Scott Postma

A blog about the Great Books, the Craft of Writing, and Human Flourishing.

What I’m Reading and Recommending

Books

President Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

History has validated this.

Search high and low across the globe, and you’ll not find a great leader who is not also a voracious reader. For example, President Teddy Roosevelt often read an entire book before breakfast. And President John F. Kennedy read six different newspapers, in their entirety, with his breakfast.

For more than 2500 years, philosophers and poets have shown us the success of a free society is contingent on its having a virtuous and enlightened citizenry, which only ever occurs in places where the populous nourishes itself with a steady diet of good books.

Like so many others wiser than me, I believe reading is critical to an enriched and meaningful life.

Books are our friends. They have the potential of rescuing us ignorant image worshipers from our platonic caves (That’s just another way of saying “educating ourselves.”)

But as Solomon, the resplendent king of ancient Israel wrote “…Of making many books there is no end….”

Since there will never be time enough to read everything that’s been published, and everything published is not worth reading, it’s important to make our reading choices intelligently–and selectively.

Mortimer J. Adler called these selections, “The Great Books,” and helped publish a 54-volume set by the same name representing the greatest liberal reading (reading that liberates us) of the past 2500 years.

Harvard University president, Charles W. Eliot, was of the same cloth, and often said a liberal arts education could be obtained by reading for just 15 minutes a day from a collection of books that could fit on a five-foot shelf. He later edited the 51-volume anthology known as “The Harvard Classics.”

In the spirit of cultivating readers of great liberal literature, I’m publishing my recommended reading list here. This will not be a place to bore you with every book I read, but to share insights and promote the books I believe are worth an investment of your time and money.

This list will continue to grow and expand, and the format and function of this page will morph as I learn how to best present these books to you.  From time to time I may write reviews and share how certain books have challenged me or shaped my thinking. I’ll post links to those articles here as well.

If you want to receive these updates or book reviews in real time, be sure to subscribe. It’s completely free. Plus, you’ll be the first to learn when I offer new products, services, or books–and various freebies I’ll be giving away occasionally as a way of saying thanks for hanging out.


The Federal Trade Commission mandates I tell you some of the books on the list have affiliate links. That means I may get a small commission on some of the books you purchase if you use these links. Regardless of the FTC’s policies, I will never suggest a book I have not personally found beneficial to me in some way. Any monetary compensation goes toward keeping this blog online.


Biography/History

coming soon… thank you for your patience.

Christian Living/Ethics

coming soon… thank you for your patience.

Classics

  1. The Holy Bible
  2. The Illiad, Homer
  3. The Republic, Plato
  4. The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle
  5. Selected Plays of Aristophanes, Aristophanes
  6. Oedipus the King, Sophocles
  7. The Greek Tragedies, Aeschylus
  8. The Peloponnesian Wars, Thucydides
  9. Confessions, St. Augustine
  10. Politics and Ethics, Aquinas
  11. The Prince, Machiavelli
  12. The Leviathan, Hobbes
  13. The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Shakespeare
  14. The Divine Comedy, Dante
  15. Paradise Lost, Milton
  16. The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer
  17. The Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan
  18. The Poetry of John Donne, Donne
  19. The Heart of Darkness, Conrad
  20. Frankenstein, Shelley
  21. The Federalist Papers, Madison, Hamilton, and Jay
  22. Democracy in America, Tocqueville
  23. Age of Reason, Paine
  24. Origin of Species, Darwin
  25. Mere Christianity, Lewis
  26. The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne
  27. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe
  28. Great Expectations, Dickens
  29. Collected Works, O’Connor
  30. The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky

Ministry/Leadership

coming soon… thank you for your patience.

Novels

coming soon… thank you for your patience.

Theology

coming soon… thank you for your patience.

Writing

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