My Favorite Reads of 2023
Last year was a good reading year, to the point I had to leave some very good books off my list of the ten best reads, thus the honorable mentions list. This is purely subjective of course and based only on those books I personally read. It is safe to say that the New York Times will have a different list.
Along with the high quality of reads, 2023 also saw me read more books than I've ever read before in a single year. I did slow down during the last quarter, however. I am much more interested in learning, being entertained, and pacing myself than striving to hit a target number. Here is the breakdown over the last few years.
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Without an intentional plan, I ended up reading a lot of history, always a favorite, and adding a new area of interest - the exploration and settlement of the American west. In this, I looked for books that present both sides of the story while understanding that this intractable issue is one of two the Founding Fathers could never find a solution to, even though they knew they would endanger the nation (slavery being the other). I also delved into ancient history with a focus on Alexander the Great and two great men of faith, Saint Augustine and Paul, re-read Plato's Republic (it had been a week or two), and completed my first read of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations.
Amazon links are presented for each book and, where one exists, I've linked to my Goodreads review as well. Without further ado then, here are my top ten books read during the past year, arranged by theme.
Into the Heart of Romans by N.T. Wright
THE AMERICAN WEST
WORLD WAR II
The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945 by James D. Hornfischer - Goodreads review
The Stone Crusher: The True Story of a Father and Son's Fight for Survival in Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield (holocaust memoir) - Goodreads review
Night by Elie Wiesel (holocaust memoir)
Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (biography)
Who Can Hold the Sea: The U.S. Navy in the Cold War, 1945-1960 by James D. Hornfischer (history) - Goodreads review
If you are interested in seeing all of my reads in 2023, look here.