Epoch Booklist: Recommended Reading for Sept. 29–Oct. 5

Epoch Booklist: Recommended Reading for Sept. 29–Oct. 5
Dustin Bass
Jeff Minick
Anita L. Sherman
Barbara Danza
This week, we feature an inspiring collection of essays on the virtue of temperance and an invaluable resource for those wanting to learn about traditional art.


‘How to Read a Painting: Lessons From the Old Masters’ By Patrick De Rynck

In these “lessons from the old masters,” Patrick De Rynck gives us a tour of paintings from the late 13th to the early 19th centuries. Aware that many today are unfamiliar with the classical and Christian traditions which inspired these artists, Mr. De Rynck provides invaluable explanations of the meanings and symbols in their work. He analyzes some 180 paintings, with each accompanied by panels detailing specific points. An excellent and attractive resource for all who wish to better understand art.

Abrams, 2004, 384 pages


‘The Camera Does the Rest: How Polaroid Changed Photography’ By Peter Buse

During the 20th century’s last half, a camera emerged which let people see the developed image within a minute of taking the shot. To cellphone age millennials this seems trivial, but between 1950 and 2000, the Polaroid camera was big. This book tells the Polaroid’s history. As much social history as technological history, it looks at the Polaroid’s impact on society. It’s a fascinating study of a unique product and its serious and quirky uses. For camera buffs and fans of unusual history.

The University of Chicago Press, 2015, 320 pages


‘Discipline Is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control’ By Ryan Holiday

In this second book of his “Stoic Virtue Series,” Ryan Holiday addresses the virtue of temperance, which he also calls discipline. Into these short essays on such topics as ruling over yourself and establishing boundaries with others, Mr. Holiday brings an abundance of anecdotal and historical examples. Lou Gehrig, Booker T. Washington, Sandra Day O’Connor, and others displayed this virtue. Freedom is the “opportunity for self-discipline,” and Mr. Holiday’s manual shows us how to practice this art.

Portfolio, 2022, 352 pages

Military History

‘The Hundred Years' War: 1337–1453’ By Anne Curry

The Hundred Years’ War was a period in European history that in many ways made the world we know today. Eventually, through battles and treaties, it helped settle the boundaries between England and France. Some of history’s great military moments, such as the Battle of Agincourt or the Battle of Crécy, and figures, such as the Black Prince or Joan of Arc, stem from this century-plus conflict. Anne Curry takes the reader quickly through these bloody decades and proves to be a fine tour guide.

Osprey Publishing, 2023, 144 pages


‘Tom Lake’ By Ann Patchett

Set during the pandemic, Lara and Joe Nelson’s three grown daughters are all home. Together, they spend their days harvesting cherries on the family farm in northern Michigan. There is time together and time to share memories. Lara reminisces about her long-ago time on the stage and a summer romance with a now-Hollywood star—one whom has dominated her daughters’ imaginations. This poignant story reflects on our lives and our loves and how those are intricately woven into the fabric of our being.

HarperCollins, 2023, 320 pages

For Kids

‘Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library’ By Barb Rosenstock and John O’Brien

Once young Thomas Jefferson learned to read, he could hardly stop. As he grew up, he collected books of every kind. The future president’s vast collection eventually helped build our country’s largest library: the Library of Congress. This enjoyable picture book illustrates Jefferson’s love of books and how he utilized them to achieve great things.

Calkins Creek, 2023, 32 pages
Dustin Bass is an author and co-host of The Sons of History podcast. He also writes two weekly series for The Epoch Times: Profiles in History and This Week in History.
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