I know it’s a little late, but I’ve finally compiled my summer reading list.
There are a lot of heavy books on the list this season (…literally…) So in an effort to calm my nerves, I’ve done some quick figuring.
There are a total of 4,952 pages this summer. I took the largest book(Rushdoony’s Institutes) and figured the average words per page at 430. So, 4,952 x 430 = 2,129,360 words. I read comfortably (thanks to the EyeQ program) at around 550 words per minute, but sometimes if the material is hard or I have trouble focusing, I may drop to as low as 400 wpm. So, 2,129,360 words read at 400 wpm is 5,323.4 minutes worth of reading, or…88.7 hours, or…roughly 4 straight days of reading.
And, that’s not so bad…
So here’s the list. I’ll try reading them in the following order, although that may change:
Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings and Analysis – by Greg Bahnsen
You really can’t be an accomplished Presuppositional Christian apologist without reading this book. I’ve put it off long enough. I am almost done with it, and so I didn’t count it in the above calculations.
God and Other Minds – Alvin Plantinga
I’m familiar with Plantinga from reading some of his articles, snippets of books, and hearing his lectures, but I’ve never actually sat down and read an entire book of his. I am interested in this one particularly for his discussion of the cosmological argument. I hope to read it while Dr. Bahnsen’s discussion of Van Til is still fresh in my noggin.
Individuals – P.F. Strawson
A contemporary philosopher who deals in metaphysics and transcendental arguments, Strawson’s name and works are thrown around in discussions about Presuppositional arguments. I read about him in Michael Butler’s famous article on the Transcendental Argument for God. If I can make it through Plantinga, Strawson shouldn’t be much worse.
The Institutes of Biblical Law – R.J. Rushdoony
I’ve read a lot of books on Theonomy, and listened to hours upon hours of Rushdoony’s lectures, but I’ve never sat down and read this…probably his most important…book! How dare I drive around with a sticker that says: “read Rushdoony” if I haven’t read his best (and largest) book? This promises to help focus my thoughts on the Bible as I read other political books this summer.
The Great Depression – Murry Rothbard
Honestly, economics isn’t my favorite, and so I’ve been avoiding this book. No more! This summer, I’m tackling it with a passion. In the future, when some punk tells me that WWII (along with Roosevelt’s brilliant mind), brought us out of the “Great Depression”…I’ll be ready to challenge him.
The Conservative Mind: from Burke to Eliot – Russel Kirk
This is a big book, but promises to be a quick read. I love overviews and commentaries on history because you get the big picture. Kirk is a conservative, though his worldview isn’t as consistent as I would like. Nevertheless, I hope to get a feel for what has happened within the American conservative movement.
Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism – George H. Nash
Nash is another conservative commentator who may not be as consistent (or Christian) as I would like, but along the same lines as Kirk, this promises to be an overarching look at the conservative movement as well as help provide insight into the thinking of modern intellectuals. I don’t think American conservatism has a future without Christ…I bet Nash disagrees. We’ll see.
Albion’s Seed – D.H. Fischer
Probably the thickest book of all this summer, Albion’s seed is intimidating, yet fascinating at the same time. The subject matter looks very interesting but the length has been a turn off for quite awhile. Well…no more! Fischer provides an indepth view of how British and European culture evolved once arriving in America. I hope to learn much about my community and family and see where many of our rituals and traditions came from.
The remaining books are all about the French Revolution or the ideology surrounding it. I hope to trace the development and dark history of egalitarianism as it grew and manifested during those years, and how it is interacting with society today. This study will be a very powerful intellectual weapon in the war against egalitarian liberalism.
Reflections on the Revolution in France – Edmund Burke
The Ancien Regime and the Revolution – Alexis De Tocqueville
Robespierre: The Fool as Revolutionary – Otto Scott
Rousseau and Romanticism – Irving Babbitt
The Social Contract – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
All of these books are on my shelf and waiting to be read. I can’t wait to dive into them. I will, of course, continue to work on improving my reading speed by using the EyeQ speed reading program, and I’ll likely throw some fictions into the mix to break up the time. I am going to read The Tale of Despereaux at some point, and write up a review on it, probably this weekend after I finish Bahnsen’s book on Van Til.
I have no idea what sort of person I’ll be after reading all this…but, I hope it’s a better one!