I read a number of books this year, and as seems customary, I’ll share a few highlights. Since I’m traveling and don’t have my reading journal on hand, I’m sure I’m overlooking some. Nonetheless, here are a few that immediately spring to mind.

The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis — Alan Jacobs

Alan Jacobs explores the works of Simone Weil, C. S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, and Jacques Maritain and examines how they addressed the possibilities and pitfalls of developing post-war society. He (and his subjects) provide a perspective that could give our accelerationist, technocratic, post-everything culture some much needed guidance and wisdom.

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation — Joseph J. Ellis

Joseph J. Ellis examines a few events in the lives of the Founding Fathers during America’s formative post-revolution years. The fact that political polarization is nothing new is equal parts troubling and comforting.

The Inner Voice of Love - Henri Nouwen

The meditations in The Inner Voice of Love is a series of journal entries written by Henri Nouwen direct an intense period of depression and spiritual darkness. It’s a beautiful and moving account of seeking wisdom and hope in the midst of doubt and despair.

The Crucifixion - Fleming Rutledge

I’ve already written a brief post about this one, but I’ll reiterate its significant by including it on this list. Suffice it to say, this tome is more than worth your time if you’d like an expansive understanding the defining event of the Christian faith.

The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien

I read this book as an almost spiritual exercise. Hopefully I write a longer piece about it soon, but for now it will suffice to say that themes, motifs, and spirit of this classic proved their timelessness in my revisiting of it.

I definitely see some thematic threads in my reading this year — hope, wisdom, perspective — and I strongly suspect they’ll continue into next year.

Regardless of whether or not you celebrate or observe it, I pray the unconditional love and unreasonable hope that the Christmas story embody are known to you this season. Happy Christmas, friends.