Book Briefs

ESI readers are more than likely readers of good books. Or at least they should be. Every once in a while I like to share some of the things that I’ve been reading lately in the hopes that you will share with me what you’ve been reading. So here’s a list of what I’ve recently enjoyed the most.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
I love biographies and this is one of the best I’ve ever read. While Isaacson is a great writer, I think the book stands out because Steve Jobs is such a compelling figure. Beyond his personal story though, there are great insights on Apple products, building teams, vision driven companies, Bill Gates, the music industry, and more.

Charles Hodge: Guardian of America Orthodoxy by Paul Gutjahr
Charles Hodge is unfortunately unknown relative to his importance in American theological history. In this biography you are exposed to the debate of Arminianism vs. Calvinism, the way that many churches thought about slavery, the history of Princeton Seminary, and more.

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
The author’s interest in memory competitions started with writing a magazine article that eventually led to him training, entering, and even winning the United States memory championships. Here’s a quick fact: The world record for memorizing a shuffled deck of cards without a mistake is 21 seconds.

Surprised by Grace and Jesus plus Nothing equals Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
Every Christian has a tendency to drift away from grace and towards legalism and moralism. Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, does an excellent job of explaining and applying the gospel to every day life.

Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters
by N. T. Wright
Interesting historical and cultural introduction to Jesus. My only problem with the book is that after reading the chapter entitled “Why Did Jesus Have to Die?” I still had no idea why, according to Wright, Jesus had to die.

The Visible Man by Chuck Klosterman
Page turning thriller. A unique novel depicting the relationship between a counselor and a most unusual client.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
by Jack Weatherford
This is a fascinating look into a person and time in world history that I was largely ignorant of. Here’s a paragraph from the introduction:

“In American terms, the accomplishment of Genghis Khan might be understood if the United States, instead of being created by a group of educated merchants or wealthy planters, had been founded by one of his illiterate slaves, who, by the sheer force of personality, charisma, and determination, liberated America from foreign rule, united the people, created an alphabet, wrote the constitution, established universal religious freedom, invented a new system of warfare, marched an army from Canada to Brazil, and opened roads of commerce in a free-trade zone that stretched across the continents. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope of Genghis Khan’s accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination and tax the resources of scholarly explanation.”

Have you been reading anything that you’d recommend?

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