Browsing Category
2017

1. Evicted

2. Biography of Mere Christianity

3. Harry Potter 5

4. Harry Potter 6

5. Harry Potter 7

6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

7. Hillbilly Elegy

8. The Bible Tells Me So

9. Bop Apocalypse

10. We Are Bob

11. Headlong Flight

12. Norse Mythology

13. After the Prophet

14. Silence

15. Hells heart

16. Sleeping giants

17. Jonathan Edwards

18. Columbus Day

19. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

20. Inside Delta Force

21. SPQR

22. Expeditionary Force: SpecOps

23. A Confederacy of Dunces

24. Waking God’s

25. Bloodlines

26. Thrawn

27. Thrawn Trilogy

28. Thrawn Trilogy

29. Thrawn Trilogy

30. Jezebel

31. Agnostic

32. The First Muslim

33. Star Wars: Aftermath, book 1

34. The Jackel’s Trick

35. 12 Way Your Phone Is Changing You

36. Hearts And Minds

37. Six Days of War

38. Steve Jobs

39. Wine All the Time

40. Hue

41. Blink

42. Outliers

43. IGen

44. Leonardo and the Last Supper

45. Michaengelo and the Pope’s Ceiling

46. Igen – book review

47. Ranger Games

48. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

49. The Maltese Falcon

50. The Collapsing Empire

51. The Fold

52. Paradox Bound

53. Escape From Reason

54. 14

55. Leonardo Da Vinci

56. Exorcist

57. The Storm Before the Storm

58. The Swerve

59. Einstein

60. Artemis

As I traditionally have done, here are a few thoughts on this years reading including some of my favorites:

Best Book of the Year: This is a difficult choice to make this year. In terms of the most impactful book, that would go to “After the Prophet.” Lesley Hazleton’s ability to tell a narrative that is equally thoughtful, entertaining, and informative is brilliant. But I also really enjoyed reading (rather, listening to) Peter Clines’ book, “The Fold.” It was a fun ride that I couldn’t put down even when it got a little weird at the end. I also really enjoyed Leonardo Da Vinci, the new book by Issac Walterson and Steve Jobs by the same author. But the book that I think takes the cake for the year in terms of being so many things at once (gripping, a mystery, conflict, incredible narrative, etc.) would be Ben Blum’s “Ranger Games.” This book had me hooked from the first chapter till the last. I highly recommend it!

Runner Ups: After the Prophet; The Fold; Leonardo Da Vinci; Steve Jobs

Best Non-Fiction: This would have to go to the aforementioned “After the Prophet” for all the reasons I listed above. Most Westerners are ignorant about the facts of the Sunni/Shi’a split. I’m glad I read this book because it gave me a lot of clarity on Islam and its organization.

Runner Ups: Blood, Sweat, and Pixels; Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling; Evicted

Best Fiction: Somewhat predictably, the winner here has to be “The Fold.” This was such a surprise. I got it on audible as one of their daily deals and I was not let down. I went on to read most of Peter Clines’ books including “Paradox Bound” and “14.” The previous two couldn’t match up to The Fold but they were still excellent. Another audible runner up is also read by Ray Porter (the same narrator for Paradox Bound, 14, and The Fold) called “We Are Bob” which was a really delightful surprise as well.

Runner Ups: Paradox Bound; We Are Bob; the Thrawn Trilogy

I first discovered Lesley Hazelton from the book “After the Prophet,” which discusses the Sunni-Shi’a split in post-Muhammad Islam. I couldn’t help but to read this book after enjoying “Prophet” so much.

Jezebel was the Queen married to Ahab in ancient Israel where the Bible tells us a significant amount. She was foreign and not a Jew, a sin Ahab would pay dearly for. The Bible tells us she also had to deal with the pesky prophets Elijah and Elisha. With this information, Hazelton tries to convince us that Jezebel, despite what the Bible may convey to us, that Jezebel has been unfairly demonized.

To me, Timothy Zahn is a master story teller. These books were the reason I got into Star Wars fiction. The trilogy is a brilliant story. It centers around the successor to the Galactic Empire, a Chiss alien named Thrawn. As the New Republic rebuilds from the reign of the Emperor, they still have to deal with the remnant Empire dealing harsh blows to earlier successes. Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy and others battle against Grand Admiral Thrawn in this excellent trilogy. The only unfortunate part about the series is that it is now a part of the “Star Wars Legends” collection, since it is no longer cannon.

Timothy Zahn is one of the writers that I feel like I grew up with. As a younger kid, I remember my brothers reading the legendary Timothy Zahn. That was almost a household name in the Daniel house. I read the “Thrawn Trilogy” (which is now part of the “Legendary” series) so when this book was going to come out, with Timothy Zahn, I knew I had to read it.

Thrawn is the alien species called “Chiss.” It describes his “origin” story; how he came to be a Grand Admiral in the Empire. Overall, Zahn gives the reader an idea of how brilliant Thrawn is and how he comes to find weaknesses in other species (oh yea; it’s by looking at their art).

This is followed with an entirely different side story that follows Arihnda Pyrce, which is also satisfying.

Overall, this book is the quintessential political/tactical thriller that it should be.

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