empire, ended slavery peacefully; only in the United States was a war involved.”
This is an interesting book on self-defense. Hopefully, you’ll never need it. But if you ever find yourself in a fight or flight situation, you’ll benefit from this book much more than you would by simply relying on what you saw in the first three Rocky movies.
“Once you decide to act, act immediately.”
I’m probably the only guy I know who read this book. It’s written by one of the forefathers of Christian hip hop and it gives a really intriguing backstage look at life before Lecrae.
“That experience planted a seed in me, causing me to think heavily in my teenage years about how this white man had given his time to us bad black kids every Sunday morning.”
Unless I just can’t control myself I won’t be writing for the rest of the year. Thank you very much for reading my pastoral ramblings. I appreciate you very much and I sincerely hope that you’re Christmas is merry and your new year is happy.
Grace and Peace!