A totally nonscientific, off the cuff, Top 5 nonfiction books I read (not necessarily published in) in 2020
A Time to Build by Yuval Levin
Yuval Levin has become one of my favorite authors. His books are both brilliant, illuminating and important. A Time to Build is no different. Here is what I wrote for Goodreads:
tl/dr –> We need to commit to rebuilding institutions that are formative nor performative; that form us rather than giving us a platform to raise our profile and become a celebrity.
This is not a partisan message or book. Readers of all perspectives can and should read and think about the issues Levin raises.
I hope to post a longer, more thoughtful review here in the coming days. [fingers crossed]
Breaking Bread with the Dead by Alan Jacobs
Alan Jacobs is another author who has grown in my estimation as I have read more of his work. One of my goals in 2020 was to read most of his books and I did (a couple of his early books are a bit pricey for me). His latest, Breaking Bread with the Dead, is another must-read I recommend constantly.
You can read my review over at the University Bookman
Jacobs argues neither for throwing out the past as hopelessly wrong nor for ignoring the serious issues with which readers must wrestle. The reader with personal density doesn’t have to abandon engaging ideas from the past because they may encounter racism, anti-semitism, misogyny, and other beliefs with which they strongly disagree. Instead, Jacobs’s strategy acknowledges that even the brilliant and insightful writers of the past were human beings with foibles and sins; with wrong beliefs that sit, often uncomfortably, beside their insights and talents.