Fahrenheit 451 – Bought this last week for my son to read. I remember it being one of the most terrifying books I read as a young man and have avoided re-reading it as a result. But oh my goodness I'm so glad I reread this this weekend. It is an incredibly important book. It feels to me a bit like the intersection of Brave New World and Amusing Ourselves to Death. Thought written in 1950, it perfectly describes where we are today. I plan to read this more frequently moving forward.
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy - I read this book last year and I'm enjoying it again as an audiobook. I just love to know what a writer reads. I love to hear about the books that shape a person. And this one is chock full of a lot of rich pieces of literature and insight into complicated family. Reading it makes me want to read Gone With the Wind, write literature from a hotel in Paris, and teach English. Read the book and you might feel this way too. It's short - easy read. Grab the audio at your library.
Unbroken (Youth Version) – My son read this one, but wanted to mention it here for parents. Buy a copy and bribe your kids to read it! He couldn't put it down once he started and read it in a couple of day. I read the full version, and the story is powerful. Great great read for young boy. Especially powerful message of forgiveness and redemption.
The Marvelous Land of the Snergs - Picked this up after reading Tolkien's biography. He mentioned this book as on of his favorites to read to his children and as having shaped some of his thinking on The Hobbitt. Been reading a few pages in the evenings to the kids, and they love it. A little slow going at first, but worth the effort. In our home, when I mention reading it, my oldest almost always complains, but then also complains when I stop (he even knows he does it - so we all laugh about it now). The tales are pretty gripping for young kids, but playful and fun throughout. we're about 1/2 way through this one.
Turning Pro - If you haven't read The War of Art, and you do (or aspire to do) any type of creative work, then stop whatever you are doing and order that book right now. Life changing. Turning Pro is an expansion on one of the key themes in The War of Art. Currently a few chapters into it and loving (and hating) it.
The Death of Character - by James Davison Hunter. Been nibbling on this one a few pages at a time over the last year, (since it was given to me by the author after meeting him at a conference), Trying to pick up speed on it now. This weekend, (we were at a Weekend to Remember in Branson, Missouri - great time!) one of the speakers made a big point out of the importance of passing on character to your children. You can only pass on what you have. And one of the main ways children develop character is by watching you. Years ago, my father-in-law gave me the book Winners Never Cheat and it's full of powerful stories of a man who lived out character in his life. I even have my son reading it this week, since he's home from school after stepping on a nail this weekend (ouch!)
LongReads: Not a book, but I've enjoyed getting this weekly email that has a number of long-form online articles featured. I usually find a couple on the list that are really worth reading. Sign up for the email list at the bottom of the main page.
Let me know what books you are reading. I'd love to hear about them!