Explore the First Command Book Club’s Monthly Selections

January

How to Read a Book

Mortimer Adler’s classic work aims to equip the avid reader with the tools necessary to critically analyze and enjoy books from any tradition. This foundational skill makes an excellent start to the book club, as you will be able to apply its lessons throughout the year.

February

Cynical Theories

In Cynical Theories, Pluckrose and Lindsay analyze and break down the modern sociopolitical narratives that inform the present-day social justice movement.

March

The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History

The great Maliki scholar Ibn Khaldun is considered a pioneer of the social and natural sciences. While his bibliography is vast, it is the Muqaddimah that brings together his most famous and penetrating insights.

April

The Koran Interpreted

A. J. Arberry’s translation of the Holy Qur’an has been praised for its use of language, which remains striking and accessible even decades after its release.

May

Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen’s debut novel is a classic of English prose that offers a clever and witty depiction of middle-class life in nineteenth century England.

June

Politics

This text by the great Greek philosopher is perhaps the most foundational work of political philosophy. It famously follows his ethical treatise, The Nicomachean Ethics, underscoring Aristotle’s view that ethics necessarily precedes politics when establishing a just society.

July

Notes from Underground and Bartleby, the Scrivener

Notes from Underground provides poignant social critique, philosophical musings, and detailed reflections on life in late-nineteenth-century Russia. In the second half of the month, we read Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener.

August

The Brothers Karamazov

Dostoevsky’s final novel is a philosophical and theological reflection set against the backdrop of social change in Russia.

September

Islam and Secularism

In this seminal work, Professor Syed Naquib al-Attas analyzes a crisis of knowledge in the modern day and proposes a framework for a harmonious use of knowledge from various sources, so long as they follow an intellectual and spiritual hierarchical order.

October

Al-Shama’il Al-Muhammadiyya

This famous work by Imam al-Tirmidhi beautifully presents a careful selection of hadith that extol the blessed appearance, character, manners, and lifestyle of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. It allows readers to deepen their appreciation for and love of God’s best and most perfect of all creation.

November

The Drama of Atheist Humanism

De Lubac traces modern atheism to its original sources, demonstrating how this intellectual genealogy has reverberated across a range of schools of thought.

December

The Bacchae and Measure for Measure

These two plays, an ancient Greek tragedy and an Elizabethan comedy, offer deep insights on the contrasting elements of vice and virtue, and religion and secularism, which remain relevant today.