Here is some recommended reading for this Summer. Why am I recommending them? First, they are interesting. Second, they are well-written, and third, they provide glimpses of God’s providence, his wider working the world at various times and places in history. Each in different ways will make you glad to be an American at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Longitude by David Sobel is the story of the 18th century search for a way to ascertain longitude, the position East and West, on the high seas. Mariners were able to pinpoint with great accuracy their position in latitude, distance North and South. Since the ability to determine longitude was crucial to the British navy and their merchant fleet, the Crown offered a 25,000 pound reward (a vast sum in the 18th century to anyone able to solve the puzzle. This is the story of how one poor, uneducated watch maker persevered until he invented a system that worked. His invention changed the world.
The Second World Wars by Victor Davis Hanson is another favorite read. Hanson is one of my favorite military historians, and his book tells the story of WWII looking back from seventy years. He makes clear a fact not clear at the time, that once the U.S. entered the conflict, the Third Reich and the Japanese Empire were finished. Our industrial capacity and will to win insured an eventual Allied victory.
Covenant by Tom Schreiner tells the story of God’s Covenants with the church. It is a solid read by a readable author. All who want to go deeper in their understanding of God’s Covenants with humanity will want to read this book.
The Pioneers, by David McCullough, is another great story by a master storyteller and two time Pulitzer Prize winner. In it he tells the mostly forgotten story of the first pioneers over the Allegheny Mountains into the Ohio River valley. They settled the Northwest Territory. The book especially focuses on Marietta, Ohio. My relative, David Farley, (with his son James) followed shortly and settled in southeastern Ohio, so it had special personal meaning for me.
If you have read any of these books, or have other comments, would love to hear your thoughts.