2021

Ploductivity: A Practical Theology of Work & Wealth

Ploductivity: A Practical Theology of Work & Wealth

More theology than productivity advice, this book aptly defends the use of technology and the expansion of personal capacity that it affords us. When the topic turns to actual ploductivity, however, the only example used for how the technique works is reading and writing - a little bit every day adds up.

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How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds

It was really more of a book about the need for thinking than a how-to manual, but the checklist in the back was a good one and the examples in the book did highlight those principles without really drawing out particular applications. Jacobs is an excellent practitioner of writing as a craft; his words and examples were all carefully chosen to achieve his effect and reach his audience.

Even if I would have preferred he came out more boldly throughout, still it was evident that he was masterfully choosing his words. Noticing and thinking about how and why he expressed himself throughout was of more benefit to me as a writer than his actual words.

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Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning

Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning

2021: The idea of planning curriculum from the portrait of the graduate you want backward to where you then need to begin is wise and in alignment with ancient educators. However, fitting all subjects we want to teach today into the 7 liberal arts structure seems like shoehorning and inappropriate appropriation of terms. It seems the authors wanted to set themselves apart from other contemporary classical education books, but roots in history and philosophy are not evident, nor is the fact that in practice they are much different from those they'd like to differentiate from. Given another 10 years, I think this will be a forgettable title of the movement.

2009: "The authors promote a "trivium refers to subjects only" perspective, but not a classicist's classical education. Their emphasis was on raising activists who can speak well in order to persuade."

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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

A sweet, well-told "flashback" novel of a boy in the 40s and the widower he became in the 80s.

Begun and finished in February 2021. Audio.

Recommended by my friend Elly; we read it together to talk about.

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The Road to Serfdom

The Road to Serfdom

Begun January 2021. Finished February 2021.

Hayek warns that it is not only socialism but also any central planning that will lead to the serfdom of all whom the planners attempt to control. The risks and troubles of an individualistic society are materially and morally superior to a collectivist society. Power must be distributed among a wide and free mass of individuals, not centralized among a few, for such power will always create tyrants, no matter the intentions with which the project is begun. We must guard against believing that we can create a perfect society if only everyone did things our way - no matter who sets such a program and what their goals are, the result will be oppression and the ideal, because it is utopian, will never be realized while the centralized power will be difficult to undo.

Recommended by Brandy Vencel; a Hayek work seemed like an essential to include in an economics category.

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Humanist Educational Treatises

Humanist Educational Treatises

Begun February 2021.

Reading for my NSA grad class on the history of classical Christian education.

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The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

For the last 3 years I've used the Bible Reading Challenge to read the Bible in 9 months, plus the New Testament again in the summer.

Be in the Word! Make it the first thing you read.

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The Death of Christian Culture

The Death of Christian Culture

Purchased in 2013 and finally reading it in 2021.

Recommended by numerous classical educators and authors over the years.

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Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life

Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life

Begun in February 2021.

Reading with Pam Barnhill as part of our mastermind group.

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The King at the Edge of the World: A Novel

The King at the Edge of the World: A Novel

Begun in January 2021. Finished February 2021. Listened via Audible.

A story of the human condition, from many angles and the intrigue of Elizabethan England from an unusual perspective: a Muslim from the court at Constantinople, to whom the glory of England is like muddy play-acting. Working in the background, mostly unwillingly, at 4 different courts, our hero comes to see that court politics and secrets are the same, the world and religion around. This book is a well-told, enjoyable story.

Recommended by Susan Wise Bauer when we were recording a Scholé Sisters episode with her. I love a good historical fiction about Elizabethan England, so I nabbed it.

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Mini Habits for Weight Loss

Mini Habits for Weight Loss

It is a wordy book that does go on repetitively for too long, but I listened to it as a podcast replacement at 1.8 speed and it provided 15-30 minute pep talks that I needed in order to recognize how I tend to make the process of changing my own habits and making progress on my goals harder and more complicated than it needs to be. It convinced me that "too easy to ignore" is a better route to go than working toward implementing the perfect plan. It's not the greatest writing ever, but it was a helpful mindset shift and I will likely be listening to it again when I need a motivation boost to stick with baby steps.

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The Laid Back Guide to Intermittent Fasting: How I Lost over 80 Pounds and Kept It off Eating Whatever I Wanted

The Laid Back Guide to Intermittent Fasting: How I Lost over 80 Pounds and Kept It off Eating Whatever I Wanted

I have listened to this book twice now, and it provides a good, realistic set of reminders about the slow-and-steady, iterative process needed to lose weight.

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