Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The 5 Best Books We Read in 2019

 

The book-lovers at Goodreads asked their members to select their favorite books of 2019. After 4.7 million votes, here are the top five:

  • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood
  • Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Red, White & Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston
  • The Institute, Stephen King
  • The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides

Didn’t read any of ’em. Over the past few years, I’ve focused on classics since I spent my school years on stuff like The Lord of the Rings and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I created a Goodreads account, which allows you to track and rate what you read, and set goals for how many books you want to knock out in the coming year.

I’ve been setting my annual goal based on the year (17 books for 2017, 18 for 2018, etc). This year I overshot my goal a bit with 21 titles; nothing like last year where I devoured 54 — that was overkill and I don’t recommend it.

For my list, I’ve eliminated the Bible from contention (the Holy Spirit has a unnatural advantage over mortal authors). Here are my favorite five books that I read in 2019, in order of publishing date:

The Histories, Herodotus
I’ve consumed a zillion ancient history books, articles, and podcasts, and each references Herodotus. Why not read the source? “The Father of History” compiled this tome in the 5th century BC with incomplete information, obvious biases, and often pure conjecture about far-off lands. But it provides fascinating insights into the worldview of the ancients and reveals how human nature remains the same.

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, various authors
Much of my reading this year was religious in nature as I’ve continued the journey I began last year from evangelicalism to the Orthodox Church. (I keep meaning to write about that subject, but it probably needs its own book.) This is an ancient collection of thoughts, stories, and lessons from the Christian ascetics who fled the world to live in the deserts of Egypt. We moderns have much to learn from our nearly forgotten spiritual forbears.

The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton
Here’s an embarrassing admission: despite being fascinated with politics from an early age, I had never actually read The Federalist Papers. Excerpts and quotes, sure, but like Herodotus, never the source document. I was astonished at the brilliance and erudition of our founding fathers, though now I feel obligated to read The Anti-Federalist Papers.

The Trial, Franz Kafka
A couple of years ago, I read Kafka and Camus back-to-back and fell into an existential depression. These aren’t the guys you’d want to invite to your kid’s birthday party, but Kafka creates a mood like no one else. His portrayal of suffocating bureaucracy and incompetent officials could turn AOC into a libertarian.

I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan, Alan Partridge
This is actually written by comic actor Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci (creator of “Veep” and The Death of Stalin). Partridge is a long-running character on BBC; a middle-aged middle-englander who was once a major chat-show host but is now consigned to DJ-ing for North Norfolk Digital. He delves into his Toblerone addiction and shares tragic childhood vignettes like “snowflakes fell from the sky like tiny pieces of a snowman who had stood on a landmine.”

Now, the important part: What are your favorite books of 2019?

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  1. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. DouglasJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I never participate in the Goodreads best books, because most of them are books I’ve never read, published in that year and for goodness sakes, I’m still years behind on any book list. I set really low goals right now as I’ve found I rarely have time to read when I’m home — two kids and all. Taking the train to work has increased my reading. Also, Goodreads doesn’t count magazines on my total, so despite reading several book-length sci-fi magazines in the year, they are ignored. More like Jerkreads, am I right?!

    Anyhow, here’s some of my favorites:

    A Brilliant Death by Robin Yocum — I discovered Yocum last year and he’s by far the best living author of fiction around at present. Even the books I don’t like as much as his other works are several levels above the best of other authors. Last year I read The Essay which I recommend to anyone that breathes, and also Favorite Sons. Both compelling works. A Brilliant Death has many of the themes that Yocum expresses so well in his books — a strong bond of friendship between adolescent boys and how that carries on, the small town that is slowing dying away, and past secrets that strain all of these. He’s one of the few authors that can evoke powerful manly tears from his writing.

    Hard Ride Across Texas by Michael Zimmer — I don’t often pick up westerns, but for some reason this one caught my eye. It’s the journey of a young man escaping retribution by fleeing his home town and the father of the man he killed. As he journeys further and further out and faces harder trials and faces the darkness of men’s souls, he comes to realize redemption will not come from fleeing, but from facing the consequences of his actions head on. It’s a good book. No manly tears for this one, however.

    The Forgetting Moon and The Blackest Heart by Brian Lee Durfee — I’ve avoided the fantasy epic as it seems so many authors can’t seem to finish them: most famously Robert Jordan who died before completing his epic, but the list goes on. Even though I got the first of this series The Forgetting Moon years ago, signed by the author himself at the Salt Lake City Comic Convention, it sat on my shelf until I saw he’d released book two. I figured I’d need to read the first book before getting the second and boy was I not disappointed. Durfee is new to the scene but his books reflect other great epics of the past. He’s developing a good knack for swapping perspectives and by the end of book two I’ve found he also has an excellent ability to surprise the reader. Especially when the reader thinks he’s just about got it all figured out, Durfee jumps in a goes, “Haha! Not quite, here’s a twist!” and it works.

    The Joke by Milan Kundera — This one has sat on my “to read” list for a while, so I finally checked that out at the library. It’s an excellent book about revenge, love, betrayal, and loss set in Communist Czechoslovakia. The eponymous joke in the story is made by Ludvik, a student of the Communist party who’s feeling set aside by his lover. Instead of understanding, he is banned from the Communist party and essentially sent to a military work camp in disgrace. There he nurses revenge against the former friend who threw him to the wolves rather than defend him. There’s more and the various narrators present a book of depth and struggle as the characters are in a world of contradiction, strife, and opposition.

    The Gallows Thief by Bernard Cornwell — Cornwell is a prolific writer of historical fiction, one of the most notable is his Anglo-Saxon series, The Last Kingdom which I highly recommend. The Gallows Thief takes place in England after the Napoleonic Wars, when it was decided that the best deterrent to crime was very strict penalties with very swift justice. Thus many were sent to the gallows which was considered prime entertainment for the non-arrested back then. Rider Sandman is a veteran of Waterloo and is hired as an investigator for a young man who’s been accused of murdering a noblewoman who he was hired to paint. It’s expected Sandman will just wring a confession and call it a day, but Sandman senses the boy is innocent and digs deep. There’s skulduggery, intrigue, and more as he follows the trail to discover the true murder and steal at least one soul from the Gallows. It makes for a fine and gripping story as I’ve come to expect from Cornwell.

    • #1
    • December 23, 2019, at 3:35 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  2. aardo vozz Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Over the past few years, I’ve focused on classics since I spent my school years on stuff like The Lord of the Rings and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    You mean to say that Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Lord of the Rings AREN’T classics? What planet in the galaxy are you from?😛

    • #2
    • December 23, 2019, at 4:16 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. Jeff Petraska Member
    Jeff PetraskaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Of the 25 books I finished in 2019, two standouts earned 5-star reviews from me:

    Spearhead by Adam Makos

    Grateful American by Gary Sinese

    I think Spearhead was my favorite book of the year.

    • #3
    • December 23, 2019, at 5:05 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. Hugh Member

    Anything by Kurt Schlicter. 

    • #4
    • December 23, 2019, at 5:22 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. James Hageman Moderator

    I managed to make it into the mid-twenties for books read. I’m always playing catch-up. This year Infinite Jest and No Country for Old Men topped the list. Jim Geraghty’s Between Two Scorpions was the most fun read, and Bleak House the most challenging.

    • #5
    • December 23, 2019, at 5:25 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. The Reticulator Member

    I’m not including any books I listened to on audio, but here are some of the good ones I read on paper or Kindle in 2019. At first I wondered if I had even read five good books worth telling about, but then had trouble limiting my list to five. Here are the top five:

    Unsettling the West : Violence and State Building in the Ohio Valley by Rob Harper (2018)

    Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America by Michael McDonnell (2016)

    Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber (1995)

    Autumn of the Black Snake : The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion that Opened the West William Hogeland (2017)

    The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 by Timothy Snyder (2004)

    Here are three others that made my first cut. I had already gone to the trouble of getting the Amazon URLs so am putting them here as Honorable Mentions:

    The Tragedy of American Compassion by Marvin Olasky (1994)

    Limping through Life: A Farm Boy’s Polio Memoir by Jerry Apps (2013)

    North Dakota’s Geologic Legacy by John P. Bluemle 2016

    I’m currently reading Rising ’44: The Battle for Warsaw by Norman Davies (2005). It would probably make the top five, except I haven’t finished it yet and there is a possibility I won’t finish it by the end of the year. It’s hard to put down, but I also have a lot of other things that need to get done. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • #6
    • December 23, 2019, at 6:32 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Five I’d highly recommend from 2019 – two fiction, three non-fiction.

    The Path to Power by Robert Caro. The first of his four volume (to date) biography of Lyndon Johnson. The best political biography I’ve ever read. Even if you think you’re not interested in LBJ or hate him, it is worth reading. A study of how one accumulates and exercises political power.

    Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe. The Troubles in Northern Ireland and an investigation into the disappearance of a Catholic mother in the early 1970s. A revealing study of those times and the tangled loyalties and betrayals that took so many lives.

    In Hoffa’s Shadow by Jack Goldsmith. Goldsmith’s stepfather is Chuckie O’Brien who worked for Hoffa for decades and has long been suspected of involvement in his death. While I already knew Goldsmith as a Harvard Law School professor who led the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice during President GW Bush’s first term, I had no idea he was related to O’Brien. This is both an informative and touching story about the Hoffa years, the investigation of his death, and also of Goldsmith’s relationship with his stepfather, who he adored when growing up, disowned as a young man in order to further his career, and ultimately reconciled with him. And perhaps, perhaps, the truth about Chuckie O’Brien and Jimmy Hoffa.

    A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. The fictional story of a Russian nobleman who returns after the Revolution and in 1922 is sentenced to permanent residence in the Metropolitan Hotel in Moscow which, should he ever attempt to leave, will result in his execution.

    Labryinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The final book of his four volume The Shadow of the Wind series which I’ve read over the past two years. Set in Barcelona from the early 1920s to the early 1960s, it centers around a bookshop and a strange, hidden locale – The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Combines mystery, compelling characters, the tortured history of Spain during those years, and a touch of the Gothic (which I usually don’t care for but works here).

    • #7
    • December 23, 2019, at 6:33 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I was astonished at the brilliance and erudition of our founding fathers, though now I feel obligated to read The Anti-Federalist Papers.

    Yes. It turns out the Anti-Federalists were quickly proved right on the judiciary.

    • #8
    • December 23, 2019, at 7:20 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. The Reticulator Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I was astonished at the brilliance and erudition of our founding fathers, though now I feel obligated to read The Anti-Federalist Papers.

    Yes. It turns out the Anti-Federalists were quickly proved right on the judiciary.

    I’m not sure now, but it may have been Pauline Maier’s book, Ratification, that gave a good overview of the anti-Federalists’ positions. (Note the plural. One of their problems was that they couldn’t agree on an alternative to the Constitution, any more than conservatives and Republicans could agree on an alternative to ObamaCare.)

    • #9
    • December 23, 2019, at 7:37 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Bethany Mandel Editor

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Here’s five I’d highly recommend from 2019 – two fiction, three non-fiction.

    The Path to Power by Robert Caro. The first of his four volume (to date) biography of Lyndon Johnson. The best political biography I’ve ever read. Even if you think you’re not interested in LBJ or hate him, it is worth reading. A study of how one accumulates and exercises political power.

    Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe. The Troubles in Northern Ireland and an investigation into the disappearance of a Catholic mother in the early 1970s. A revealing study of those times and the tangled loyalties and betrayals that took so many lives.

    In Hoffa’s Shadow by Jack Goldsmith. Goldsmith’s stepfather is Chuckie O’Brien who worked for Hoffa for decades and has long been suspected of involvement in his death. While I already knew Goldsmith as a Harvard Law School professor who led the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice during President GW Bush’s first term, I had no idea he was related to O’Brien. This is both an informative and touching story about the Hoffa years, the investigation of his death, and also of Goldsmith’s relationship with his stepfather, who he adored when he was growing up, disowned him as a young man in order to further his career, and ultimately reconciled with him. And perhaps, perhaps, the truth about Chuckie O’Brien and Jimmy Hoffa.

    A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. The fictional story of a Russian nobleman who returns after the Revolution and in 1922 is sentenced to permanent residence in the Metropolitan Hotel in Moscow which he ever attempts to leave, will result in his execution.

    Labryinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The final book of his four volume The Shadow of the Wind series which I’ve read over the past two years. Set in Barcelona from the early 1920s to the early 1960s, it centers around a bookshop and a strange, hidden locale – The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Combines mystery, compelling characters, the tortured history of Spain during those years, and a touch of the Gothic (which I usually don’t care for but works here).

    I just finished Say Nothing this weekend. CRAZY GOOD.

    • #10
    • December 23, 2019, at 8:18 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. The Reticulator Member

    Bethany Mandel (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Here’s five I’d highly recommend from 2019 – two fiction, three non-fiction.

    The Path to Power by Robert Caro. The first of his four volume (to date) biography of Lyndon Johnson. The best political biography I’ve ever read. Even if you think you’re not interested in LBJ or hate him, it is worth reading. A study of how one accumulates and exercises political power.

    Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe. The Troubles in Northern Ireland and an investigation into the disappearance of a Catholic mother in the early 1970s. A revealing study of those times and the tangled loyalties and betrayals that took so many lives.

    In Hoffa’s Shadow by Jack Goldsmith. Goldsmith’s stepfather is Chuckie O’Brien who worked for Hoffa for decades and has long been suspected of involvement in his death. While I already knew Goldsmith as a Harvard Law School professor who led the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice during President GW Bush’s first term, I had no idea he was related to O’Brien. This is both an informative and touching story about the Hoffa years, the investigation of his death, and also of Goldsmith’s relationship with his stepfather, who he adored when he was growing up, disowned him as a young man in order to further his career, and ultimately reconciled with him. And perhaps, perhaps, the truth about Chuckie O’Brien and Jimmy Hoffa.

    A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. The fictional story of a Russian nobleman who returns after the Revolution and in 1922 is sentenced to permanent residence in the Metropolitan Hotel in Moscow which he ever attempts to leave, will result in his execution.

    Labryinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The final book of his four volume The Shadow of the Wind series which I’ve read over the past two years. Set in Barcelona from the early 1920s to the early 1960s, it centers around a bookshop and a strange, hidden locale – The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Combines mystery, compelling characters, the tortured history of Spain during those years, and a touch of the Gothic (which I usually don’t care for but works here).

    I just finished Say Nothing this weekend. CRAZY GOOD.

    Added to my Audible queue just now. A few years ago we got a walking tour in Derry led by the son of the last man to be shot and killed on Bloody Sunday (or something like that). He definitely had a point of view. 

    • #11
    • December 23, 2019, at 8:36 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Here are my top five of 2019 books read in 2019 (2 non-fiction and 3 fiction):

    Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino

    I usually don’t read books about recent events. I get bored reading what I just read online (as opposed to those old fashioned newspapers), but these women did excellent reporting and it is very well written. This account cuts through so much bull… puckie.

    Those Who Wander: America’s Lost Street Kids by Vivian Ho

    Again, really good reporting from someone who works for one of those newspaper thingies. A murder trial provides a framework for a study of a very sad subculture, homeless youth.

    Campusland by Scott Johnson

    A satire of the modern academic scene and cancel culture. It’s hard to satirize these topics, the truth is crazy enough. But this is still a fun read.

    Recursion by Blake Crouch

    A very different take on time travel (perhaps.) I don’t want to say much because the discovery is a lot of the fun.

    Those Who Seek by Tim Stafford

    Full disclosure, this was written by a friend of mine. The story of an addict perhaps on his way to recovery, perhaps not. I’ll admit my new job as a chaplain in a homeless shelter drew me to these “Those Who” books.

    • #12
    • December 23, 2019, at 11:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    2019 marked my finishing David Hackett Fischer’s “Albion’s Seed” which I broke up into 2 parts (its almost a thousand pages). Remarkable how the original waves of settlers still affect the US.

    Matti Friedman’s “Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel”. Bonus that I heard about it on a Tikvah podcast right here on Ricochet. It is only 248 pages.

    Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book”. It was recommended by a friend. It focuses on the horrific 1986 Los Angeles library fire. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would.

    Frank Dikotter’s The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History. I had read his Mao’s Great Famine.

    Erik Rutlow’s “American Canopy” about how trees, forests, logging affected America’s history.

    Ok that’s six but maybe because I started Albion’s Seed in 2018 we can consider 5 1/2 books.

    Happy reading everyone. 

     

     

    • #13
    • December 24, 2019, at 8:12 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. Jim Chase Member
    Jim ChaseJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. The fictional story of a Russian nobleman who returns after the Revolution and in 1922 is sentenced to permanent residence in the Metropolitan Hotel in Moscow which he ever attempts to leave, will result in his execution.

    This is a wonderful book. Read it a year or two ago, and am patiently waiting for enough time to pass for a re-read. I read Towles Rules of Civility earlier this year. While not as good as A Gentleman in Moscow, it is still an enjoyable read.

     

     

    • #14
    • December 24, 2019, at 10:03 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Jim Chase Member
    Jim ChaseJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I play on Goodreads as well, crediting the yearly “challenge” to get myself back in the habit of reading books, not only for information, but for joy. My interests are all over the map as a result.

    First, I went on a bit of a Steinbeck trip this year, finishing Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and Travels with Charley: In Search of America. Each was well worth the experience.

    A (former?) Ricochet member recommended A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea. I recommend it too.

    On spiritual formation, this year I consumed some Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison), Dallas Willard (The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives), various selections from C.S. Lewis, and The Way of the Pilgrim, which was perhaps my favorite of the year in this category.

    For fun, I sampled a number of old Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour westerns, the best of the former being Riders of the Purple Sage. Those were just fun. 

     

     

     

    • #15
    • December 24, 2019, at 10:27 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jim Chase (View Comment):

    I play on Goodreads as well, crediting the yearly “challenge” to get myself back in the habit of reading books, not only for information, but for joy. My interests are all over the map as a result.

    First, I went on a bit of a Steinbeck trip this year, finishing Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and Travels with Charley: In Search of America. Each was well worth the experience.

    A (former?) Ricochet member recommended A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea. I recommend it too.

    On spiritual formation, this year I consumed some Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison), Dallas Willard (The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives), various selections from C.S. Lewis, and The Way of the Pilgrim, which was perhaps my favorite of the year in this category.

    For fun, I sampled a number of old Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour westerns, the best of the former being Riders of the Purple Sage. Those were just fun.

     

     

     

    @jimchase: Sounds like a great list. Every time I read another C.S. Lewis I think why haven’t I read that sooner? I gave up on Goodreads and just keep my own list. I’m a pretty good reader but having grandkids have put a dent into the (adult) reading time.

    • #16
    • December 24, 2019, at 12:49 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Vince Guerra Member

    I’m at 13 out of my Goodreads goal of 20 with seven days to go. It’s gonna be a busy week. 

    • #17
    • December 25, 2019, at 7:04 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  18. Manny Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I created a Goodreads account, which allows you to track and rate what you read, and set goals for how many books you want to knock out in the coming year.

    Do you know there is a Ricochet book club on Goodreads? For those that don’t know, it’s here. Yes, I am on Goodreads too.

    • #18
    • December 25, 2019, at 8:29 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. Manny Member

    My five books to highlight I guess would be these, in no particular order:

    (1) Paradisio, 3rd part of the epic poem, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, translated and annotated by Robert and Jean Hollander.

    (2) Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, an autobiography of Bishop Fulton Sheen.

    (3) Vol 5 of Les Misérables, “Jean Valjean” a novel by Victor Hugo.

    (4) Death Comes for the Archbishop, a novel by Willa Cather.

    (5) Mariette in Ecstasy, a novel by Ron Hansen.

    • #19
    • December 25, 2019, at 8:33 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. Man With the Axe Member

    Woke, by Titania McGrath was a real hoot. 

    • #20
    • December 26, 2019, at 10:37 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Vince Guerra Member

    1) American Warfighter: Brotherhood, Survival, and Uncommon Valor in Iraq, 2003-2011 by J. Pepper Bryars
    This is by far the best book on the Iraq War I’ve read (and I’ve read many). I can’t recommend it enough.

    2) The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America by Lorri Glover, Daniel Smith

    3) The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

    4) The Coming Fury by Bruce Catton (Vol. 1 of 3 of The Centennial History of the Civil War)

    5) Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

    Truth be told I haven’t quite finished #’s 4 and 5 on my list, but they are both far and away better than any of the other books I’ve read this year (excluding my wife’s books of course, which are excellent) that I found it reasonable to include them. I did read them in 2019, and I will continue to enjoy them through January 2020.

     

    • #21
    • December 26, 2019, at 12:47 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    My five books to highlight I guess would be these, in no particular order:

    (1) Paradisio, 3rd part of the epic poem, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, translated and annotated by Robert and Jean Hollander.

    (2) Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, an autobiography of Bishop Fulton Sheen.

    (3) Vol 5 of Les Misérables, “Jean Valjean” a novel by Victor Hugo.

    (4) Death Comes for the Archbishop, a novel by Willa Cather.

    (5) Mariette in Ecstasy, a novel by Ron Hansen.

    Also recommend Hansen’s “Exiles” about Gerard Manley Hopkins and Willa Cather’s novel about early Quebec (can’t remember the name at the moment).

    • #22
    • December 26, 2019, at 3:51 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Manny Member

    colleenb (View Comment):
    Willa Cather’s novel about early Quebec

    I believe it’s called Shadows On the Rock. Exiles has also been recommended to me. I am aware of both. Thanks.

    • #23
    • December 26, 2019, at 7:45 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. EHerring Coolidge

    When I looked at your (all of you) list of fun books, I realized how much politics had absorbed my year. My list is totally devoid of books written to entertain but full of books about current events, all centered around Trump and/or the Democrats. You don’t need me to list them.

    Damn you, House and Senate Democrats, Obama DOJ/CIA/FBI, Hillary, gun banners/grabbers, and AOC gang. My husband was smarter. He reread the Master and Commander series.

    • #24
    • January 5, 2020, at 6:21 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Manny Member

    EHerring (View Comment):

    When I looked at your (all of you) list of fun books, I realized how much politics had absorbed my year. My list is totally devoid of books written to entertain but full of books about current events, all centered around Trump and/or the Democrats. You don’t need me to list them.

    Damn you, House and Senate Democrats, Obama DOJ/CIA/FBI, Hillary, gun banners/grabbers, and AOC gang. My husband was smarter. He reread the Master and Commander series.

    It’s been a few years where now where I’ve pushed politics on the back burner of my life. I am so much happier. Politics and current events are really not that interesting when you get down to it. Your ability to really influence it amounts to one vote in a 100 million votes. There are better ways to spend your time.

    • #25
    • January 5, 2020, at 7:59 PM PST
    • Like
  26. EHerring Coolidge

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    When I looked at your (all of you) list of fun books, I realized how much politics had absorbed my year. My list is totally devoid of books written to entertain but full of books about current events, all centered around Trump and/or the Democrats. You don’t need me to list them.

    Damn you, House and Senate Democrats, Obama DOJ/CIA/FBI, Hillary, gun banners/grabbers, and AOC gang. My husband was smarter. He reread the Master and Commander series.

    It’s been a few years where now where I’ve pushed politics on the back burner of my life. I am so much happier. Politics and current events are really not that interesting when you get down to it. Your ability to really influence it amounts to one vote in a 100 million votes. There are better ways to spend your time.

    The problem is that creates the vacuum that allows evil to enter. That is how we got here from the 60s. People slept through the left’s capture of education, pop culture, and governance.

    • #26
    • January 6, 2020, at 8:04 AM PST
    • Like
  27. Manny Member

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    When I looked at your (all of you) list of fun books, I realized how much politics had absorbed my year. My list is totally devoid of books written to entertain but full of books about current events, all centered around Trump and/or the Democrats. You don’t need me to list them.

    Damn you, House and Senate Democrats, Obama DOJ/CIA/FBI, Hillary, gun banners/grabbers, and AOC gang. My husband was smarter. He reread the Master and Commander series.

    It’s been a few years where now where I’ve pushed politics on the back burner of my life. I am so much happier. Politics and current events are really not that interesting when you get down to it. Your ability to really influence it amounts to one vote in a 100 million votes. There are better ways to spend your time.

    The problem is that creates the vacuum that allows evil to enter. That is how we got here from the 60s. People slept through the left’s capture of education, pop culture, and governance.

    I hear you, but I still vote. I do skim the headlines and as my participation on Ricochet shows I am roughly up speed. I just don’t obsess over it like I used to.

    • #27
    • January 6, 2020, at 6:08 PM PST
    • 3 likes

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