2020 reading highs and lows

“You know what we haven’t had a lot of lately? Rambling from James about what he has loved and hated reading this year!” Well then… Some selections from the ~30 I’ve got through so far.

The good, the bad and the meh

WHAT WAS GOOD?
THE PLACES IN BETWEEN (Stewart): Rory Stewart literally walked through Afghanistan in 2001. This was his endearing and engaging account of that. Must read. It’s nearly 20 years old but holds up very well (and with some closing salutary lessons about my own industry, international development). I wish I could write with the same pith that Stewart writes with.
CHURCH HISTORY (Shelley): a gracious walk through church history – though really a walk through the history of the Western church as it sadly neglects the post-schism eastern church, and believers in the far East pre-1800. I was left reflecting on the damage done to the church – in its witness and to its integrity – when the church compromises its principles in pursuit of influence or power (a lesson our evangelical American friends would do well to heed).
SABBATH (Else): Slee is a CoE academic and this really helped me at the start of the year when I was completely wrung out and needed to rediscover a rhythm of rest.
WILDING (Tree): a fascinating account of returning a dairy farm to nature, and the process and controversies that go with it. Opened my eyes to species reintroducions and other debates.
JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY (Montefiore): this was also excellent but I’ve already written about it!


AND WHAT WAS BAD?
12 RULES FOR LIFE (Peterson): psychobabble claptrap.
THE TIPPING POINT (Gladwell): How is this famous? Boring boring boring.

What I’m reading over Christmas to follow… Cheese, Arabia and babies.

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