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The 24 Books I Read in 2023 and My Book of the Year

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I read some fantastic books this year. Why do I read? Because I want to- I enjoy it, I want to be a better person, and also because I want to help others. I read what I’m interested in, not what others are, so I don’t expect you to be interested in what I read. That being said, something on my list might interest you. My passion is helping people be healthier, and in that regard I love reading anything related to culture, history, politics, health, art, psychology, philosophy, and religion. I love reading about the nature of things, things that get deep and move towards a greater truth, that deal with what Robert Spitzer calls “Ultimate Reality.”

This year, I even read a bit more literature. Speaking of reality, for the first time, I read William Faulkner, and was extremely impressed. In my opinion, he’s the best writer America has produced. He can take a thing, seemingly simple, and get deeper and deeper into what it is and what’s happening with it- a person’s clothing, a rose, an expression, or the exact details of a room and the emotions in it. What a talent, Mississippi should be proud.

My choice for book of the year is the psychologist Josh Neal’s excellent soon-to-be classic book “American Extremism.” If you’re ever baffled by the seemingly daily acts of extremism in this nation, like I am, Neal has written a truly heroic scholarly work to explain it and begin the process of healing and starting a new spiritual and psychological consciousness for us as Americans. The book is a challenge, 406 pages, with many new concepts and words I was unaware of, but at the end it is well worth the effort. To me reading and studying a great book in-depth is comparable to achieving a great fitness goal, an accomplishment of the mind like climbing a mountain or deadlifting twice your Bodyweight. This work is a full synthesis of psychology, classicism, politics, religion, philosophy and spirituality. As Neal states in his Epilogue, what we are confronting is a battle with objective Evil, and the growing sense of “the futility of life” afflicting our nation, and it will take the will of those noble enough to rise above and lead a new way beyond our dead two-party party false consensus for us to survive as a country. This book is worth the price just for the discussion of how left and right extremists handle ego development or the lack thereof. 5/5 Stars

Here’s a full list of my 2023 Books. You’ll notice also there’s a heavy emphasis on rhetoric books, which were chosen to a) continue to improve my abilities as a writer and speaker b) to learn to think even clearer and better (we think through words and symbols) and c) to prepare for a retreat in Rome next year which is specifically focused on rhetoric and communication. And of course, the Iliad was incredible. I recommend all of these for those who are interested, Scott.

2023 Books

  1. A New History of Classical Rhetoric by George Kennedy
  2. A travelers guide to Classical Philosophy by John Gaskin
  3. Language is Sermonic by Richard Weaver
  4. The Southern Essays of richard weaver
  5. Medieval Feudalism by Carl Stephenson.
  6. American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism by Josh Neal *Book of the Year
  7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  8. Light in August by William Faulkner
  9. Short stories by William Faulkner
  10. The Iliad by Homer
  11. On Christian Doctrine by St Augustine
  12. The Patriarch’s Mindset by Michael Sebastian
  13. A Feudal Society without a Feudal Religion by Clark Carlton
  14. The Business of Movement by Grey Cook
  15. The Anglo Saxons: A history of the beginnings of England by Marc Morris
  16. Built to Move by Kelly Starrett
  17. No Apologies by Anthony Esolen
  18. Revolt Against the Modern World by Julius Evola
  19. Sex and the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind by Anthony Esolen
  20. Plain Folk of the Old South by Frank Owsley
  21. Culture and Agriculture by Wendell Berry
  22. God without Thunder: An Unorthodox Defense of Orthodoxy by John Crowe Ransom
  23. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Mathew Frederick
  24. Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier by Arthur Brooks

By the way, here’s a list of my favorite books of 2021.

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