Best books of 2020

Once again, for the end of the year, each of us is offering our “best” read book of 2020.

Something old and something new, and definitely something borrowed, these blurbs have tried to get at why we found these books “the best” of a year of reading.

 

The Cistercians: Ideals and Reality

Louis Lekai

The book that nearly every later book on the subject references, a comprehensive, global sweep of Cistercian religious life and its fortunes from the beginning in 1098 to the present, encompassing in context, ecclesial, political, economic, social, and gender concerns.

 

Reclaiming Humility           

Jane Foulcher

Working from sources in Christian history and context, in these four studies Jane Foulcher does an excellent job of showing how humility is not “an attitude”; it “cannot be practiced directly” but is instead a “way of being” that is the fruit of non-possessiveness and non-entitlement, the “climate” of egolessness.

 

On Seamus Heaney

RF Foster 

From the Introduction: "On one level Irish readers felt they were reading in Heaney a good history of Irish poetry. World-wide readers felt they were reading words both utterly unexpected yet utterly appropriate.”

 

Silence: A User's Guide

Maggie Ross

From the introduction: “If we can get beyond our manipulative thinking...we open ourselves to insight and change; we access a vast, spacious, generous, silent, thinking mind that seems to have knowledge we have never self-consciously learned; that makes unexpected connections...and that not only gives us insights but can tell us when an insight is correct.”

 

honorable mentions:

Letters of Ursula Nordstrom           

Invisible Women       Caroline Criado Perez

The Light Ages          Seb Falk

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