Great Books to Read!

I try to read as much as possible. It gets me off my phone and away from the television. I have read many books, mostly non-fiction, but I have made an effort to read some of the classics.

Here, I will introduce the book, give a short synopsis and rate the book on a five star scale. If the book really sucks, you won’t see it here so don’t expect to see a 1-star book.

I am adding this to really encourage myself to read, at least, a couple of books a month (preferably, one a week).


The Art of Virtue by Benjamin Franklin (120 pages) – ****

Great book that talks about Franklin’s strategy for living a virtuous live. He gives examples of virtue from is own life. A lot of the book pulls from his autobiography. What is interesting about it is you can see he was a real person. Some people liked him, others didn’t. He liked some people, he didn’t like others. He was annoyed by mud. Things like that.

It is a fun read and it is short, though the language can be a little tricky for a modern reader.



The Maze by Nelson DeMille (420 pages) – ****

A pretty good book. A little longer than it should be (a lot of repetition), but fun and funny. It is about a former police officer and FBI agent that is recruited to go undercover to investigate a private security firm that might be involved in corruption and, is believed, to be involved in a series of serial killings of hookers.

I thought the book is fun though predictable. I was able to figure out what happened way before the conclusion of the book. It also had a lot of build up because of the complex case. The action didn’t start until 350 pages into the book. I loved the toxic masculinity of the main character. I also loved the mystery and the fact this was based on a true serial killing cold case.

King Lear by William Shakespeare (174 pages) – *****

This is the tragic story of the aging King Lear, king of England, who wants to retire from being king. He asks his three daughters if they love him. The eldest two say they love him very much while the third said she only loved him as a father but that was it. The two that said they loved him received half the kingdom while the third got nothing and was married to the King of France.

Well, it turns out the two elder daughters didn’t really love him that much and just wanted the kingdom. Things just went straight to hell from there.

Great story. Simple and engrossing. The language takes a bit to get used to. I found that reading out loud made understanding far easier (which annoyed Josie and her kids. I never read this before and found it to be one of the least complicated of Shakespeare’s tragedies. This is a must read.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (227 pages) – ****

I love C.S. Lewis.

I have read several of his books. Mere Christianity is one of his more popular and important books and, I won’t lie, I will need to read it again to really get an understanding of the content.

The book is not a story. It is his philosophy of Christianity. He was agnostic as he was growing up but didn’t see the reasoning in it. He did not see that there not being a God as possible or logical. He explained the difference between Christ and man and explained the difference between God and man. He describes how life for man is a pathway to God and we will always fail, but we have to continue trying.

It’s a very easy book to understand though it is not the easiest to read. Though the language is easy, the text is rather dry. Lewis, outside of The Screwtape Letters, does not put much humor in his writings. Even The Chronicles of Narnia does not have any humor, so it is not very entertaining, but the insights are fantastic. This book is required for any Christian and will fill the agnostic with many questions as to why they are the way they are.

Church of Cowards by Matt Walsh (208 pages) – ****

This is not one of the most entertaining books. In fact, the usual dry humor of Matt Walsh rarely appears at all. Matt is angry here. He hates the way Christianity has shaped Christians. The book follows a lot of the dictates of CS Lewis with a splash of Bible quotes. To be honest, it wasn’t the most entertaining book. This is coming from a guy who belongs to the Sweet Baby Gang (if you don’t know what that is, you ain’t part of it).

The book does have a lot of Christian philosophy and defines what it is to be a good Christian. It does answer a lot of great questions like, “Does the devil an demons exist?” It does talk about why we should go to church and why we don’t go to church. It talks about what is evil. It talks about what is Heaven and what we should expect (though I question this).

It is a good book and worthy to read if you question Christianity.

Don’t Burn This Country by Dave Rubin (240 pages) – ****

This is Dave Rubin’s second book and much better than the first. The goal of this book is to help people navigate the woke world we live in. He also makes it clear that people who are moderates and Conservatives have much better arguments and are, in general, much happier. He talks about the wonder ideology that our Founding Fathers instilled in our nation. Religion, the nuclear family, capitalism are some of the things he props up as positives. He also explains that we could lose it and we must fight to keep it.

The book is very positive, easy to read and has some humor in it. It is not reading a book so much as it is Dave talking to the reader. It took me only a couple of days to complete. His writing style has definitely sharpened since his last book Don’t Burn This Book. Nothing extremely enlightening but very entertaining.

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (609 pages) – *****

Wow, what a great book. This is the fictional story of former Louisiana governor, Huey Long.

Willie Talos is an aspiring politician. He is progressive and his ideas would change the government. But he had a problem, he was a crappy speaker. It was one weekend day, hungover and pissed off at being screwed by a political rival, that he made a speech that would shape his political career. It was the talent he would use to keep power and, eventually, led to his death.

The story is from the perspective of Jack Burden, Willie’s assistant and hatchet man. It is about the corruption of the political system and the sordid things that have to be done to manipulate the masses and other politicians to retain power. It is a story that has relevance for politics today.

The book is long and long winded but the language is beautiful and it is a book that will get you thinking. Definitely one of the best American novels ever written in line with Steinbeck and Faulkner.

Thomas Paine on Liberty: Common Sense and Other Writings (140 pages) – *****

This book was written before the Revolutionary War against England. It did several things. It justified the need for independence, it railed against the monarchy as a valid government and the need for the United States to remain a single country. The states needed to be under on federal government. This was one of the biggest challenge.

But, what it also does is give a good look into the history and attitudes of the time. People liked being under England. People wanted each state to be its own country (the first constitution is an example of that). The conflict between the religious and the secular. The French Revolution was highly influenced by the American Revolution and Paine was proud of that.

It is a wonderful look into our history and thought processes that led to our Constitution. Common Sense remains one of the best selling books in history. As for the language, it was written in 1750. It’s written in that language and can be a little difficult to comprehend. Words are spelled differently and sentences are organized in ways we are not used to. Common Sense is actually the hardest to read (but a must read) but his letters and other writings are more casual and much easier to read. This is a historical text that needs to be read by our children today.

Liberal Misery by Eddie Scarry (128 pages) – *****

OK, this book is a guilty pleasure!

Very short. Very easy to read. He is talking to the reader not lecturing. He says what I have always believed, Leftists are miserable human beings that want everyone as miserable as they are. They are unhappy people. And Eddie Scarry has statistics that prove it.

This book covers the pandemic, the destruction of our norms, white supremacy, the riots and the January 6th “insurrection” contradictions.

I do not have much to say about this one. Just read it. It’s fun!

Beyond Biden by Newt Gingrich (304 pages) – ****

I hate reading books by Newt. Not because I don’t learn anything but because they are so dry. I think he would be a better writer if he dropped a couple of f-bombs like what Eddie Scarry did in the last book I read. Unfortunately, he like Mark Levin, boring but brilliant.

This book is different. It is really a positive book about where this country is heading. It talks about the disaster that is the Biden administration and how the people are too smart to put up with it. In this book, he promises that things will get back to the way they were. That makes me feel pretty good.

Gingrich isn’t the easiest writer to read but this book is very good and I had no trouble getting through it. I really liked this one.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (234 pages) – *****

This is the third time I have read this book. I read it twice in high school for English class. I decided to read it again because I thought I would get more out of it now that I’m older.

It is about a boy who has been kicked out of his high school…again. He decides to leave the school and walk around the streets of New York. He gets into trouble and starts to analyze his own life. He is a very negative boy that wants the perfect life without putting in any work. He’s an idealist who wants nothing more than to protect his younger sister, who he loves very much. He is also tortured by the death of his younger brother from cancer.

It is a wonderful book that is a coming-to-age story. By the end, the reader gets the feeling he will be alright.

Washington on Leadership by George Washington (152 pages) – *****

This is a fantastic little book!

It shows letters and speeches he gave bother during the American Revolution and when he was President of the United States. Before he was President, he showed his concerns about military discipline and the needs for the new federal government to maintain an army and navy though most states didn’t want to.

When he was President, he talked about how honored he was to be elected President, though he didn’t want to be one because he wanted to retire. His farewell speech is one of the greatest ever made and all 50 pages of it are there. In fact, he predicted what could lead the United States to become despotic and it is frightening. Everything he said is happening today. I am actually going to do a podcast on that part of the speech.

There is so little out there on the writings of George Washington. This is the perfect little book. His writings are rather dry, but he is very direct which makes it easy to understand. Again, this is another book that should be required reading by all our schools.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (208 pages) – *****

This is the third time I have read this book. Luckily, I am old enough to understand it much better than I did as a teenager.

This book is about a group of boys that are ship wrecked on an island. There soon is a struggle between the boys who are trying to keep order and hold to the laws of civilizations and those who want to hold to their more baser instincts, the savages. It doesn’t take long to figure out who will win. Children are little savages, especially when they think they are adults because they can do adult things.

The book is easy to read, engrossing, thought-provoking and violent. It is one that will stay with you for months to come. The violence is shocking because it is happening to children by other children. Of course, the end seems to be appropriate, but is equally anti-climatic.

One of the best books I have ever read and that’s saying a lot.

The Rational Bible: Genesis by Dennis Prager (548 pages) – *****

I was not looking forward to this book. I have read Genesis several times and feel I know enough about it to get by. But I heard this book was pretty awesome so I decided to download it and listen to it.

Was it enlightening? Let’s just say I bought the hard copy a week later.

Dennis Prager has always been a great religious philosopher. His seminars and videos are not only educational but are entertaining. The writing is easy to digest and the articles are short, so it is easy to desire to start the next section.

Prager goes through the entire book of Genesis and comments after each important line. He is analyzing the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, which is important to know. He translates the lines to Hebrew and compares that to the other translations to the Bible. That’s why it is important for Christians to read this book. We get an in depth view of this book of the Bible with the Hebrew explained. The book also includes essays that Prager used in his Torah classes, which is very educational and entertaining.

This is a great book and a must have in any library. Next, I am going to be off onto the Rational Bible: Exodus. Though I will listen to the book on my long walks, I did buy the hard copy.

George Washington on Courage by George Washington (132 pages) – *****

This is an extremely important book and a must read for students in any history class in high school and college. Maybe these kids will learn what these people had to do when fighting the Revolutionary War against England. It also defines the Second Amendment.

George Washington’s job as a general during the Revolutionary War involved, mostly, herding cats. He had to create an army out of a bunch of undisciplined farmers, he had to push Congress to create a professional military (Army) and navy, he had to make sure Congress gave money to the military and he had to encourage the military and politicians that the war was justified and is going well, even when things didn’t go so well. We did, after all, did lose some battles against the English

He also defined the importance of the Second Amendment. The word, “militia” has been a point of contention with the Left. They believe only the army should be able to carry gun because they are the militia. George Washington makes it clear that the militia is not the army because the army did not exist. In fact, he wanted a full time army. The militia was a civilian group that could fight. In other words, civilians were the militia. The Left also ignores the fact that, as a civilian, households were required to have arms for every fighting age male.

To know what the Constitution means, one needs to read the words of the Founding Fathers in context.

The Gospel According to Satan by Jared C. Wilson (186 pages) – ****

This was a good book. It suggest that there are eight lies that Christians are susceptible to that work into Satan’s hands.

  • God just wants you to be happy.
  • You only live once.
  • You need to live your truth.
  • Your feeling are reality.
  • Your life is what you make it.
  • You need to let go and let God.
  • The cross is not about wrath.
  • God helps those who help themselves

The book also goes into detail proving demons and Satan exist.

The book was good but I didn’t agree with everything and I think he may have misread some of this stuff (specifically, God helps those who help themselves.) and the concepts aren’t really new. What is interesting is that these phrases are commonly used by people today, including those that are secular. Wilson is a Baptist and I’m a Catholic so that might have something to do with the disagreement. He does make a good case though.

Skeletons of the Zahara by Dean King (316 pages) – ****


This book was published in 2005 by historian, Dean King, about a merchant ship that wrecked along the west coast of Saharan Africa in 1816. The crew from America was taken and enslaved. If it were not for the help of one of the African traders, the crew would have died in the desert under brutal conditions and a culture that is not tolerant of Christians.

The book is based on the writings of the captain, James Riley, who had the responsibility to care for his crew, give them hope, negotiate a ransom and survive. The captain’s writings became a best selling book in the 19th century.

The book is written much like a school text book. It is long and it is easy to read though it can be a bit boring. The violence and suffering these people went through amazes me that most were able to survive. The story also discusses the traditions of the Muslim culture. This story also shows that slavery is not just an American thing. Anyone, anywhere can be captured and enslaved during those times.

Worth the read.

Stolen Youth by Bethany Mandel &Karol Markowicz (259 pages) – *****

An amazing and very important book about the culture wars. What’s scary about this book is the targeting of our children. And these two authors do not mince with the goals of the Leftist ideologues.

The books discuss how the Leftist machine is going out to manipulate our children to become little activists and how they are attacking them from several different directions. The school systems, libraries, the medical and psychiatric industries, politician, the media and the entertainment industry is going after out kids. They are beating them with gender, critical race theory and climate and all the institutions are helping the indoctrination along.

The big problem the Left is having is parents. Their next step is to break up the family and they a vicious about it. Good news! There are things we can do about it, resources we can access and people that will help. We, parents, just have to have the bravery to reach out a grab it.

This book is terrifying because everything we see is happening. Its covered by Conservative outlets such as Fox News. The book is very clear we must protect and teach our children. And they have the ways to do it.

The is a very easy read and will keep the reader engaged. A must read!

Thomas Jefferson on Freedom by Thomas Jefferson (139 pages) – *****

This should be required reading for all high school and college students.

This book goes through all of the important letters and writings of the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. He talks about slavery, the First Amendment, freedom of religion and the importance of keeping the government from becoming tyrannical. All the things we are told about like the separation of church and state and Jefferson’s love of slavery are clarified or, flat out, debunked.

We also see what his thought process are about the Bill of Rights and the fight he had to get them put into the Constitution. There were a lot of people who did not want the First Amendment added.

His writings are easy to read and quite beautiful. A must read!


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (336 pages) – *****

I read this book in high school. Like every other book, I needed to be older to understand how awesome a story this is and how important it is when it comes to understand our society during the Jim Crow era.

The story revolves around a little girl named Jean Louise Finch and her father, Atticus and brother, Jem in a town called Maycomb in Alabama. Most of the book revolves around the life of the little girl and her brother and how their observations of life are molded by their quiet lawyer father, Atticus. Their mother passed away when the children were young. The children have to deal with prejudice and racism, especially when their father is called to defend a black man who is accused of raping a white woman (this is where most of today’s controversies revolve).

The used of the n-word and white saviorism is where the controversy lies. If one can just ignore that, they will read a heart-warming, beautiful book. I, actually, hated finishing this book because it was that uplifting. Very easy to read and very engaging. I am glad a reread it because I am old enough to truly appreciate it.

Poor Richard’s Almanack by Ben Franklin (129 pages) – ***

Ben Franklin is one of the cleverest and wisest men in American history. He’s also one of the most intelligent people ever to walk the face of Earth. That’s why it hurts me to say I didn’t really care to read this book.

It is a book broken into sections (human nature, religion, economics) and prints Ben Franklin’s most popular sayings. A lot of them are really interesting and familiar. I was surprised several times to hear a quote that I credited to other people.

There are two problems with this book. First, he uses the language of the time which can be difficult to understand. I would spend a few minutes in some quotes just to figure out what he said. Next, there’s just too much to digest. This book is more of a reference book. You want a quote about personal finance, refer to this book. Reading it from start to end is kind of rough.


You Can’t Joke About That by Kat Timpf (248 pages) – ***

This book was alright.

It did have some humor and gave a lot about the life of Kat Timpf, the co-host of Fox’s Greg Gutfeld Show. It’s main point is about free speech and the need for humor to deal with life’s really tough situations. I couldn’t tell if this book was a self-help book or a book about the toxicity of the culture. She did ramble quite a bit, making the reader lose the reason for the chapter.

It is an easy read and is funny. What I did not care for is it is repetitive. It’s been done before. A book like it, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***!, by Mark Manson said the same thing and was a lot better. I think that’s why I gave this suck a low rating. It’s not because it was a bad book.

In short, it was OK.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (544 pages) – *****

A fantastic books about the insanity of war by a guy who served in World War II and knows.

This is a dark, comedic satire about a group of bomber pilots and the insanity of war and the bureaucracies within war. It follows a bombardier names Yossarian who wants to get out of flying his bombing missions because he doesn’t want to get killed. But he can’t because of the unwritten Army rule of Catch-22. How does it work? Only sane people can fly. If you tell a doctor you’re insane, that’s because you’re sane and you must fly. All the people that fly without complaint are insane, but they have to keep flying because they didn’t tell anyone they’re insane. Get it? Yeah, that’s the entire book. It is hysterical, maddening and tragic all at once.

The book is very easy to read and, in its own way, explains the logic in war better than any book ever written. The book has also influenced shows and movies of today like M*A*S*H*. It is long but pretty easy to read. The only thing with it is it is so insane, it hardly makes sense. It’s a lot like Shakespeare in that way.

There is a movie of the same name and it’s a great movie. The problem is it leaves a lot out so don’t think watching the movie is like reading the book. Read this book!

Leadership Lesson of Abraham Lincoln by Abraham Lincoln (121 pages) – *****

There’s not much to say about the writings of Abraham Lincoln except that one can see his train of thought before, during and after the Civil War. He writes about his utter hatred of slavery, how the war must end in victory and he was never going to stop. Again, this is another book that is a must read for high school student.

It includes the full Gettysburg Address, the full Emancipation Proclamation, and a simplified biography. It is a must for everyone’s library.