This post is a lot later than I would have liked, but I’ve held off writing it until I had a chance to finish migrating my blog to a new platform (more on that later). I’m glad I can do it now, on the new setup.
2018 was a slightly lighter year for books, only 19. Goodreads now has a feature where you can see your “Stats”. It’s pretty cool. Looks like my best year (since I started keeping track around about 2011 was 2013 with a whopping 30 books.)
2018 was a good year though and I read some great books.
Theology: C.S. Lewis Essay Collection & Other Short Pieces by C. S. Lewis. Technically not all non-fiction, but most of it was. Reading this book was an absolute delight. I hope I will make time to read it again some times in the next 10 years.
Some of the content was challenging. A lot of it was funny. I felt like I got a better idea of who Lewis was too, including that, as much as I admire him, we are very different people with different tastes.
Theology: Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright. My wife has been recommending I read this book since before we were married. It played a very important role in the forming of her theology and I can now say it has done the same thing for me.
The book overall was wonderful. This book did wonders to clear up a lot of my thinking about Christian Hope. There were a couple parts where Wright veered into economics, and I bristled a bit at those, but even that was an interesting exercise for a number of reasons.
Philosophy/Ethics: Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue I do not know how to categorize this book, but I will say it was the most entertaining page turner I read all year. It it an amazing story and the authors use of it as a vehicle to talk about philosophical and ethical issues makes it even better.
I remember reading about the events this books covers (more or less) as they happened but I certainly was not reading all the details or putting together the over arching narrative.
My career has taken a hard to turn into functional programming and I love it, and this book is part of the reason why. I was getting a lot of great training from my boss (at the time) on functional programming, but I needed to be learning in another medium to really “get it”, this book was exactly what I needed in terms of the programming language I was working in, my existing knowledge, and the topics the books covered.
Historical Fiction: One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I recently learned about Solzhenitsyn thanks to EconTalk. I wanted to take part in their book club on In The First Circle, but alas it is not out on audio book (yet) so I settled for reading another book of Solzhenitsyn’s.
It is a great book, not very long. I would recommend it to almost anyone. Many of the scenes of freezing cold were made all the more vivid for me and I stood in sub zero temperatures waiting for the train and walking to work while I listened to it. I was all the more grateful for the warmth of the car, office, train, and home.