Gem from GK Chesterton

"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."

From The Everlasting Man

Monday, January 19, 2009

Must Read...

I'd like to get your recommendations for "Must Read" books and/or blogs in the areas of science, history and faith.  It's not that I'm short of reading material, or have excess time on my hands, but I'm always scouring for treasures.

One bonus point for each quality* suggestion you make as a show of my appreciation.


The Fine Print
*You know what I mean by this.  Do I even need any fine print?


  1. I can't help you out with faith ;), but here are a couple of suggestions for physics:

    *) The ubiquituous "A short history of time" by Hawkins

    *) Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy by Kip Thorne - still one of the best popular science books about black holes and general relativity.

    *) A long shot: If you by any chance read German, Horst Fuhrmann's "Einladung ins Mittelalter" is an excellent introduction to the mindset of people in the middle ages. Especially his discussion of the mutation of the concept of "Truth" over the ages took me by surprise.

  2. Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton -- though I see you already link to the Chesterton Society, so you may have read it. Probably my favorite book of all time.

    Some others at the top of my list:

    A. G. Sertillanges "The Intellectual Life"

    Anthony Rizzo's "The Science Before Science" (A good and easy introduction to the epistemology of science.)

    Anything by Peter Kreeft (philosophy) or Stanley Jaki (science and faith).

  3. Boris, unfortunately my German is limited to the names of a few food items (and those I'd probably be hard pressed). I've read the Hawkins book but will have to check out the Thorne book. Much thanks. You're on the leader board now for bonus points!

  4. Michael, I think that Orthodoxy is my favorite book (non-fiction) of all time too. I find myself drawn to re-read it about once per year. It is unlike any other theology book, period. Entertaining, but chock full of things to chew on. Just last night I was reading about his analogy of creation to Robinson Crusoe's salvaged items from the shipwreck. To me he is Francis Schaeffer's intellect mixed with Mark Twain's wit.

    I'll take a look at the others too. Thanks for the recommendations. You're currently standing on the bronze podium in the bonus points. Beware, you'll soon be facing a hoard of paparazzi and autograph seekers.


  5. I've posted about this book, it is awesome and very different "Shrouds of the Night".

  6. Thank you Bob. It's on the list! Looks like an excellent one for the coffee table.

  7. I don't actually read books on history, theology or science for fun as a general rule (though I break that for anything by the late great Dr. Feynman). Almost all of my nonfiction is read because of a quirky interest or to research something I want to write in fiction.

    So, I have history books I think are good, but they're things like a good biography on Vlaad the Impaler. And I have a couple of good science books but they're like textbooks on neurology and physics. I do not have theology books as it's not an interest for me (but more power to you). Unless we count books on how to read, tarot, read palms and witchcraft.

    I do think you should make sure Gumby the Cat's blog ( is on your "Must Read" list. He's also a proponent of science and distinctly Christian. I think you'd find his blog quite interesting despite the emphasis on space stuff and biology.

  8. Thanks Stephanie! I had been reading Gumby the Cat but realize that it's not on my blog roll. Soon to be remedied. Another bonus point!

    And speaking of bonus, my friend's son Dallin is aiming to knock you down a peg on the leader board. I just want to give you some fair warning and a head's up that your vaunted position might be challenged.

  9. There are two new books on evolution and faith, one by Karl Giberson, one by Kenneth Miller. They look interesting--check 'em out!


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