I don't typically read a lot of non-fiction, just because there are so many novels I want to get to and so little time to get to them. But 2020 was a year for introspection and I found myself peppering in books that I thought would be useful to me in some way. Usefulness takes a lot of different forms, but these are the books that I found most educational, encouraging, and occasionally life-changing.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
I love his insistence that it's not helpful to simply label people as either racist or anti-racist. Ideas can be racist or anti-racist. Policies can. But people - all of us - act in racist or anti-racist ways and we often flip between the two. The call is to be more purposeful about maximizing our anti-racist actions and using what power we have to change racist ideas and policies.
Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
Growing With: Every Parent's Guide to Helping Teenagers and Young Adults Thrive in Their Faith, Family, and Future by Kara Powell and Steven Argue
Powell and Argue offer plenty of practical suggestions for parenting children in their late teens and twenties, but for me the biggest help is just their perspective on maintaining relationships and having that be the biggest priority. They help me see that David is moving out of a period of his life where he's mostly just absorbing knowledge. He's now entering a season where he's exploring his options and will ultimately focus on a vocation. As he makes these transitions, Powell and Argue challenge me to step back and let him do more on his own while also reaffirming my instinct to keep the relationship warm and open.
Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women by Sarah Bessey
But reflecting on the book, she presents her thoughts with such passion and humility and confidence that I end up loving it just for her spirit. And for the encouragement to put these ideas into practice more than I have.