Reading List from 2021

Past reading lists: 2017 2018 2019 2020

Total: 57


  • Generation to Generation by Edwin Friedman – a detailed look at family therapy in the context of the clergy and churches. Helpful for any father or leader. Think in terms of systems and not individual atoms.
  • Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen – Esolen is a master: entertaining, convicting, and articulate. This is part treatise on childhood education and part prophecy against a decaying culture. Every parent should read it.
  • Oeconomicus by Xenophon – a Socratic dialogue about ancient household management and farming. Many of the lessons in it might surprise you, like giving slaves a share of the profits. Includes a long section about training a wife.
  • Thoughts for Young Men by J. C. Ryle – this book reads like was written 5 years ago, not 125 years ago. I’ll be keeping this one in my back pocket to go over with my boys as they grow older.
  • Becoming Your Own Banker by R. Nelson Nash – If you want to re-wire your thinking on money and finance, get this book. You can read it in a weekend.
  • Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff – recommended by a successful copywriter. Great for sales presentations and getting the proper mindset for writing sales copy.
  • Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy – Ogilvy is a fun author to read. You’ll learn tips ranging from how to run a business to how to write headlines.
  • The Paideia of God by Douglas Wilson – I thought this would be more about the concept of paideia specifically, and some of the essays are more relevant than others, but overall very helpful.
  • A Landscape with Dragons by Michael D. O’Brien – About the importance of good children’s literature and the hidden dangers within. It gets a bit too Catholic in places, but worth the read. Includes a recommended reading list at the end for every age.
  • Better Business Writing by Bryan A. Garner – Should be required reading for every college graduate.
  • Something They Will Not Forget by Joshua Gibbs – On the benefit of catechisms in the classroom and at home. Full of wisdom about education in general, Gibbs writes in a way that is dense with insights, but is easy to chew on. It makes me want to read his other books.
  • Titan by Ron Chernow – Another great biography from Chernow.
  • The Writing Life by Annie Dillard – More of a short auto-biography, but a quick read and easy to swallow. Filled with great stories.
  • State of the Arts by Gene Veith – How the arts reflect our culture and framed with a biblical defense of the arts.
  • Principles of Biblical Interpretation by Louis Berkhof – this book cetainly gets the job done. More of a quick reference.
  • The Poem’s Heartbeat by Alfred Corn – A book that assume no knowledge. If you want to know the basics of English poetry, this book is for you, though he starts to disect it so much that I started to get irritated.
  • How to Write One Song by Jeff Tweedy – Practical tips cushioned with a philosophy on creativity. I would recommend this book to anyone.
  • Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey – A good summary of the bigger picture on how worldviews are totalizing and how Christians should get wiser. It lacks some meat when it comes to practicality, though.
  • Reading Between the Lines by Gene Veith – not really a book on reading between the lines, but more of an introduction to literature and its importance.
  • Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Age by Richard N. Longenecker
  • Modern Art and the Death of a Culture by H. R. Rookmaaker – this got a bit long-winded and repetitive at the end, but its a good overview.
  • Letters to Malcolm by C.S. Lewis – fictional letters about prayer.
  • The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis – a series of essays on various topics ranging from heaven to pacifism.
  • Suprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis – an autobiography with keen insights. Great for all fans of Lewis.
  • The Conversations by Michael Ondaatje – if you are curious about film at all, this book will be eyeopening. Also great for any creative endeavor.
  • The Discarded Image by C.S Lewis – an extended essay on the Medieval model of the universe. Fascinating. And it makes you long for something just as glorious.


  • Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson – Builds to the typical crescendo where Sanderson wraps everything up in neat yet surprising ways. Always enjoyable.
  • The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw – I read this in preparation for my kids to read it as part of their literature/writing/history program. A powerful story about friendship and perseverance, with ancient Egypt as the backdrop.
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – I’m not sure how to feel about this book, but it was masterfully done. A low-key dystopian alternate history. A very slow tragedy that gradually reveals a systemic horror.
  • God King by Joanne Williamson – Another historical novel I read because my kids are supposed to read it for school. It came across as a 2nd draft. Some ideas were clearly undeveloped, but they were interesting ideas.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – On audiobook. Still great.
  • Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis – A little dry but still great and full of interesting ideas that are explored further in the next two books.
  • Perelandra by C.S. Lewis – My favorite when I first read this series, and I think it remains my favorite. Lewis’ vision of a pre-fallen world is captivating.
  • That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis – A prophetic novel. We are still trying to construct Babel, only we are far dumber than the villains of this book.
  • The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck – This is a slice-of-life novel where every character is painted with depth and understanding. Each one is vivid and different. There is no real plot. Just a bunch of characters interacting in various ways as they react to their shared predicament.
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – first Christie mystery since middle school and I enjoyed it. A classic for a reason.
  • Jeeves in the Offing by P.G. Wodehouse – one of my favorites. Fast-paced and streamlined.
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison – still relevant and powerful, though not for the reasons modern communists think.
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy – this is one I’ll revisit from time to time. Moving. Depressing. Hopeful. Aspirational.
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis – should be revisited often.
  • The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis – another relfection on our sins and the ways we pretend to be rightousness. A great read.
  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis – a great example of an unreliable narrator.

What I Read to the Kids

  • Bambi: A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten – Forget everything you know about this story. The Disney movie does not do it justice. This is a fantastic, haunting, poetic book about the passing on of wisdom and tradition, and about one of the fundamental truths of the universe.
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio by Collodi – Weird and random, but memorable. Nothing like the Disney movie and the lessons lean more heavily toward obedience to parents. My kids loved it.
  • The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson – The promise of the series finally starts to be fulfilled. Lots of good stuff in this one, with better pacing.
  • The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald – This has the feel of a story written specifically for the author’s daughter. Delightfully strange and beautiful. Vivid pictures of courage and faith.
  • The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson – A good conclusion, though it dragged in places. And the allegory was a bit too on the nose. This really could have been a trilogy, instead of a quadrilogy.
  • Brave Ollie Possum by Ethan Nicolle – A fun story that my kids loved. It’s obviously a first novel and has some pacing issues, but the story and illustrations make up for it.
  • Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry – A short book packed with memorable moments. Great for boys, in particular. And if your kids love the movie Moana, this story is set in a similar culture, without Disneyfication.
  • King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green – An accessible, and fun, collection of the stories of King Arthur. It organizes them into a more cohesive narrative/structure.
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – a good conversation starter about WW2 and courage. The appendix at the end had me tearing up.

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