I'm still on my "spiritual quest," but I'm making a quick post to put up my 2007 Reading List. I read 41 books this year, which isn't bad considering I was working full time and going to school full time throughout the year. That's down from 45 in 2006, and 48 in 2005. Of course, I wasn't in school during those years. Here's the list for 2007 in the order that I read them, along with a few select comments:
Imperium – Robert Harris; A novel about Cicero set in about 50 or 60 B.C.E. Not Harris' best book, but it was okay.
Animal Farm – George Orwell; This was my 4th or 5th time through this classic.
The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener – Martin Gardner; A classic series of essays, several of which present extremely strong and intellectually satisfying arguments for the reasonableness of belief in God.
The Wrath of God – Jack Higgins
The Wall – Jean-Paul Sartre; A collection of existential short stories. Not really my cup of tea, frankly, although the title story - The Wall - is a good one.
It’s Up To You – Dzigar Kongtrül
Emperor: The Gods of War – Conn Iggulden
Resurrection: Myth or Reality? – John Shelby Spong; An absolutely life-changing book. This book has inspired a new novel of mine fictionalizing the birth of Christianity.
Gold Mine – Wilbur Smith
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling; I just finally started Harry Potter this year, and I am totally and irreversibly hooked.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
A Falcon Flies – Wilbur Smith
Being Peace – Thich Nhat Hanh
The Princess Bride – William Goldman; A cute and definitely original novel, but the movie was better.
Men of Men – Wilbur Smith
The Pale Horseman – Bernard Cornwell
The Khufra Run – Jack Higgins; This was my second time reading this book.
Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton; Since I have sworn off "new" Crichton, I delved back into some of his classic stuff, just to reminesce about the good old days before Crichton decided to overtly display his intellectual dishonesty. What's funny is that it wasn't until his last two or three books that I first realized Crichton was a backward neo-con mouthpiece, and I always thought that was a relatively new development, but upon re-reading Jurassic Park for the first time since college, I discovered his neo-con leanings even in this book from the 1980's. I just wasn't educated and wise enough back then to recognize the dangerous and dishonest ideas he fills his novels with.
Gallows Thief – Bernard Cornwell
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holms – Arthur Conan Doyle
Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames – Thich Nhat Hanh
The Angels Weep – Wilbur Smith
The Judas Strain – James Rollins; Bought directly from Rollins himself at a booksigning here in Lexington. He was a really nice guy.
The Leopard Hunts in Darkness – Wilbur Smith
The Caine Mutiny – Herman Wouk
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
Night Over Water – Ken Follett
After the Lost War – Andrew Hudgins; This was a modern epic poem set during the Civil War, told through the eyes of a Southern soldier who was attempting to return to normalcy after the war.
The Ruins – Scott Smith; This was a psychological thriller that I bought spur of the moment because it had a good hook and it was plastered with quotes from Stephen King saying that it was the "best horror book of the 21st century." I read the book and was heavily disappointed. It was a fine book, but the resolution was a let down. Basically everyone dies -- which is what they were trying to avoid throughout the book -- and you never really find out the secrets of what was happening.
Peter, Paul & Mary Magdalene – Bart Ehrman; A great resource for information on the historical lives of these followers of Jesus.
Shout at the Devil – Wilbur Smith
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Arthur Conan Doyle; I had never read this book before. It was fantastic. By far the best Holmes story that I've read so far.
A Fine Night for Dying – Jack Higgins
Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography – John Dominic Crossan; The world's premiere Jesus scholar. Along with a number of others, he is a primary source of research for the Jesus novel I am writing.
Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
The Source – James A. Michener
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens; Second time reading this. It was as wonderful the second time as it was the first time.
The Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck
The Chimes – Charles Dickens
The Haunted Man – Charles Dickens; These last two are two other Christmas novellas that Dickens wrote. Sadly, neither of them has the spirit and heart of A Christmas Carol.