Life is short. Read fast. The following books were the best ones I read all year.
Professional Development: Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind by Gerald Graff
I teach through They Say, I Say, a writing text by the same author, and this book provides the background for how and why rhetoric works, in addition to why we’re teaching it all wrong in school.
Fiction: Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami
In this story, we follow an interesting, easy-going protagonist searching for answers while absorbing Murakami’s metacommentary on capitalism and consumerism.
Non-Fiction: The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life by Armand Nicholi
Freud and C.S. Lewis are a strange combination and at times, the comparisons are stretched a little thin, but they have far more in common than most realize and this book does an excellent job of articulating that.
Classic: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
After revisitng this text for the first time since high school, I was pretty surprised when I learned how much Milton’s Paradise Lost influenced the monster, a reference completely lost on my high school mind.
Christian: Eden and Afterward: A Mockinbird Guide to Genesis by William McDavid
This book examines compelling literary aspects of scripture and “traces the first notes of the songs of grace which plays throughout the entire bible,” according to the Goodreads review.
Parenting: Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina
This book allows you to understand your baby’s brain development all the way from pregnancy to age 5 to see what small changes you might make to help cultivate a creative, kind, and socially astute young person.
Biography: C.S. Lewis: A Life, Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet by Alister McGrath
This biography is a full picture of the man behind the fantastic stories and important philosophical contributions to the Christian faith.
Children: Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker Rees
A fun-filled jungle dance overwhelms Gerald, the clumsy Giraffe, until the surprise ending that not a single jungle animal ever saw coming.
Time Management: What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matthew Perman
This book provides a healthy critique of most time management and goal setting techniques that have gained the most traction without bashing them and while introducing a healthy new approach to getting things done.