My Ten Best Books of 2013 (#6)

Today's post is the sixth in a series in which I ask pastor friends to list the "Ten Best" books they read in 2013. 

The list below is from Father David Hostetler, LTJG, CHC, USN Chaplain, 5th Combat Logistics Battalion. Or something like that. He is a Greek Orthodox priest and a Navy chaplain serving on a Marine base. Most importantly, of course, he is also my nephew (my oldest brother's oldest son, which I think makes him older than me).
In my reflection of this years' reading I've discovered that I don't read nearly enough. And I also found that I've gotten into the habit of reading as much fiction as non-fiction, perhaps more. I started after seminary to try to expand my pool of available sermon illustrations and deepen my own perception by reading more and better fiction with an eye toward finding the Gospel in everything. Some of what I've read I probably should have read in high school... 
1. For example, I loved reading A Tale of Two Cities for the first time.

2. And I was enthralled by a short story by Jack London called "To Build a Fire."  The edition I read contained two versions of the story which he wrote early in his career and revised toward the end. The difference between the two versions was as interesting as the story itself.

3. I've become really fond of Kipling, and his novel, The Light that Failed, included descriptions of men’s interpersonal relationships that are almost an instruction manual for raising boys or teaching men to be manly. 
4. I also enjoyed Hemmingway’s To Have and Have Not and

5. Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury for the first time. 
6. As for non-fiction, I loved A Game of Inches by Peter Morris. I try to read at least one baseball book during the season each year and this was great fun. It’s an encyclopedia of baseball firsts with small sections that are perfect to read between innings. I learned, finally, why pitches that miss the strike zone are called “balls.” 
7. Theologically (this is a pastors’ blog, after all) I started the year with For the Life of the World by Fr. Alexander Schmemman. This was a re-read but worth it every time. He starts by saying “we are what we eat” and then demonstrates the importance of sacrament for the life of the world. 
8. I finished two essay collections I started last year: The Inner Kingdom, a collection of essays by Bishop Kallistos Ware, and

9. Thinking Through Faith, a collection of a variety of authors and edited by Aristotle Papanikolaou and Elizabeth Prodromou .

10. My favorite non-fiction read of the year was The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton. I can’t believe I haven’t read this one before, but I’ll be going back to it again. With his characteristic wit Chesterton illustrates how Christ fulfills the longings of man from the very beginning of time and how Christianity stands apart as more complete and encompassing than any other religion.
As always, feel free to comment about any choices you agree with...or not.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recommendations! I work across the hall from Peter Morris--he's a great guy and obviously a great baseball historian, and it was neat to see his book included on your list. ~Jim