The Best Book I Read in January

In the past, I’ve catalogued all the books I’m reading via a blog post.

This year, I’ve been sharing those on social media instead. You can follow along on Facebook or Twitter.

Still, I wanted to highlight one book every month in this space as the best of what I read.

Just so you know the field, here is a quick list of each book. Again, you can check social media for more reflection or, just like, Google it:

A Full Life by Jimmy Carter
A Time for Mercy by John Grisham
Reclaiming Hope by Michael Wear
The Soul of America by Jon Meacham
His Truth is Marching On by Jon Meacham

The best book I read in January was His Truth is Marching On by Jon Meacham.

A profile in the courage of the late John Lewis, Meacham gives us a flyover of the pioneering civil rights leader’s life but squarely points us to the future. In reflecting on the past, the attempt is to inspire us to continue moving forward.

It is a book whose thesis is hope above all else, and the protagonist (while imperfect) is someone who we can celebrate for his integrity, longevity, and unswerving commitment to his community. Meacham — a Pulitzer Prize winner — confesses that this New York Times Bestseller is not a full-scale biography (although lovers of biography will consider it biography enough). Instead, Lewis’ life is a portrait of what hope can look like in any life.

If we have the courage to aspire to it, that is.

My greatest appreciation for this book, aside from the expert way in which it was written — and aside from the consistent advocacy for faith-based non-violence in the lives of Lewis and his colleagues — is that it was completed soon enough that John Lewis could compose an afterword prior to his death. This was a gift to us, the reader, in its authenticity and meaning and substance.

But then again, the same could be said of Lewis’ life.

And that’s why it was the best book I read in January.