Wiker's book claims a lot of ground for the conservative tradition-- he calls on both Chesterton and Lewis, and both Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments, and even Lord of the Rings. But Wiker's vision of conservatism seems very different from the current embodiment of the Republican party. His discussions surrounding self-government, a distributed economy, and cultivation of virtue seem like a call to return to our roots. It is a refreshing reminder that politics shouldn't be entirely defined by what we're against.
What can I possibly have in common with perpetrators of murder and torture? Tavris and Aronson argue, quite a lot. The same patterns you use to justify you yelling at your child or spouse or cheating on a test have been used by governments to justify much worse things-- and still be able to feel like a basically good person. Tavris and Aronson's book really hits hard-- but it's not just a self-help book to become a better person. Self-justification quickly becomes political.
My better half is also a talented author! I just got through reading her second book, "Mind Captive" a science fiction book playing with tropes of agency and privacy. Or, in short, mind-reading aliens 😉
My COVID-19 reading has been slowed when I lost my commute time, but I did manage to finish David Gore's *Voice of the People*. And what a read! It's a deep-dive into Mosiah 29-Alma 2, the regime change from a reign of kings to a reign of judges. Gore pulls out a lot of timely messages for our own political discourse.
Spencer's "First Nephi" has given me a chance to be reconciled to Nephi, and for that I am grateful. Despite all our efforts to make Nephi a symbol of perfect obedience-- for better or worse-- Spencer shows us a human side of Nephi you may miss otherwise.
The memoirs of a Russian Orthodox monk in the last days of the Soviet Union. Truly a colorful cast of characters that shows how faith can shine even in the darkest of times.
Isn't it sad that you can get the same queasy feeling going to the doctor that you do going to a car dealership? Many today are asking how to pay for healthcare. But Dr. Makari asks a question that gets closer to the root: why is healthcare so expensive in the first place?
The Church history department didn't disappoint with Saints Vol II. I will say, this one will be harder to talk about around the dinner table (I already sparked one family fight) A gripping tale with complex characters, moral ambiguity, and great pacing.
The "Name of the Wind" has some intangible quality about it that gives it the solidity of a real thing. You have the impression of a world that has only been explored in so small a part, you couldn't finish telling stories about it. It spends time describing simple pleasures like a few beautiful notes on a lute or the feel of a breeze and yet is simultaneously an absolute page-turner.
There is always a space between the ideal as taught by the gospel and where we are now. Some are more painfully aware of this gap than others. But it is in this space where grace operates.