Books

Every book I read in 2020

For 2017, 2018, and 2019 I’ve been listing the books I have read, noting books that seemed especially well-written in each category. It is interesting seeing threads in these lists. 2017’s runner-up in one category, The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran, is obviously why I read I started reading the Qur’an, including “The Night Journey“, in 2019. In a similar way, Console Wars┬álead to The History of the Future, and N.T. Wright’s How God Became King lead to me reading Paul, by the same scholar.

This year the stand-out book was Joseph Ratzinger’s (Pope Benedict XVI’s)’s Principles of Catholic Theology. Ratzinger presents an amazing overview of the Catholic faith, resolving (seemingly without effort) long-standing conflicts with Protestantism and Orthodoxy and modern philosophy. He is such a clear writer prior reading was not necessary for understanding him, but I am glad I had previously read books like Medieval Christianity, The Orthodox Christian Church, The Shepherd of Hermas, Maps of Meaning, Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?, and Ratzinger’s own Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives — I am sure I appreciated Principles of Catholic Theology more with this background.

The hardest choice for “winner” in these categories is between Cold Vanish and Veritas. Cold Vanish is about a real-life mystery, next door to me, concerning a man with the same favorite sport, who I may have actually met. Veritas is basically the story of the gamergate of academic theology. Instead of a coin flip, I will just say Cold Vanish is better because the people in it are better people.

In addition to these books, I am currently reading Testing the Boundaries: Windows to Lutheran Identity (a history of Lutheranism beliefs in America), Secrets of the Bible People (a revisionist geography of the Old Testament), and chapter 32 of the Qur’an.

The Holy Bible

The Book of Genesis
The Book of Esther
The Holy Gospel According to Mark

The Qur’an

19: Mary
20: Ta Ha
21: The Prophets
22: The Pilgrimage
23: The Faithful
24: The Light
25: The Criterion

26: The Poets
27: The Ants
28: The Stories
29: The Spider
30: The Romans
31: Luqman

The Apocrypha

The Story of Ahikar
1 Enoch: The Book of the Watchers

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
The Second Targum of Esther

Christian Writings

The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis
The Fourth Cup: Unveiling the Mystery of the Last Supper and the Cross, by Scott Hahn
The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis
Principles of Catholic Theology, by Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

The Trial of Jesus Christ: And The History Behind It, by David Shaneyfelt
The Way of Chuang Tzu, by Thomas Merton

Business Strategy


Open: How Compaq Ended IBM’s PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing, by Rod Canion

“We Crashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork,” hosted by David Brown

Politics and Political and Government History


All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class, by Tim Shipman

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness ad the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson
The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency, by Annie Jacobsen

Speculative and Science Fiction


#1 in Customer Service: The Complete Adventures of Tom Stranger, by Larry Correia and performed by Adam Baldwin

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre, by Max Brooks

Crime and Mystery


The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America’s Wildlands, by Jon Billman

Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, by Ariel Saber

First-Person Narratives

Bad Faith, by Mike Daisey
Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, by Richard Garriot with David Fisher

The Reading Life: The Joy of Seeing New Worlds Through Others’ Eyes, by C.S. Lewis

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