2014 Best Books

My goal is to read a book a week, but don’t always make it. It took a month last summer to get through Moby Dick, one of my book club’s choices.   It was worth it!

I also try to read the books written by people I know.   Don’t always make that either.

Richard W. Etulain, a prolific college classmate has written or edited over 50 books, about the American West, including ‘The Life and Legends of Calamity Jane,’ which I plan to read in 2015. I enjoyed his ‘Stegner: Conversations on History and Literature,’ transcription of his dialogues with Wallace Stegner author of two of my favorite novels, ‘Angle of Repose,’ and ‘Crossing to Safety.’

My five choices for the best 2014 books –

Hard Times, by Barbara Kellerman – blog – Why it is difficult for even the best of leaders in the second decade of twenty first century America.

Duty, by Robert Gates – blog  – This may be the best of several recent memoirs by former Obama Administration leaders.

Lila, by Marilynne Robinson – Another of my favorite novelists!   Lila is the third in series following Gilead and Home, an intergenerational family saga of Calvinist preachers in and around the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa.   Poignant stories embedded with philosophy and theology.

A Path Appears, by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn – blog – A world in need and what we can do about it.

Fire and Light: How the Enlightenment Transformed Our World , by James MacGregor Burns – blog – Burns, the champion of transformational leadership died this year at 96. At age 93 he published this history of the Enlightenment (late 17th to late 18th century) in Europe and America.

And several other 2014 books I found worthwhile.

  • Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most, by Marcus Borg
  • Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It, by Ian Leslie
  • Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism, by Molly Worth
  • Who’s Got Your Back: Leadership Lessons From the Life of King David
    by Eddie Estep
  • The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We Have Lost In A World of Constant Connection, by Michael Harris,
  • The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind, by Michio Kaku
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2 Responses to 2014 Best Books

  1. Oliver says:

    Tom, thanks for being an informational and transformational leader in 2014. Through your blogs you have kept us informed of leadership trends that sharpen us and help us to be equipped to adjust to the opportunities. Yes, Harris’ book on the End of Absence was a great read. I agreed with him that the pace of Internet and technological inventions have made us feel like “digital immigrants” alien to the advances. Keep up the good work, good luck in reading a book a week.

    Happy New Year to you and Pat!

  2. Tom Rose says:

    Interesting books and I look forward to Moby Dick. Dorcey and I have both read all Wallace Stegner books and loved them. The current article on Samantha Power in the New Yorker is fabulous and all about leadership. My best books this year:
    1. THE LIVES OF ERICH FROMM LOVES PROPHET Lawrence J Friedman
    2. IDENTITY’S ARCHITECT, A BIOGRAPHY OF ERIK ERIKSON Lawrence J Friedman
    3. IN THE HEART OF THE SEAS, S. Y. Agnon winner of the Novel Prize for Literature, 1966 and I am looking forward to many of his other books.
    4. THE JEW AND THE LOTUS
    5. GOD IS A VERB KABBALAH AND HE PRACTICE OF MYSTICAL JUDAISM, Rabbi David Cooper
    6. YOU SHALL BE AS GODS A RADICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT AND ITS TRADITION, Erich Fromm
    7. THE DECEMBER PROJECT AN EXTRAORDINARY RABBI AND A SKEPTICAL SEEKER CONFRONT LIFE’S GREAT MYSTERY, Dara Davidson
    8. THE LETTERS OF WILLIAM STYRON edited by Rose Styron
    9. and many more, etc.

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