Top Ten Posts of 2015

9:27 AM

As 2015 draws to a close, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to share books and articles from others that have prompted reflections and thoughts, as well as sharing experiences from the my own journey here. While my weekly collection of "Four Articles and a Poem" draws a certain readership, I have excluded them from this list. Hence, many posts in this list are commentaries and reviews of books. I am especially grateful for the ways that readers have interacted with what I have posted here. Conversation is at the heart of he time that I put into this blog.

So, I share a series of my ten favorite posts from the year, posts that help engage us in what I believe to be significant conversations.

  1. 50 Ideas for Making Laudato Si' part of Parish Life. My top post of the year is my most viewed and a post that has been subsequently published elsewhere. Pope Francis' Laudato Si' was such a landmark work, I enjoyed writing these  ideas on how to live the encyclical in the local parish.
  2. Zuckerberg's "Year of Books." My reading this year has been highly influenced by Mark Zuckerberg's list. His decision to share his reading this year introduced me to new writers and a deeper immersion into cultures and science with which I was less familiar. It really has been a joy to accompany Zuckerberg in his reading.
  3. The End of Power: So What Do We Do? The best book of Zuckerberg's list may well have been his first, Moisés Naím's The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What it Used to Be.
  4. Mons. Jack Egan and Chicago. Jack Egan was an amazing priest and a model to many, including me. I spent some time reading a biography this year, a real joy!
  5. Blessed, indeed, are the Organized. Jeffrey Stout gave me a new book to recommend to those interested in organizing. It is a great book, and I am glad to share the good news.
  6. No More "Scissor Charts." Robert Putnam, Harvard's esteemed sociologist, published an engaging account of his hometown, Port Clinton, OH and other cities across the U.S. Sadly, his research indicates that many of our kids are failing, and he provides some suggestions on how we might take better care of Our Kids.
  7. From a Father to his Son: Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me." The National Book of the Year, this book will be on many people's year-end list.
  8. The New Jim Crow: A First Look. Michelle Alexander's book was an important read. This post was the first of four to reflect upon it.
  9. Rational Ritual and Social Change. Another Zuckerberg pick, Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge by Michael Suk-Young Chwe, popularizes serious academic work in game theory.
  10. The Light of the Heart's Desire: The Dark Light of Love. Fr. John S. Dunne, C.S.C. was a mentor and friend. This posthumous work was a great gift, an opportunity to re-encounter an old friend.

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