Julius Caesar

4 of 5 stars to Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

2019: Adding a star. There are some great gems in here, even though I’m still not convinced that assassination is the right way to solve national problems. :)

2013: Note, according to Goodreads, three stars doesn’t mean it was only half-good, it means “I liked it.” Okay, sure. I did.

This edition includes abundant and helpful notes for old English terms and idioms.

The Two Cultures

4 of 5 stars to The Two Cultures by C.P. Snow

This was a very interesting and provoking consideration of who needs who the most between the two cultures of the humanities people and the science people. Snow himself was a scientist-turned-novelist who believed in the power of, and need for technology to solve problems, and saw a lot of ignorance/pessimism from the English lit-elites. Snow gave the first lecture in 1959, so a number of his comments are dated, but the intro helps with context, and the whole book calls for educators to get the two cultures talking to each other. It’s especially apropos as I’m talking with some men about starting a liberal arts college in the digital generation.

A Failure of Nerve

5 of 5 stars to A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin Friedman

May 2019 5/5 stars. With all the qualifications from my previous reviews in mind, this book is just a great challenge.

“To be a leader, one must both have and embody a vision of where one wants to go. It is not a matter of knowing or believing one is right; it is a matter of taking the first step.”


December 2013: Read again and discussed with the TEC elders through 2013. Fantastic material for a leadership team, as long as that team already has a strong theological basis.


September 2012: One of the most compelling and clarifying books I’ve read in a long time. Though I wouldn’t use the Friedman’s vocabulary, agree with his evolutionary presumptions, or have anywhere near his positivity apart from the gospel, I’d still say the Rabbi asks great questions that every leader (husband, father, pastor, boss, president, etc.) should consider.

Call the Sabbath a Delight

3 of 5 stars to Call the Sabbath a Delight by Walter Chantry

May 2019: 3/5 stars. Reread this with the elders at our church and, while I’m still glad I read it, realized that it assumes some of what it needs to argue for. In other words, it says more about Sabbath how without sufficient proof for Sabbath moral must. I do plan to read some more about the subject, but have changed my mind about recommending this book.


December 2018: 4/5 stars. Chantry makes a good and brief case for Christian sabbathing on the first day of the week. I need to think about it some more, but I’m glad I read it and would definitely recommend it.

Steal Like an Artist

4 of 5 stars to Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

This is a small book, easy and enjoyable to read, with good reminders to keep looking and learning. I laughed at the following quote, used it in a talk already, and think it’s a good summary of the benefit of Kleon’s book. As the French author André Gide wrote,

“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”

North! or Be Eaten

5 of 5 stars to North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson

Book #2 in the Wingfeather Saga was no let down, though it’s not quite as light a story as #1. The plot surprised me multiple times all the way to the end. At a few points in the middle of the book I’ll admit I was irritated, but in good ways, because I wanted to know what’s going to happen? but also knew that certain events meant that answers were even farther away. Excited to start #3 soon.

Roaring Lambs

4 of 5 stars to Roaring Lambs: A Gentle Plan to Radically Change Your World by Robert Briner

A friend recommended this book to me a few months ago and it really was worthwhile. It was first published in 1993, so there are more chapters that could be added now, but I appreciated Briner’s encouragement for Christians to get out of boycotting and grumbling and into screenwriting (for movies and TV) as well as into journalism and other writing endeavors, along with visual arts and higher education. The biggest weakness, in my opinion, is that Briner doesn’t root his exhortations in the deep soil of God’s sovereignty over all the world, such as a Kuyperian would do. And I disagree with Briner that all of this is the church’s job to manage, though the church should be equipping and encouraging Christian disciples to work, which, I agree with him, the church has not done well. As he said early in the book, “Almost nothing in my church or collegiate experiences presented possibilities for a dynamic, involved Christian life outside the professional ministry.” That’s a need that this book seeks to tackle.