3 Books I Read in November

Here’s my monthly list of book recommendations.

Bell Hammers: The True Folk Tale of Little Egypt, Illinois by Lancelot Schaubert

That I know the author is a convenient bonus, but does not make this review overly biased. Nor does the fact that he writes about a place and a time not altogether dissimilar from the place and time from which I originated. The objective truth is that Lancelot is an extremely gifted writer and his debut novel was a real treat. Like any great story, I grew to love the protagonist and I thought Schaubert’s development of the character was super well done. Totally recommend.

The Wisdom Pattern by Richard Rohr

While I don’t personally know Rohr like I do Schaubert, my affection for him is deep and well documented. His works are among the things that have helped me most in the past two or three years. I thought this one fell a little shy of having the impact that previous books have had for me. Not that it wasn’t beneficial or there was nothing to glean — there assuredly was. But this wasn’t one that was completely transformative. Nor would I suggest it as the first book of Rohr’s for you to read — others will serve as a better introduction. Still, a profoundly helpful book and worth the time, for sure.

The Man Who Ran Washington by Peter Baker

Peter Baker outlines the life and career of one of Washington’s most respected leaders in the 1980s and 1990s, James Baker. As a Chief of Staff to two presidents, the Secretary of Treasury and Secretary of State under Reagan and Bush, respectively, and as campaign manager to Ford, Reagan, and Bush, Baker was well known for his ability to build coalition and find solutions. The author (no relation) traces this dramatic career from start to finish in a thorough and insightful way, sparing no detail and brushing over no weakness. The man who ran Washington was as complex as the city itself, and The Man Who Ran Washington was a book up to the challenge of explaining it all.