A huge benefit of being a reader is having access to cutting edge conversations going on in our society. Whether you agree or disagree with the current social, economic, or political trends, it is imperative to be informed. Conversation is about participation and inforamtion, so pick up these books – even if your favorite television pundit would consider you a traitor for doing so.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This book was covered in our Bookstr Book Club which you can find here. No matter how you feel about the Black Lives Matter movement, this book is extremely important for all readers to absorb. One of the major reasons why this book is a must read is because it expresses a vivd account of what it’s like to be black in America. The essence of the book is meant to convey a feeling. A feeling that, once felt, will free you from racial blindspots you may never knew you had.
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein
Remember when I said no matter how much you disagree or agree with an idea, it is still important to learn about the topic? I implore you to exercise your mind opening muscle for this book in particular. The book contains Alex Epstein’s best possible argument for our current energy program which many believe to be incredibly harmful to the environment. Climate change is a massive issue for the 21st century. If you are going to go head to head with climate deniers, make sure you know their arguments better than they do.
Freedom Feminism by Christina Hoff Summers
Sommers book does an amazing job of not only advocating feminism but providing a history that most readers overlook. Looing back, as her novel does, we see two major camps (amongst others) within feminism that are often at odds. On one side is egalitarian feminism, the other material feminism. Egalitarian feminism argues that there are no differences between man and women, while the latter suggests there are differences and those differences should be recognized by law. No matter which camp you choose to pitch your tent in, the conversation itself is vital for any reader.
On Writing by Stephen King
Chances are, if you’re avid reader you also have a secret desire to write, or at a minimum, you enjoy being the occasional keyboard warrior on Facebook. King’s book is one of the most highly regarded writing manuals ever written. For King, writing is important for everybody as it forces you to put your ideas into logical structures. The process of putting ideas on paper urges us to think more thoroughly about our ideas. I encourage you – even if you are not a writer and don’t plan on becoming one – to write to yourself about the issues that occupy your mind. You may discover something about your thought process worthy of more contemplation.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Whoa whoa whoa, everybody just calm down. I know many readers have intense views on this book. Love it or hate it you must admit that it’s been a major part of the 20/21st century’s literary legacy. Like all of the books listed above, Infinite Jest is a must read for any contemporary reader. DFW’s criticisms of contemporary culture, addiction, depression, suicide, and the rigors of being the best cannot be ignored. We could talk all day about the book, so I will just leave you with this – just read it.
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