I’ve missed this post for a couple of years, which is too bad, I need to write more on my blog. I’ve got a whole bunch of draft posts, maybe this year I actually finish them.
Also, in case this is not clear, these are the best books that I managed to read in 2022. I’m sure there are more interesting lists of the best books that came out in 2022.
How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor
This is the second book I’ve read about Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age. Will I ever read it? Probably not, but who knows. I sure do find the ideas compelling though. I’d like to read more book about A Secular Age in the future.
Two books squared off, both with different angles on similar subjects. Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions was a lot of fun to read. There were some weaker chapters. However each chapter can stand on it’s own for the most part. Advocating a different approach is Russ Roberts in Wild Problems: A Guide to the Decisions That Define Us. It’s a good book, I enjoyed it, but thanks to my devotion to EconTalk I didn’t come across much in the book that was “new” to me.
A new category for me. You may never see it again, but there was a classic I decided I needed to read after decades of hearing people talk about it. Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton. I am not well equipped to appreciate poetry. At times it felt like a slog, but over all the book are wonderful. The version I got has a not that short biography of Milton in the beginning. That was super interesting too.
The fiction was almost all fantasy in 2022, and the science fiction either didn’t impress me that much or was a reread. I really enjoyed Beren and Lúthien. There were parts of the book that get into the weeds about how the story evolved over the many years it was worked on. But it’s just such a good story. There’s a line from the introduction to that book, it’s from a letter Tolkien wrote to his son about the grief he was feeling at the death of his wife, and it feels like one of those lines that will haunt me for the rest of my life:
But the story has gone crooked, and I am left, and I cannot plead before the inexorable Mandos.
Also, the 2 narrators for this book, and the other book like it, where the book is “by” J.R.R. Tolkien, with editing and other contributions by Christopher Tolkien, are so good. They’re Timothy West and Samuel West, they’re both great narrators and they are father and son.