This has been a good year for reading. I wish I had read more books, but in between chemotherapy, academic reading (which I don't count as reading, in the way that I define it here, i.e., reading for pleasure), I could only squeeze in a few. Which is not to say, of course, that reading DeVita isn't pleasurable—it can be. Nevertheless, here are my most memorable reads for 2018.
[Before I launch into my list, I asked some friends and family to list their favorite reads, so I can convince non-readers to try out the habit. You can read Kuya John's top seven, Manong Ralph's top ten, and Ate Liw's many recommendations, including those that had lasting effects on her. In a sense, you are what you read. Surely, you don't want to be defined by the fact that you only read pep.ph—that, too, is mildly entertaining, but there are greater joys to be had.]
1. Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean CalvinAfter a year, I finished reading volumes 1-3 of John Calvin's The Institutes of the Christian Religion. I mostly read it in my Kindle during my morning commute to work, a ritual that affords me the chance to read works of literature outside of my standard readings in oncology. The Institutes now belongs to my list of favorite books of all time, along with Augustine's Confessions (which was often quoted by Calvin). Calvin's main thesis is justification by faith alone through Christ alone. It is the "alone"—the exclusivity of faith, the rejection of good works (or good works with faith), as a means to salvation—that creates the major doctrinal difference between Calvin's faith and Roman Catholicism. More here.
2. Scalia Speaks by Antonin ScaliaThis book is a collection of speeches of the late US Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia known for his conservative interpretation of the US Constitution ("originalist") and his colorful and passionate opinions. At some point his book made me tear up when Nino—as his best friend, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, called him—wrote about his father and his childhood. His tributes to his friends were also moving. I wish there were more like him in government. He once said, "“If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity . . . Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.” More here.
Watch this memorable interview.