Oh, man, did this blog from Paul Gould put me in my place as a reader. I enjoy reading a lot of topics and variety, but nothing as wide nor as heavy as Paul. Whoa!

imagesI admit it. I love reading books. Not those enlightened by pixels or advanced with the swipe of a finger, but old fashion paperbacks. I love the feel of flipping a completed page, underlining favorite passages, and writing notes in the margins. This year was a banner year in terms of books read and diversity of topics explored, helped along by new course preparation at the seminary where I teach (courses from ancient philosophy to world religions to the Christian virtues made for a diverse reading list).

Why do I love to read? C. S. Lewis eloquently puts his finger on it in the closing statement of his book An Experiment in Criticism:

 Literature enlarges our being by admitting us to experiences not our own. They may be beautiful, terrible, awe-inspiring, exhilarating, pathetic, comic, or merely piquant. Literature gives the entree to them all. Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom realize the enormous extension of our being that we owe to authors . . . My own eyes are not enough for me  . . . In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in a Greek poem, I see with a thousand eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself: and am never more myself than when I do.[1]

 Reading enlarges me. It awakens me to larger vistas and greener pastures; it inspires me to greatness and to put away the petty; it moves me to be a better lover and thinker and doer. So, I pass onto you the highlights of my year in books. I have been recording my books in a “book log” for the last four years. For each book I read, I list the date completed, the title, author, and a one-sentence description of the book. Of the 48 books read (a new record), here are some of my favorites this year:

The lists:

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