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Books for ChristmasThis past year I read or re-read the following that reminded me of the permanent things that inform the good, true, and beautiful:

Daniel Taylor’s Death Comes for The DeconstructionistA unique murder mystery that also offers a novel (pun intended) critique of ideologically-driven theories.

Josef Pieper’s Abuse of Language—Abuse of PowerAfter national debates or recent headlines about college campus circuses, I re-read this masterful little book. So you can imagine that this past year has seen my dogged-eared copy worn.

Josef Pieper’s What Does “Academic” Mean? This little book, if true, can cause one to lose some sleep. If Pieper is right, we need to go back to the drawing board on any chance for a university.

Marly Youmans’ Glimmerglass: A NovelYoumans is a poet who writes novels. Her prose is beautiful. There were many lines I read out loud to my wife. When I finished it, she read it and we agreed: This book is a literary treasure.

Jon Eller’s Becoming Ray Bradbury  & Ray Bradbury Unbound are two of a projected three-volume intellectual biography of Ray Bradbury—meticulously researched and based on hundreds of hours of conversations spread over more than forty years of friendship with Bradbury. This is a scholarly biography of the life of one of the most important man of letters in the twentieth century.

Wendell Berry’s Collected PoemsWhen you read Berry’s poetry you really need to be outside in nature. He reminds me of the fullness of the created order. The beautiful and harshness of the natural order is offered to us by a knowledgeable lover of nature.

David V. Hicks’ Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on EducationThis is essential reading for any and all who long for authentic education. Read this book with Pieper’s What Does “Academic” Mean? and hope.

Os Guinness’ Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion: This book is a masterpiece from a seasoned American sociologist calling for Christians to reclaim the rich heritage of persuasion that invites, and to shy away from bombastic proclamation that goes unheard.

Merry Christmas and happy reading!

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