2021 Reading List Jan 1, 2021 | 5 minutes

Books read this year: 30

Title Author Rating Notes
Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology Adrienne Mayor C+ Enjoyable read highlighting the history of machines and their interactions with man.
Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis Michael Ward A Amazing work suggesting a compelling interpretive framework for The Chronicles of Narnia.
The Horse and His Boy C. S. Lewis A+ One of my favorite of the Narniad
King Solomon’s Mines H. Rider Haggard B Fun, well-written adventure story
Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative Edward R. Tufte C Interesting read with some helpful principles for good visual design. The discussion of the Challenger explosion is fascinating.
The Elements of Style William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White B Very good read even for those who are not writers by trade or hobby.
Talking God: Philosophers on Belief Gary Gutting C Good read introducing philosophical arguments for/against the existence of a God.
The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It Peter Enns D+ Raises some good (and some poor) arguments against considering the Bible as a reliable source of information. My primary complaints are: (1) he does very little to prove any of his claims and (2) he seems very quick to listen to the claims of liberal scholars and slow to consider any conservative interpretation.
The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Nassim Nicholas Taleb B+ Very insightful and impactful book; a bit repetitive and, at times, rambling - but he raises some great points on the whole.
Confessions Saint Augustine A One of the most worshipful books I have ever read. Highly recommended.
Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith Michael Reeves A Fantastic book!
Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction Justin Earley B Great book
Introduction to Algorithms (chapters 1 - 4) n/a C Read through the first four chapters with friends.
Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb B+ Fascinating read that has implications on numerous areas of life (engineering, programming, finance, politics)
Common Sense; Addressed to the Inhabitants of America, on the Following Interesting Subjects. Thomas Paine A Very well-written treatise on the case for liberty of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain practically, politically, and theological
The Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution Thomas L. Pangle B+ Fantastic series of lectures investigating the debate between the Federalists and Antifederalists (and oft forgotten period of American history)
Feeding the Mind Lewis Carrol B Fun, short read drawing analogies between the feeding of our physical bodies and that of the mind
One to One Bible Reading David Helm C Interesting book highlighting the value of reading the bible with others (whether Christian or not)
Knowledge and Christian Belief Alvin Plantinga B+ Great introduction to Epistemology as it relates to Christian Belief showing the Christian belief can be rational (having warrant and proper function)
Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz C Insightful history of gun rights, gun control, and gun ownership in America (primarily noting the racial and ethnic abuse that necessitated the use of guns)
More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws John R. Lott Jr. C+ Insightful work presenting numerous statistics showing, as the title implies, that the more guns possessed by private citizens, the less crime is likely to occur in a given area
Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature’s Most Fantastic Work Eric S. Rabkin B+ Fascinating foray into literature of the past 4-500 years
Time Machine: An Invention H. G. Wells B+ Fascinating and fun science fiction story which introduces the idea of time travel and contains some fascinating political commentary
The Island of Doctor Moreau H. G. Wells B+ Gruesome and violent read full of commentary and analysis on the nature of man vs. animals, the role of science, and the role of religion/tradition in a society
War of the Worlds H. G. Wells C+ Fun, imaginative read which does a fantastic job of describing how human society would respond to a sudden invasion - not as good as his other works, though
Out of the Silent Planet C. S. Lewis B+ Amazing work of science fiction (which certainly is influenced by and is a spin on H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds) pondering the interaction of a fallen man with unfallen creatures on Malacandra
The Abolition of Man C. S. Lewis B An amazing work critiquing moral subjectivism - I think he is, at times, oversimplifying his opponents' views and oversimplifying the evidence in favor of his own, but still think it is a thought-provoking read
A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love Milton Vincent B Very good work celebrating (and encouraging us to daily celebrate), in various forms and genres, the beauty of God the Father’s love for us as shown in the Son, Jesus Christ, and mediated by the Holy Spirit.
From the Earth to the Moon Jules Verne C Mild interesting story in Verne’s style
Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce John Piper B Fascinating biography of a wonderful man who fought to end the slave trade and slavery in England

© 2021 Floyd Hightower

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About me

Welcome! I’m Floyd Hightower.

I am a programmer who is passionate about making the world a better place using technology.

Principles

Life Principles

Here are some of the principles I try apply to every area of my life:

  • Let your ideas see the light of day
  • Always be willing to accept feedback and criticism (even when it is poorly delivered)
  • Rome ne s’est pas faite en un jour (Rome wasn’t built in a day)
  • Don’t be too proud to follow a good example
  • Loose ends always unravel
  • Unanswered questions never go away
  • The Tisroc won’t live forever whether you want him to or not
  • Talk less; listen more
  • Use more semi-colons
  • Use oxford commas
  • Learn how to politely say “No”
  • Don’t let the possibility of failure scare you away from starting something
  • To do something, you have to do something
  • A whiteboard is worth a thousand laptops
  • Ideas have consequences