Read in 2015, Part 1

  1. Voyage to Alpha Centauri by Michael O’Brien.  In the near future, a group of scientists set off on a 10 year voyage to explore Alpha Centauri.  The book is the journal of a pocket-knife-carrying cowboy/engineer.  It is an excellent story, and I see its depth more and more as I ponder it.  If there’s one book on this list that you pick up and read, make it this one.
  2. Ringworld by Larry Niven.  Explorers stumble upon a “world” stretched out like a ribbon around a sun.  Interesting meditations on how much a world would work; I dislike the worldview purported by the author.  A re-read so I could read…
  3. Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven.  Who built the Ringworld?  Let’s find out!
  4. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers.  Read while I waited in the hospital to collect data.  A murder mystery infused with imagery from English church bell change-ringing.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and learned a lot about bells.
  5. The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder. True story of the development of the Eclipse computer (launched 1980).  A loan from my dad.  A fascinating tale of a time when computers were designed largely with pencil and paper.
  6. Nemesis by Isaac Asimov.  Nemesis was the name of a hypothetical star in orbit with ours that caused mass extinctions on Earth.  Here, Asimov posits its existence.  It was a good story and an enjoyable read, however, I feel like he is a better short story author than novelist.  His novels seem to be strung out a bit.
  7. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  I’m so cultured!  Another read while waiting in the hospital.  Enjoyable, but I’m sure I missed out on a lot.
  8. Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.  I didn’t realize that this was a collection of short stories – did you know there are seals?
  9. At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald.  Another hospital read.  I enjoyed this one immensely, as is becoming a pattern with anything I read of MacDonald’s.  Highly recommended for any age.
  10. Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.  Some challenging things in here.  Some puzzling.
  11. Mark: The Gospel of Passion by Michael Card.  We were studying Mark all year in our graduate group.  It’s the Gospel of the current liturgical year.  And my church decided to do a read-through of Mark during Lent.  So, I added on this commentary-ish book by Card.  Very well written; I learned a lot!  I look forward to reading his books on the other Gospels. (It also goes with a CD of music Card wrote on Mark.)
  12. Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  Somehow, I’d never read this.  Enjoyable.
  13. The Innocence and Wisdom of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton.  The first two collections of Father Brown mysteries.  Think Sherlock, but with a priest.
  14. Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum.  There’s so much more than in the movie!
  15. Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card.  A science fiction story meditating on the necessity of pain for human growth.  There were a few things I turned my head sideways at, but it was quite good.  At some point, I felt like this book had a different answer to a question posed by another book on this list, but now I can’t remember what it was.  (Edit: Oh!  It was on a previous list, and they had similar answers – the End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov.)
  16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  Not sure why I picked this book up again.  I hated it less than I did in junior high.
  17. Anathem by Neil Stephenson.  Could be subtitled: “Plato’s theory of forms gets its own novel.” “Hey! I know old math stuff!” “I can make up words, too.” Stephenson says just what he thinks of the modern world, but with all of the names changed to protect the offend-able.  I thought it was a little over-the-top at first, but I did enjoy the read.  There are mathematical proofs included.
  18. In My Father’s House and Amazing Love by Corrie ten Boom.  We found this collection at a used book store a while back; I only knew of the Hiding Place!  Good words from an amazing woman.
  19. Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston. A re-read so I could get to…
  20. Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston and
  21. Earth Awakens by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston.  Birthday books!  Finishing out the prequel to the Ender’s Game series telling the story of the first Formic War.  Naturally, I loved it.
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