With year’s end drawing near the editors of the Wall Street Journal ‘s weekend review section asked fifty “friends” to tell us their favorite books of 2012 . We hear from TV personalities, businessmen, writers, politicians, a college president, two baseball managers, three chefs, a Fed banker, actors, and journalists. Quite an eclectic list.

And quite remarkable for having no one remotely associated with religion. No pastor, not even Rick Warren. No priest or hierarch. No rabbi. No theologian. Tells us something about the editors, I suppose, which also tells us something about America at the end of 2012.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the fact that this set of fifty favorite books, which obviously serves to satisfy reader’s need for gift suggestions (chefs!), is presented with no reference to Christmas.

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