Good Summer Reading

Here are some books I’ve read/currently reading/planning to read this summer that have been enriching, fun, and provocative.

In the Name of Eugenics by Daniel Kevles. This is a book I’ve cited already a few times, but it is probably the most interesting book I’ve read in the last year. It’s themes are as relevant as ever in the current-day debates over bioethics. (read)

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs. One of the better bios of C.S. Lewis from a from a great writer and scholar. (read)

The Trouble with Diversity by Walter Benn Michaels. A very interesting critique of America’s obsession with racism, multi-culturalism, and diversity. Michaels argues that seeing things in color-bound terms results in blindness to real inequalities between classes. For example, Harvard boasts a “diverse” student population, but only of the very wealthy. (read)

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics by Jeremy Schaap. A very fun and inspiring read about one of the most significant athletes of the 20th Century. (read)

Schulz and Peanuts by David Michaelis. I got this book in December and I’m only half way through it. It is very detail oriented and suffers from the psychoanalyst perspective that seems to plague modern biography. Nevertheless, it has been very insightful and observant at times. (reading)

The Reason for God by Tim Keller. Been reading this one with the men’s group at church, and it has been surprisingly good. Keller has a gift for saying a lot with few words, and is widely read on the relevant subjects. The books he cites in the endnotes are gold. Dumb title though. (reading)

God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens is an ass, but he is a very funny ass. Probably the most entertaining of the New Atheists to read, but also one of the most bereft of serious argument. Daniel Dennett’s book was much better. (reading)

The Devil’s Delusion by David Berlinski. The witty Jewish agnostic responds to the New Atheists. (unread)

A Game of Brawl by Bill Felber. A book about the early, and more Spartan, days of baseball (Lots of fist fights). Looks to be hilarious. (unread)

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson. I’ve only heard good things about this recounting of an amazing story. (unread)

Comrades!: A History of World Communism by Robert Service. I’ve always wanted to learn more about how Communism arose and spread like wildfire the world over. (unread)

Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs. If Jacob’s newest work is as good as his on Lewis, this will be a fascinating study of one of Christianity’s strangest and most offensive doctrines. (unread)

Why Can’t We Be Good? by Jacob Needleman. A philosopher defends the case that humanity does not have the resources to be morally upstanding. (unread)

Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden. I’ve always wanted to read this, but have never got around to it. An amazing story of the heroic character of our military men in a very strange conflict. (unread)

Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. This was recommended to me by a pastor and every time I browse it at the bookstore my curiousity of how the conflation of two conflicting political ideologies works out in American politics grows. Should be provocative. (unread)

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2 thoughts on “Good Summer Reading

  1. Autumn says:

    black hawk down is good, but mark’s got some other good stuff out there as well. also, i don’t know how you feel about testimony type books, but one of the guys who was in the actually conflict is now a chaplain for the army rangers. he spoke at ISU’s military ball last year. very moving. his book (which is largely about what happened in mogadishu) is called the road to unafraid. his name is capt. jeff struecker.

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