Decided to start another list of books I’ve read, with some short comments, starting in September of 2017. As far as you know, I have never read any books before this.
- Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts by Harry Y. Gamble — A very detailed book on the evidence on early Christian literacy, book making, book dissemination, libraries, and book usage in the church. His general thoughts seem sound though I'm not qualified to judge them yet. At the very least, it's a great reference for debates/discussions of these topics and is a great resource for references to both primary and secondary literature. Highly recommended.
- Commentary on Galatians by Ambrosiaster — Caveat that comes with all books of this sort - obviously I didn't agree with everything. However, I really enjoyed reading this. Its nice to read a take on the letter that isn't colored by the Reformation era's intellectual baggage around Paul.
- Paul and the Faithfulness of God by N.T. Wright — This is both a dense and long (1700 pages) book on Paul. It is worth at least one reading and I'm certain that I'll give some sections of it multiple reads. The book is an examination of Paul's thinking in relation to the cultures he lived in. For those who are interested in Paul's thinking, it's a fantastic resource. However, it's going to be a very difficult read for those who aren't familiar with the field of New Testament studies. Many of the discussions in the book are a response to critics or interactions with other writers, so general knowledge is very helpful. If you are immersed in the field, you already know about this book. If you aren't, I would start with some of N.T. Wright's other Paul books before venturing into this one.
- Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, 7th Edition, by Richard J. Maybury — A book aimed at teens to explain some basics of economics. I found most of it easy to follow and it gives you a good historical primer on various bits related to money. Topics include debasing of coinage, how the federal reserve works, how inflation, recessions, and depressions work, et al. It is written as a series of letters and some of it would be good discussion fodder for youngsters.
- Weaving the Web by Tim Berners-Lee — An account, some of it rambling, about the beginning of the web. It's an old book (so only goes till 1999 or so) but possibly interesting for the technical folks out there. I liked it.
- SPQR by Mary Beard — An introduction to Roman history up through the early third century. I don't know enough about Roman history to critique this work, so I won't even try. Should be generally good for High School or later and is appropriate for a newcomer.
- The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church by Peter J. Leithart — An exploration into what it could look like for Protestantism to reform itself and for the church to unite. Those who tend to get upset when people tell that they might need to change will find plenty to be angry about. I also didn't agree with everything (because, frankly, no one will) but found it to be an interesting read. Would probably work best as a book to spark conversation than a guide to actually unifying the church. That's probably what the author intended anyway.