The Bookshelf, Part 3


Here are some books I have read this summer.

Killing Jesus, by Bill O’Reilly

Highly Recommend!  Bill does a great job of bringing the era to life.  He explains the way that Roman culture was intertwined with Jewish life, and helps to explain the circumstances leading to Jesus’ death. I felt that he did an appropriate job of presenting the story historically without demeaning the faith element.

The Screwtape Letters, by CS Lewis

Required reading!  I had always thought this would be a weird book…demons and such.  But it isn’t written that way at all.  CS Lewis was an amazing genius, whose satirical (aka sarcastic, tongue in cheek) writing is spot on.  (I said that cuz he’s British.)  This is probably a PG13 book, but an easy read.

Essentialism, by Greg McKeown

Love this book!  Great reminder that we sometimes chase after 100 things when we should be pursuing the one or two things that really matter.  Highly recommend this one – here at OPL we sometimes err on doing too much, so this kind of book is important for us to read. I enjoyed this book very much, especially because it was read by the author, who is British.  I really felt like the Geiko lizard was reading it to me.

Focus, by Daniel Goleman

I have already written about focus quite a bit, and this is one book that gave me ideas about the topic.  I thought that elements of this book were really good, in the same basic topic as Essentialism.  I love Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence theory, and enjoy his work in general.  This book was very long, and ironically, I felt that it was a bit unfocused.  He applied focus to a variety of settings, including environmentalism (which he is very passionate about), while I was mainly interested in how to harness great focus for our personal lives and in the workplace.

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham

The latest in my quest to read a biography of each American President.  I like Jon Meacham’s style of bringing the characters to life.  This was a long book, and I felt that he delved into some of the interpersonal drama with much more detail than was necessary.  Over all, judging from this book, Andrew Jackson is my least favorite President so far.  But he definitely accomplished a lot during his time in office.

The Book of Investing Wisdom by Peter Krass

This is a compilation of essays, articles, and speeches from a variety of investing gurus through the years.  I listened to probably 75% of it and then gave up.  If I were to summarize all of their wisdom, it is this:  “Good luck!”  Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but it is frustrating to listen to their advice because so much of it is contradictory:  “Buy and hold, no matter what, except for when you have bought and are holding a bad company.”  “Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing, because everyone else is crazy.”  It was interesting to see the historical perspective and to realize that the same type of things have been going on for hundreds of years…there is nothing new under the sun!  If you are interested in investing this would be a good one to add to your collection, but it is pretty dry to read through consecutively.

Nurture Shock, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman 

Could be subtitled – “Many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are backfiring.”  Honestly, most of this stuff would have been considered common sense a generation or two ago, and was a fairly good encouragement that we are doing things right.  One point I really learned is that getting enough sleep is crucial in children and adolescents, because as their brains develop they literally have different sleep patterns than adults do.  Sleep deprivation in me is less damaging than sleep deprivation in my kids.  All in all, a good book if you enjoy parenting books based on pseudo-science/psychology.

I was also able to listen to these books of the Bible:

Luke, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon Hebrews, James, 1-3 John, Jude, Revelation

I really want to know – what books have you read recently that you would recommend?

Other posts you may like:

The Bookshelf…


Summer Reading Lists

Good History

Funny Kids’ Books

Tag Books

Kids’ Books with a Purpose

6 thoughts on “The Bookshelf, Part 3

  1. Pandia says:

    Since it appears you like non-fiction… Undaunted by Laura Hillenbrand is the biography of Olympic runner turned army air-corps officer in WWII. Plane Crash, survival story, true life twists and surprise endings. One of the best books I have ever read.

    1. Nate says:

      Pandia – you’ve picked up on that theme, haven’t you! I hardly ever read fiction, although if you can recommend one good fiction book that will be edifying or thought-provoking then I’m up for the challenge. Thanks for the recommendation – I have added it to my list.

      1. Pandia says:

        Fiction that’s thought-provoking and edifying that a male would like… Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and please tell me you’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 🙂

        1. Nate says:

          Pandia – Thanks for the recommendations. Sadly, if I have read To Kill A Mockingbird it was so long ago that I’ve forgotten it. I’ve put it on hold at the library to remedy that situation.

  2. I read that biography about Andrew Jackson a year or to ago. Great book. Lest anyone think only modern presidents have tried or do try to expand presidential power, look no further than Andrew Jackson, grand-daddy of them all.

    The best books I’ve read thus far in 2014 have been (in chronological order) Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman), Stumbling on Happiness (Daniel Gilbert), and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (Jonathan Haidt), the latter text being my favorite of the three, but possibly because I had the previous two (and several others) to as background.

    1. Nate says:

      Thanks Matt! I hope to write up a full review of Andrew Jackson – totally agree with your analysis. Thanks for your recommendations. I have added them to my (admittedly long) list to read later.

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