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The most recent reads for this year are found at the top. This page is more for me to keep track of things than it is for anyone else. Hopefully I won't be accused of navel-gazing. 2003's list can be found here.
The gaff rig handbook: history, design, techniques, developments (Amazon)   [12/25/2004 - 01/10/2005]
John Leather  (City, ST: Wooden Boat Publications, 2004))
Tell me what it's like to be big (Amazon)   [12/05/2004]
Joyce Dunbar  (San Diego, CA: Harcourt Children's Books, 2001)
Sarah's boat : a young girl learns the art of sailing (Amazon)   [11/30/2004]
Douglas Alvord  (Gardiner, ME: Tilbury House, 1994)
My life for yours : a walk through the Christian home (Draught Horse Press)   [11/27/2004 - 12/07/2004]
Douglas Wilson  (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2004)
The title, "My life for yours" sums up the contents. We are to serve one another in our homes, my life for the other's.
Amusing ourselves to death (Amazon)   [11/11/2004 - 11/27/2004]
Neil Postman  (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1986)
Bibliology - The doctrine of the written word (   [10/31/2004]
J. Hampton Keathley, III  (Biblical Studies Press, 1997)
Unfit for command : Swift Boat veterans speak out against John Kerry (Regnery)   [10/28/2004 - 10/31/2004]
John E. O'Neill and Jerome L. Corsi  (Washingon, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc. 2004)
If even a small portion of this book is true (and we won't find out until he executes Standard Form 180 although the FBI transcripts were pretty indicting), John Kerry is truly unfit for command.
Standing on the promises : a handbook of Biblical childrearing (Amazon)   [10/26/2004 - 11/11/2004]
Douglas Wilson  (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1997)
This about sums it up:
     Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.
     He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers... (
Malachi 4:5-6)
Beowulf : a new verse translation (Amazon)   [10/12/2004 - 10/26/2004]
Seamus Heaney  (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001)
This is a most excellent, highly readable translation of an inspiring classic.
     So. The Spear-danes in days gone by
     and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness. (1-2)

     Often when one man follows his own will
     many are hurt. (3077-3078)

Eternity in our hearts : Essays on the good life (Draught Horse Press)   [10/21/2004 - 10/23/2004]
R.C. Sproul, Jr.  (Bristol, TN: Draught Horse Press, 2002)
The Hobbit (Amazon)   [10/08/2004 - 10/11/2004]
J.R.R. Tolkien  (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997)
Endurance : Shackleton's incredible voyage ( (Tyndale)   [10/05/2004 - 10/08/2004]
Alfred Lansing  (New York, NY: Tyndale House, 1998)
A Christmas carol (Literature)   [10/04/2004 - 10/05/2004]
Charles Dickens  (New York, NY: Washington Square Press, 1966)
I'm reading this to find some of Scrooge's interactions with Bob and compare them to Fezziwig's interactions with his employees.
About Fezziwig, Scrooge is quoted as saying:
He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.
Getting things done : the art of stress-free productivity (Amazon)   [09/01/2004 - 09/10/2004]
David Allen  (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2003)
Swallows and amazons (Amazon)   [08/15/2004 - 08/21/2004]
Arthur Ransome  (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Puffin Books, 1930)
Swallows & Amazons book number 1
Links to a Swallows & Amazons
map, the boats and a good overview.
Tell me what it's like to be big (Amazon)   [08/10/2004]
Joyce Dunbar  (San Diego, CA: Harcourt Children's Books, 2001)
The great airport mystery (Amazon)   [08/09/2004 - 08/10/2004]
Franklin W. Dixon  (New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 1930)
Hardy Boys book number 9
Mystery of cabin island (Amazon)   [08/08/2004 - 08/09/2004]
Franklin W. Dixon  (New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 1929)
Hardy Boys book number 8
The secret of the old mill (Amazon)   [08/06/2004 - 08/07/2004]
Franklin W. Dixon  (New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 1927)
Hardy Boys book number 3
Rotten teeth (Amazon)   [08/05/2004]
Laura Simms; illustrated by David Catrow  (City, ST: Houghton Mifflin, 2002)
The house on the cliff (Amazon)   [08/04/2004 - 08/05/2004]
Franklin W. Dixon  (New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 2002)
Hardy Boys book number 2
The heart of anger (Amazon)   [08/03/2004 - 09/15/2004]
Louis Paul Priolo  (Amityville, NY: Calvary Press, 1997)
The tower treasure (Amazon)   [08/02/2004 - 08/03/2004]
Franklin W. Dixon  (New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 2002)
Hardy Boys book number 1
Free culture : how big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity (Book Site) (Amazon)   [08/02/2004 - 09/17/2004]
Lawrence Lessig  (New York, NY: The Penguin Press, 2004)
The text of this book can be found
here. I'm reading it in 80-page installments as I don't have a portable PDF viewer.
Ironically, this is also about property law.
Catboat summers (Amazon)   [07/30/2004 - 08/03/2004]
John E. Conway  (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Sheridan House, 2003)
This was an amazingly fun book to read.
Metro cat (WorldCat)   [07/30/2004]
Marsha Diane Arnold; illustrated by Jack E. Davis  (New York, NY: Golden Books Publishing Company, Inc. 2001)
Here's the
book on the author's site
Fanny's Dream (Amazon)   [07/30/2004]
Caralyn Buehner; illustrated by Mark Buehner  (New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1996)
The Wall Street Journal guide to wine : new and improved (Amazon)   [07/26/2004 - 07/29/2004]
Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher  (New York, NY: Broadway Books, 2002)
The four agreements : a practical guide to personal freedom (Amazon)   [07/14/2004 - 07/16/2004]
Miguel Ruiz  (San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Publishing, 1997)
Ruiz needs a good absolute in his life. While each title of his four "agreements" make sense and are admirable, his defending arguments are little more than new age mumbo jumbo.
This book is written from a pantheistic worldview and the author expects you to already believe in his perspective of pantheism and relativism.
Dearest friend (Amazon)   [07/06/2004 - 07/12/2004]
Lynne Withey  (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1981)
I think Withey's concern with Abigail Adams' apparent contradictions is misplaced. It would probably be more appropriate to write that Abigail's character is complex. Not all the ideals (or ideas) she held are exclusive to each other. She was also living in a time when the changes taking place around her were occurring very rapidly. A very good book. I do wish that Withey would have been less hostile to the Adams' faith or that she would state up front what kind of a worldview she held.
Treasure island   [06/29/2004 - 07/01/2004]
Robert Louis Stevenson  (Racine, WI: Western Publishing Company, 1971)
The three musketeers (WorldCat)   [06/28/2004 - 06/29/2004]
Alexandre Dumas; translated by Jacques Le Clercq; illustrated by Norman Price and E.C. Van Swearingen  (New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 1950)
The closest I can find to this book is
here. But this is the edition I have.
The merchant of Venice (WorldCat)   [06/23/2004 - 06/24/2004]
William Shakespeare; edited by George Lyman Kittredge  (Boston, MA: The Athenaeum Press, 1945)
When the tide goes far out (WorldCat)   [06/23/2004]
Lorus Johnson Milne; Margery Joan Greene Milne; Kenneth L Gosner  (New York, NY: Atheneum, 1970)
13 fatal errors managers make and how you can avoid them (Amazon)   [06/23/2004]
W. Steven Brown  (Berkley Publishing Group, 1995)
Portrait in sepia : a novel (Amazon)   [06/22/2004]
Isabel Allende ; translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden  (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001)
This wasn't as good as I expected it to be. Not only do I doubt that I'll ever read it again, but I doubt I'll let it take up space in my library. It was that bad.
Danny the champion of the world (Amazon)   [06/21/2004]
Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake  (Puffin, 1998)
I'm not sure I want my children reading about how glorious it is to poach animals and stick it to rich people.
Selling Air (Amazon)   [06/19/2004 - 06/20/2004]
Dan Herchenroether  (DDH Media, November 2003)
This was an awesome book. I worked at some software sales organizations in the early and mid-nineties and I would have to say that this book accurately captures the theme.
Here's a link that's cheaper than Amazon.
How to read slowly : reading for comprehension (Amazon)   [06/14/2004 - ]
James W. Sire  (Shaw Books, 1989)
Ethan Allen and the green mountain boys (WorldCat)   [06/10/2004 - 06/14/2004]
Slater Brown ; illustrated by William Moyers  (New York, NY: Random House, 1956)
This book is also about Property law. (In its own way.)
Essential manners for men : what to do, when to do it, and why (Amazon)   [05/25/2004 - 06/08/2004]
Peter Post  (New York, NY: HarperResource, 2003)
A marriage after God's own heart (Amazon)   [05/24/2004 - 06/14/2004]
David Clarke  (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2001)
Already convinced of the importance of spiritual intimacy, I jumped ahead to part three, the "how" portion.
Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo (1623-1633) (Amazon)   [05/17/2004 - 05/19/2004]
Maria Celeste Galilei; translated by Dava Sobel  (New York, NY: Penguin, 2003)
Much ado about nothing (Amazon)   [05/10/2004 - 05/14/2004]
William Shakespeare: edited by Peter Holland  (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1999)
It seems to me that once upon a time, Shakespeare didn't used to be solely about sex. It feels like this editor goes out of his way to find each and every obscure sexual reference.
The shadow-line : a confession (Amazon)   [04/26/2004 - 04/28/2004]
Joseph Conrad : introduction and notes by Jacques Berthoud  (Wiltshire, Great Britain: Antony Rowe Ltd., 1986)
I had hoped I would find a book about sailing. I found it a very good and thought-provoking commentary on management.
The second treatise on civil government (Amazon)   [04/22/2004 - 04/26/2004]
John Locke  (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1986)
If you're interested in reading it, try
here and here. There's a very good chapter on Property which fits nicely into de Soto's book (this page).
The mystery of capital : why capitalism triumps in the West and fails everywhere else (Amazon)   [04/19/2004 - 04/21/2004]
Hernando de Soto  (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2000)
Here is the
first chapter, and also here with a review (NYT registration required). Here's one from Slashdot and another review but not so flattering.
Surprise, security and the American experience (Amazon)   [04/14/2004 - 04/17/2004]
John Lewis Gaddis  (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004)
The boy, me, and the cat : life aboard a small boat from Massachusetts to Florida and back in 1912 (Bluewater) (Catboat Association) (Amazon)   [04/10/2004 - 04/13/2004]
Henry M Plummer  (Santa Barbara, CA: The Narrative Press, 2003)
Here's a nice
review. I've listed three links for purchasing that show two different editions. The one I read is a November 2003 edition. There are so many great quotes in this book, but this one rings true for me today in 2004 as it most likely did in 1913 when written.
"How easy in this new workshop of ours to make a few dollars, but how hard it seems for people to get any real pleasure in the spending of them when made." (Referring to the economy in the early 1900s)
"Sport. The pursuit of pleasurable occupation which requires exposure to weather, exercise of all bodily muscles, judgment, skill of hand, foot and eye, never to be followed without a degree of personal risk. Under such classification I put Sailing of boats, Handling of horses, Hunting and canoeing, Mountain climbing. I know of no other purely sporting propositions."
The gardener (Amazon)   [04/08/2004]
Sara Stewart : pictures by David small  (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001)
Donald and the . . . (Amazon)   [04/04/2004]
Peter F. Neumeyer ; drawings by Edward Gorey  (New York, NY: Hary N. Abrams, Inc., 2004)
Duck for President (Amazon)   [04/04/2004]
Doreen Cronin ; illustrated by Betsy Lewin  (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2004)
Rooster's off to see the world (Amazon)   [04/02/2004]
Eric Carle  (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1999)
Ruby's wish (Amazon)   [04/02/2004]
Shirin Yim Bridges, illustrated by Sophie Blackall  (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2002)
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are dead (Amazon)   [03/23/2004]
Tom Stoppard ; with consulting editor Henry Popkin  (New York, NY: Grove Weidenfeld, 1967)
From Act Three, here is a portion of Guildenstern's soliloquy (it seems that Rosencrantz is not listening at this moment).
Yes, I'm very fond of boats myself. I like the way they're—contained. You don't have to worry about which way to go, or whether to go at all—the question doesn't arise, because you're on a boat, aren't you? . . . I think I'll spend most of my life on boats.
One is free on a boat. For a time. Relatively.
Free to move, speak, extemporise, and yet. We have not been cut loose. Our truancy is defined by one fixed star, and our drift represents merely a slight change of angle to it: we may seize the moment, toss it around while the moments pass, a short dash here, an exploration there, but we are brought round full circle to face again the immutable fact—that we, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, bearing a letter from one king to another, are taking Hamlet to England.
Smiley's people (Amazon)   [03/12/2004 - 03/17/2004]
John le Carre  ()
Letters to Malcolm: chiefly on prayer (Amazon)   [03/12/2004 - 03/25/2004]
C.S. Lewis  (San Diego, CA: Harcourt, Inc., 1991)
The covenanted self: explorations in law and covenant (Amazon)   [03/12/2004 - 04/21/2004]
Walter Bruggemann; Edited by Patrick D. Miller  (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1999)
String too short to be saved : recollections of summers on a New England farm (Amazon)   [03/08/2004 - 03/10/2004]
Donald Hall; Illustrated by Mimi Korach  (Boston, MA: Nonpareil Books, 1992)
This is an old favorite. As I reached the end of the book, I found a very old business card of mine from 1992, when I was an "Associate Consultant" in a land far away. Kind of appropriate given the last few chapters of the book.
A grief observed (Amazon)   [03/06/2004 - 03/08/2004]
C.S. Lewis  (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1994)
In the beginning: the story of the King James Bible and how it changed a nation, a language, and a culture (Amazon)   [02/29/2004 - 03/04/2004]
Alister E. McGrath  (New York, NY: Anchor Books, 2001)
A Secret Life: The Polish officer, his covert mission, and the price he paid to save his country (Amazon)   [02/23/2004 - 02/25/2004]
Benjamin Weiser  (New York, NY: Public Affairs, 2004)
This is by far one of the best books I've read in quite a while.
In the heart of the Rockies: a story of adventure in Colorado (Amazon)   [02/18/2004 - 02/20/2004]
G.A. Henty; Illustrated by G.C. Hindley  (Lake Wales, FL: Lost Classics Book Company, 1998)
Lincoln and Whitman : parallel lives in Civil War Washington (Amazon)   [02/15/2004 - 02/17/2004]
Daniel Mark Epstein  (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 2004)
Not being a Lincoln expert and without researching his extensive sources, I can only assume Epstein's scholarship is accurate. He seems to restrict himself to the facts, staying away from speculation and conjecture (something I consider to be positive). I found Epstein's portrayal of Whitman's homosexuality to be somewhat disturbing but he didn't seem to go further than what was truly known about his relationships and only what was relevant to Whitman's character.
When I think about Lincoln's character versus Whitman's, I would admit to being amazed by how unswerving Lincoln's moral compass appeared to be compared to Whitman's. Whitman's own moral compass was far too close to his weakened existential version of "north" to be influenced by anything bigger, truer and external to himself. Consequently, he appears to be constantly chasing his own passions and pleasures.
Shackleton's Way : leadership lessons from the great Antarctic explorer (book site)   [02/10/2004 - 02/15/2004]
Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell ; with a preface by Alexandra Shackleton  (New York, NY: Penquin Books, 2001)
Quotes that make you go "hmmm..."
"Some people say it is wrong to regard life as a game; I don't think so. Life to me means the greatest of all games. The danger lies in treating it as a trivial game, a game to be taken lightly, and a game in which the rules don't matter much. The rules matter a great deal. The game has to be played fairly, or it is no game at all. And even to win the game is not the chief end. The chief end is to win it honorably and splendidly. To this chief end several things are necessary. Loyalty is one. Discipline is another. Unselfishness is another. Courage is another. Optimism is another. And Chivalry is another." (Shackleton quoted on page 209)
"Leadership, after all, is more than just reaching a goal. It is about spurring others to acheive big things, and giving them the tools and the confidence to continue achieving." (authors, pg 210)
"Never give up, don't be afraid to lead, follow your gut, and remember, it's about people." (Luke O'Neill, quoted on page 126, emphasis mine)
"He has never once come 'spying' in my storerooms nor even asked me to render an account of my stewardship," Orde-Lees explained. By conveying such trust, Shackleton got the best work from each man. (pg 116)
There's now a
giant-screen production of his adventure.
The Two Towers (Amazon)   [01/31/2004 - 02/03/2004]
J.R.R. Tolkien  (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1988)
I have lost track of how many times I have read this book. The previous time I was looking for how the friendship between Gimli and Legolas grew as the Fellowship progressed. Things that have struck me this read include: how Aragon truly was taken with Eowen, how important are Gimli's defense of Galadriel and his ongoing squabble with Eomer, and how I find something new each time I read it.
Anna, Grandpa, and the Big Storm (Amazon)   [2/1/2004]
Carla Stevens; Illustrated by Margot Tomes  (New York, NY: Scholastic Inc., 1982)
This story is based on the actual 36-hour blizzard that ravished New York from March 11-14, 1888. Here's
what Google has been collecting about it.
Ben and Me: An astonishing life of Benjamin Franklin (Amazon)   [01/28/2004 - 02/06/2004]
Robert Lawson  (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1939)
The young Franc-Tireurs (Amazon)   [01/24/2004 - 01/30/2004]
G. A. Henty  (Williams, OR: Althouse Press, 2002)
I don't know how to describe this book, really. In many ways it could be described as a historical novel. His two young characters step into the history books almost as witnesses to the events. I don't believe that
Moltke was present at these battles, but some of the events are described in his book.
A woman of the commune: a tale of two sieges of Paris (Amazon)   [01/19/2004 - 01/21/2004]
G. A. Henty ; illustrations by Hal Hurst  (Williams, OR: Althouse Press, 2002)
Henty's descriptions of the siege are superb. I've got some comparisons to perform with Moltke's version, but I think things match.
Raising sons and loving it! : helping your boys become godly men (Amazon)   [01/17/2004 - 02/09/2004]
Gary and Carrie Oliver  (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000)
Twenty days with Julian & Little Bunny by Papa (Amazon)   [01/16/2004]
Nathaniel Hawthorne; introduction by Paul Auster  (New York, NY: The New York Review of Books, 2003)
The story of Doctor Dolittle (Text of book)   [01/15/2004 - 01/29/2004]
Hugh Lofting  (Philadelpha & New York: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1920, Fortieth Impression)
Wild at heart: Discovering the secret of a man's soul (Amazon)   [01/11/2004 - 01/13/2004]
John Eldredge  (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2001)
My wife purchased this for me a year or so ago (although she jokingly denies it now).
The author's scholarship/hermeneutics are somewhat suspect, but I can see his reasoning and his argument. Not as precise as Ken Bailey (see Jacob,
this page), but certainly accurate enough.
He has three basic points. Every man is longing for a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue. When taken in a spiritual and marital context, I think he may be right.
  • He is not writing about destructive battles, but battles of preserving what is right, of defending one's loved ones.
  • He is not writing about empty adventures for gain or plunder, but about a man finding "a place where he can be all he knows he was meant to be."
  • He is not writing about the adventure that ends when the beauty is rescued, but the adventure that begins when the woman is pursued and the battle for her heart is rejoined each and every day.
Sam could have stayed home, gardening with his Gaffer and day-dreaming of Rosie. But he didn't and Middle Earth was preserved. Sam fought daily for the Shire, for Frodo, for his Gaffer; without him the Quest would not have succeeded; he returned, took a big gulp of his ale and asked Rosie to marry him.
Think about Aragon. He could have spent his days in the north, quietly being a Ranger. But there was a battle for Middle Earth that needed fighting, a kingdom that needed reclaiming and a beauty that needed pursuing. He almost settled for second-best but neither he nor Eowen would have been truly happy. (I have no doubt that she and Faramir are extremely happy.) Arwen challenged him with her comittment (live forever without you or live one life with you?) and he rose to the challenge and pursued her.
Dangerous Dan (Amazon)   [01/06/2004]
Jef Mallett  (St. Petersburg, FL: Willowisp Press, 1996)
Jacob and the prodigal: how Jesus retold Israel's story (Amazon)   [01/04/2004 - 01/14/2004]
Kenneth E. Bailey  (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003)

© 2001-2010 Jeffrey D Gifford