It seems to me that part of staying sane in the midst of COVID-19 is going to involve making good content choices. Whatever you may think about social media (or the media more generally), avoiding conspiracy theories and fake news can’t be a bad idea. As such, I decided to pull together a short list of titles that seem particularly well-suited for those who are sheltering in place.
- Matthew Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft– Not everyone may know this, but I was “artsy” in high school. I enjoyed drawing and, to some degree, painting. When I have time, I try to pull out the drawing pad and doodle. Shop Class and Soulcraft helps explain why creating things with our hands is so edifying. While we have more time on our hands, it might be a great time to tap into your inner maker.
- Cal Newport, Deep Work– Particularly for those who are having a tough time working at home (with the kids), Newport’s book offers some helpful strategies for rethinking the way you use your time. I too some of his advice last year when I was writing Thinking Christian and found it to be quite helpful. Definitely worth a look.
- Bob Goff, Love Does– Full disclosure: I haven’t read this book. It does come highly recommended from a reputable source…my wife. She plowed through Goff’s book in two nights and found it to be funny and insightful. Based solely on the fact that she liked it, I’m putting it on my reading list.
- Elizabeth Smith, God Never Changes…but My Family Always Does– Many of is are home with our kids right now. Elizabeth’s book offers a unique theological and developmental approach to raising kids of all ages. If you want some ideas about how to relate to your kids, read this book!
- Timur Kuran, Private Truths, Public Lies– This book is the “heaviest” in the list, but it is really worth wading through. Kuran dives into an analysis of “preference falsification.” The term refers to a specific sort of deception that is often conditioned by the social groups of which we are a part such “as when you complimented your host to make him think you shared his taste.” Kuran looks at preference falsification’s implications in a number of arenas. If you are interested in digging into something a bit more academic, it’s worth a look.
Reading has been a big part of my life since I began my MDiv in 2000. I enjoy reading and having my thinking challenged. The books listed above have have proven to be worth the effort.