As a kid, I loved poring over my dad’s books. His office was lined with bookshelves, and I’d spend hours reading chapters here and there, from Dante and Shakespeare to Orwell and C.S. Lewis.
This office was my internet, of sorts, before the internet was easy to access. It’s where I went to look things up, and it’s how I learned what my dad thought was important, and what I, then, might enjoy studying myself.
Fast-forward 20 years, and I worry that we’re depriving our kids of these kinds of experiences. When everything is digitized—books, photos, music, videos—it’s hard to get a sense for what each other is doing on our phones and laptops all day. For all my kids know, I’m watching stupid YouTube videos or playing games all day (in their mind, that’s what computers are for).
That said, I want to recreate my library here on my website. Yes, my kids (and anyone) can learn what I’m about from my blog posts, Twitter, etc. But the fact is, we all have a fair amount of knowledge and experience that we’re not good at articulating—wisdom that might never get passed down, except by virtue of how we live our private lives alongside those we love (including the books we keep close).
Sharing and treasuring books is a powerful way to convey this wisdom to others. I’ve often learned more about a friend from the books I see on his shelf than from the things he tells me.
So here are my favorite books and essays—the ones I’d keep on my living room bookshelf, if I owned physical copies. The ones I recommend to my friends and family. I’ve read all of them at least once, many of them two or three times.
I’m including links when I’ve found free versions online.
The Doors of the Sea (Hart)
Atheist Delusions (Hart)
Mere Christianity (Lewis)
The Orthodox Way (Ware)
Process Theology (Cobb)
The Stricken Deer (Cecil)
When Breath Becomes Air (Kalanithi)
Getting Things Done (Allen)
The Art of the Deal (Trump)
1,000 True Fans (Kelly)
The Law (Basiat)
The Book of Wisdom
- Optimism is Not a Choice—It’s an Obligation (BeYourself, 2018)
- Is Religious Adherence Bad for the Economy? (First Things, 2014)
- Even the Feds Admit Minimum Wages Cause Unemployment (Mises Institute, 2014)
- Risky Business: When Numbers Mislead (Foundation for Economic Education, 2014)
- Waging War on Work (Mises Institute, 2013)