Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best Books of 2012

Adam C. Zern shares his selections of the two best books he read in 2012:

"As I have mentioned in years past, the following two books, and the honorable mentions, are not the most perfect books I read in 2012.  They are the books that intrigued, educated, entertained, or enlightened me the most.  If I were forced to examine and evaluate all of the books I read in 2012 and could only recommend two books, these would be the two.

Non-fiction - Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty by Randy Barnett

I knew going into Randy Barnett's Restoring the Lost Constitution that I was in for a treat.  I had listened to several of his lectures and they were excellent.  I have been extremely impressed by Professor Barnett's intellectual prowess and compelling logic.  Restoring the Lost Constitution is all of his libertarian genius on paper.  It is extremely compelling, sometimes challenging, but never unreasonably esoteric.  True, the reader will certainly need a relatively strong background in Constitutional law and legal theory to appreciate this book, but once the reader has reached that level of understanding this is a must-read.  Randy Barnett's ideas are worth investigation for individuals from all sides of the ideological scale.

 Honorable Mentions:
A People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture by Terryl Givens
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis

Fiction - Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

What could I possibly say to convince readers that Ray Bradbury is one of the finest authors of the 20th century?  Dandelion Wine is probably the book I would recommend to convince other readers of that fact.  As his most 'mainstream' (for lack of a better word) book, Dandelion Wine is a great entry-point for readers who haven't read Bradbury before.  Many of his books and short stories can be a little off-center for many readers and may even put some off.  (I love them all).  This book, however, is a story about childhood, summer afternoons, and the magic that permeates our lives, whether we notice it or not.  It's a beautiful book and one that I would enthusiastically recommend to anyone.

Honorable Mentions:
A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

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