Stormlight Archives has spoiled my taste in fiction in that I now expect a profound engagement of philosophical or moral issues. The Cruel Prince didn't engage the reader at quite that level, and I found the protagonist distasteful as she freely uses others as a means to an end.
As a religious person, "The Faith of a Heretic" was hard to read because many if its criticisms were so accurate. But I think such criticisms can only be good as they help us identify the faults that may be invisible to us.
Read some of my reflections on Rhythm of War! I go on tangents about Mormon doctrine, The Santa Clause, and COVID!
Zakaria is in many ways a heretic. The basic premise of his book is: there is such a thing as too much democracy. A system that is more "democratic" just means it is more open to influence by billionaires, extremists, and demagogues. You replace one set of elites with another.
Following the storming of the Capitol this week, I chose to pull out Hoffer's "True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements." Definitely has a lot of explanatory power, but Hoffer strikes me as a pessimist. It left me with the impression all mass movements, regardless of their ideals, are inherently evil.
Retelling the events of Genesis from the perspective the daughter of Jacob, Dinah, The Red Tent is both beautiful and harsh. Dinah's tragic story is recounted in Genesis 34. Dinah is taken to wife by a Canaanite prince. Her brothers, the sons of Jacob do not take kindly to this, and slaughter the entire city in retribution. I feel like I haven't fully seen this chapter, as we usually pass by the uncomfortable parts of the Bible in Sunday School. From an LDS perspective, our efforts to liken the scriptures unto ourselves may blind us to how utterly different the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was practiced. The book clearly relies on much research to try to recreate the setting, but also has to use some creative license to weave together this stunning tale.
A Jew, a knights Templar, and a sultan walk into a bar... Perhaps a modern version of Nathan the Wise would begin like that. Written by the Enlightenment figure G. E. Lessing in response to a fight with his pastor, Lessing's play still feels very much relevant today.