Looking back over quotes from my reading this past year, I realized I had failed to record three books on my master list which meant they were not included in my year end post. And two of them would have vied for inclusion in my top 10!
Since I left them out, I wanted to mention them and commend them to you as well.
First, An Honest President: The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland, by H. Paul Jeffers. I really enjoyed this portrait of Cleveland and hope to write a column drawn from it. Jeffers is convincing in his main thesis, that Cleveland was a particularly honest, principled man. Whether or not one agrees with Cleveland on each issue (and he dealt with significant issues which reverberate today in importance) his candor and principle are compelling. His willingness to veto items or to push them forward knowing they will hurt his candidacy but doing what he thought was right won me. We need more political leaders like this.
Then, the two which would need to fit somewhere in my top 10:
Ryan Holiday’s Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave (The Stoic Virtues Series) is excellent. In fact, it was so good I asked and received permission to write a review of it for the Southwestern Journal of Theology. It should be out soon. While not Christian in perspective it has much of value as it encourages taking responsibility, not hiding behind blaming others, and taking risks for what it good and right.
Then, I greatly enjoyed Hal Poe’s completion of his C. S. Lewis bio trilogy, The Completion of C. S. Lewis (1945–1963): From War to Joy. As in the two previous volumes this is an engaging read. I did not want to put it down. And as he tells Lewis’s story he overturns long held assumptions based on information from Lewis’s letters and other primary sources and draws out lessons for today. As scholars are beginning to note, this three volume biography has set the new standard for Lewis studies.