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#books

Some great notes on making time for reading.

What competes for your reading time? What is less important than your reading? Nothing squanders time away more than pursuing things without a purpose. And given that the average American adult (18–34) invests only 10 minutes each day reading, yet watches 116 minutes of television, I think many of us have time that we can spend differently.

6 Ways to Find (and Protect) the Time You Need to Read Books, Crossway

We make a habit of wasting lots of time and then complaining that we don’t have time for things that have a good purpose to our lives. Television, video games, doom scrolling on social media. This goes for finding time to learn a musical instrument, to pick up a hobby like woodworking, as well as reading.

You really should give up preaching, and blogging, and publishing, and declaring, and challenging, and prophetically pronouncing. And why? Gashmu saith it. And who is Gashmu? We are not sure exactly, but it distresses us that he is displeased.

Gashmu Saith It, Douglas Wilson

This book is essentially a long article. Hour and a half on Canon+. Have I mentioned Canon+ yet here? Looks like I have not. Canon Press publishes lots of good books, Canon+ is their streaming service. Documentaries, lots of video content, and audiobooks. Lots of them. And not just Canon Press books. $7.99 a month and you can watch and listen to any of these. I pay for Audible too, but they give you a credit a month to buy one book with. Canon+ is unlimited books. If you are a Christian— especially with Calvinist leaning— and want to read more, you cannot go wrong subscribing to Canon+.

The graveyards are full of indispensable men.

Charles De Gaulle

Just finished Ploductivity from Douglas Wilson. Good, short book on work.

I noted earlier this year that “[s]ome may assume that I consume a lot of political content,” and “[t]his is only really only true in the sense that everything is political these days.” This year so far, two of the seven books I have read have been directly political: Mere Christendom and Slaying Leviathan. Both, though, are largely philosophy books, with Mere Christendom looking at Christendom and what it would look like to reestablish Christendom today and what steps we need to take to do just that and Slaying Leviathan looking at the history of goverment and it’s relationship with Christianity since the early church fathers to the founding of America. Both of these books are solid and full of good information, thought provoking, and important reads for Christians today.

And hey, I just finished Slaying Leviathan this evening and have updated the Shelf!

I just finished my 6th book of the year, The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler. Personally I don’t like consuming “self-help” style books and this one is certainly getting too close to the border of that category, but I was encouraged to read a book on leadership for a goal at work.

Albert Mohler is an author, preacher, and podcaster that I greatly respect and quote regularly. I’ll say that one of my key takeaways from this one was that I need to read more biographies of leaders, so I’m fairly sure I’ll be doing that.

When the leader writes, he writes to inform, to motivate, to explain, and to inspire. Sometimes the leader has to clarify, correct, or even sound an alarm. Whatever the context, words matter and the effective leader works hard to develop the ability to write clearly, cogently, and powerfully.

The Conviction to Lead, Chapter 20

Note that I’ve also updated my Shelf to include the remaining 2023 books.

You wish we lived in a day when the theological and cultural battles centered on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. And in a way they do. Beneath our battles over manhood, womanhood, the family, and sexuality is the fundamental question: who is God? Are our feelings and passions and desires God? Or is Jesus, the crucified and risen Messiah, the Lord of heaven and earth? So plant your flag on the Lordship of Christ.

On Empathy and Monsters by Joe Rigney

There are so many good quotes from this piece and I’m eager to read Joe’s new book coming out in March.

If untethered empathy rules, then deranged men and unstable women must be accommodated.

Untethered empathy is dangerous. It can be used to abuse and destroy. I’ve faced deranged men over the last couple years and I’ve faced those that demand that I accommodate them.

Stand strong in the Lord and get comfortable carrying the shield.

This morning I added the first half of 2023’s reading to the new Shelf page. All these books were solid.

The Return of the Dragon by Lewis Ungit

This was definitely an odd book. It covers the spiritual experiences of those that take psychedelic drugs and the history of the Church with cultures that practiced such things. Spoilers: they ended the practice everywhere they went. Haunted Cosmos just posted an episode about this book a couple weeks ago. Solid read for any Christian.

Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier

For any parent of daughters, this book shows the social contagion of transgenderism among young girls and the danger and damage that has come from this. Parents, you need to read this.

The God of the Garden and Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson

These are books that I will be going back to repeatedly. Andrew is just a comfy writer, with creativity and imagery abounding. Thoughts on creativity, writing, poetry, songwriting, and gardening.

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self and Strange New World by Carl R. Trueman

If you want to understand a lot of what is going on in philosophy today, these books are really good. Rise and Triumph is better, but a lot of words. If you want a shorter read that still communicates the point, Strange New World is a quick read.

More coming

I am going to finish another book today and maybe get back to some fiction reading. Got the next two Ransom trilogy books lined up as well as others. I think I will be beating last year’s ten books this year.

Finished reading Mere Fundamentalism yesterday by Douglas Wilson, marking five books down for the month. Not a bad start to the year. And with reading becoming a larger part of my life— big finally there— I have added a Shelf section to Finley, I am. This was part of the original plan for the site, but I didn’t read enough to justify it. Currently it just has this year’s reading, but I’ll be adding last year too.

I plan to expand on this with possible reviews and ratings as well, but kept it simple to start. Just like the start of last year, this site is a “worry stone”. I can fidget here, make small changes, add stuff, remove stuff, learn things. Feels great.

As I wrote in November, I have finally gotten into audiobooks. It took a long time to get over… well, myself. The result was consuming 10 books last year. This was a massive bump over previous years of… barely consuming any books. I feel bad about that, but it’s behind me. This week we hit the end of January and I have finished four books this month. Yeah, I’m gonna have to add a bookshelf page to Finley, I am. soon and start writing some book reports.

Build good habits. This requires you to start. And continue. At the start of January I mentioned that I have stopped bringing my phone with me on Sunday’s. It has become a relaxing thing in the morning to not have my phone around— though yesterday I needed to scan a QR code, which led to some fun interactions. I am four weeks into that habit and I love it.

This year I am building. You should too.

Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.

C.S. Lewis