The world is full of troubles, no doubt about it. I cannot sugarcoat the facts to turn bad news into good. I think nearly every great religion holds to a basic premise that good will triumph over evil in the end. What we can do is point out some of the positive thoughts and actions along the way. With luck, the accretion of positive thoughts and actions will lead us in the right direction.
Good books are harbingers of hope and progress. My reading list never lacks for worthy books, and more are published constantly. I’ll never catch up. Here are three that I urgently need to read.
I “Between The World And Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, is the most recent addition to the reading list, thanks to a review by Carlos Lozada in the Outlook section of Sunday’s Washington Post. Coates is America’s “foremost intellectual,” and also “liberal America’s conscience on race,” according to Lozada. If you’re interested in understanding America’s struggles with “racism, white privilege, institutional violence and structural inequality,” this would appear to be the book to read. The Washington Post book review is here.
II “Capital In The Twenty-First Century,” by Thomas Piketty, the renowned French economist. It’s a treatise on wealth concentration and distribution over the past 250 years. The author proposes a progressive global tax on wealth, according to Wikipedia. The Economist review in four paragraphs.
III “A Spool Of Blue Thread,” by Anne Tyler, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. “Blue Thread” is a study of a fictional Baltimore family. I think I can promise that this one will be easier going and more comforting than Piketty’s “Capital,” but it’s sure to be a good read. I’ve read all of Tyler’s previous novels, and they all provide more psychological insight than your average novel. Tyler is one of America’s greatest contemporary novelists. The NPR book review is here.
By coincidence, for my Maryland readers, both Coates and Tyler are Baltimoreans.
I can’t personally recommend books that I haven’t yet read. I’m trusting that all three will live up to their advance press. If anyone here has read one of the books, your thoughts are welcome. If you haven’t read a book this year, your thoughts are still welcome.
(Note: Ta-Nehisi Coates is the correct spelling of the author’s name. I apologize for getting it wrong in the original posting.)
— John Hayden
I think it’s correctly “Ta-Nehisi,” the first name including the hyphenated prefix. The name piques my interest — it seems to be Egyptian, and was borne by both a courtier of Queen Hatshepsut and a ruler in his own right. It’s the kind of name you would expect a black nationalist to assume, though from what I gather it was his given name.
Coates is a passionate writer who makes me uncomfortable, which is a good sign.
Plus, a point that I ran across, and I think a good one, though I am not surprised when a *man* writing to his *son* speaks almost entirely to a man’s issues. But this is well take\n:
You’re correct about the first name. I’ll make that correction. And thanks for the link to the review of the book in The Root. I think it would be a rare and insensitive white person who would not be made uncomfortable by Mr. Coates writings.
Yes I agree, we can not disguise the bad things in the world.. Looking for the bright side and knowing that Good triumphs in the end .. Light overcoming the Dark..
Thank you John for the Books brought to my attention..
Thank you Sue! Your perspectives are helpful and positive, as always.
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Glad to hear that John.. 🙂 Sometimes I need to follow my own advice LOL.. 🙂