Russell and Duenes

I Have No Top-Ten Best Books of 2010 List Because I Haven’t Read Ten Books This Year

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However, I have read a few, and I’d like to commend some of them to you.

Probably the most educational and thought-provoking (and emotion-provoking) book I read this year was Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty. A couple of Wall Street Journal writers who have covered food-aid issues over the years expose the problem with western food-aid and why it keeps many in Africa who know how to farm dependent on it.

Another book I greatly enjoyed was by Christopher Hitchens’ less-well-known brother, Peter. The Rage Against God tells the story of how Peter, unlike his brother, turned from his hard-core atheism, and along the way describes why the church in England is so sparsely populated. I’m more of an anglophile than most, so I probably found it more stimulating than many American Christian’s would. But there’s a lot here to reflect on, it’s well-written, and not very long. Highly recommended.

Douglas Wilson’s The Case for Classical Christianity should be read by every Christian. Agree with it, disagree with it, doesn’t matter. The education of our children is far too important to just “follow the course of this world.” And legions of Christians are following it, being swept up in the tide, and then wondering why in the world our children go after the world. The arguments in this book are well-made, thoughtful, challenging, and urgent. Some chapters are worth reading dozens of times until they are almost memorized. The message of this book should be shouted from the rooftops, and I’m happy to be one of the evangelists.

Finally, I recommend a book I have not yet completed, though I’ve completed enough of it to know that I already love it. Again, my anglophilia may be coming out, but I think A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken is the most gripping book I’ve picked up in awhile, and it promises to become even more so as the plot thickens. Not light reading, but books that stay with us rarely are.

There you have it. I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to this year, but other matters were more pressing. We all have seasons. Some books that I’m greatly looking forward to reading this year are The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, The Soul of the American University by George Marsden, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, Churchill by Paul Johnson, A Matter of Interpretation by Antonin Scalia, and A Time to Speak by Robert Bork. This list will probably change, as it always does, according to my whims and professional responsibilities, but in any case, I thank God for books and for a mind to enjoy them. Hallelujah!


Written by Michael Duenes

December 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

Posted in Duenes, Literature

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