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Gifts that keep on giving

"Gifts that keep on giving" Continued...

Issue: "Not angry anymore," Dec. 1, 2007

Land went on to recommend Peter Robinson's How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life: "Robinson went to work at the White House as a 23-year-old speech writer and famously penned the 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall' speech for the former president. . . . Probably does the best job of getting at the essence of that unique, sunny, complex person that was Ronald Reagan." He praised Gregory Wallance's Two Men Before the Storm: "A wonderful historical novel that relates the true story of the lawyer who took up the cause of Dred Scott . . . few books, fiction or otherwise, so dramatically explain the horror at degradation that was human bondage."

Finally, after these big-picture books, he recommended a deeply personal account, Connally Gilliam's Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the Life I Didn't Expect: "A heart-breaking, yet life-affirming biography of a Christian woman who is a victim of the sexual revolution, in that our culture has so distorted sex for her generation that it is almost impossible for her to find the Christian marital relationship her heart so desires. This book will break your heart, but give you much greater understanding of the emotional pain and difficulty younger Christians often experience in this neo-pagan culture."

More suggestions:

Peter Lawler, Berry College professor

  • E. Ericson and D. Mahoney, eds., The Solzhenitsyn Reader
  • Pierre Manent, Democracy Without Nations? The Fate of Self-Government in Europe
  • Harvey Mansfield, Manliness
  • John F. Thornton, The Essential Pope Benedict XVI
  • Tom Wolfe, I Am Charlotte Simmons

Michael Medved

Author and radio talk show host, a calling that leads him to write, "I prefer to give books-rather than to receive them-because I end up processing so many books for my radio show that reading-alas!-hardly counts as recreation."

  • Rabbi Daniel M. Lapin, Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money
  • Norman Podhoretz, World War IV
  • Peter Robinson, How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life

Mike Robbins, Author of Ninety Feet from Fame: Close Calls with Baseball Immortality

  • David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It
  • Bill Lee, Baseball Necrology
  • Gene Carney, Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball's Cover-up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded

Alvin Schmidt, Retired professor of sociology and religion

  • Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great About Christianity
  • George Weigel, The Cube and the Cathedral

Richard Weikart, California State University-Stanislaus professor

  • Nancy Pearcey and Charles Colson, How Now Shall We Live?
  • Wesley Smith, Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America
  • Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ
  • Jonathan Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design

Juan Williams, NPR News senior correspondent

  • Clarence Thomas, My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir
  • Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World
  • Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying
  • Dave Isay, Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project
  • David Halberstam, The Coldest War: America and the Korean War

Last come two sets of suggestion. The first set, offered by Phoenix district attorney Andrew Thomas, is unified in its emphasis on warfare of various sorts: military, political, and career. His first recommendation is Victor Davis Hanson's The Soul of Battle: "Weaves together a trio of short biographies of three great generals: Epaminondas, Sherman, and Patton. Hanson explains how these figures exemplified the spirit of liberty that led their nations and armies to victory over tyranny."

Thomas also recommended Robert Caro's Master of the Senate. ("The third volume in Caro's biography of President Lyndon B. Johnson, this book by a superb writer well deserved the Pulitzer Prize it won" and Robert Novak's The Prince of Darkness: Fifty Years Reporting in Washington. ("The sweep and sheer number of fascinating portraits of interesting political figures in this book, told by one of the central journalists of our time, make it a pleasure to read.")

In addition, Thomas suggested two books about careers: Hugh Hewitt's In, But Not Of is for career-starters (how young Christians can launch a successful career in the world "without losing their faith or integrity") and Rob Stearns' succinct Winning Smart After Losing Big.

The second set, from University of San Diego professor Anne Hendershott, takes note of the understanding that one size does not fit all; she thinks of particular books for particular people:

"For my husband, a military history fan, Peter Collier's Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty: This is a big beautiful book-with a moving narrative and more than 250 pictures of the battles and the Medal of Honor winners. Peter Collier's inspiring narrative makes this much more than a typical 'coffee table' book.

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