Best things I read in June 2019

This was a good reading month! I really got back into my groove and started getting my reading-legs back. Here are the best things I read in June 2019.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. THIS BOOK. I cannot stop thinking about it. Haidt presents his theory of moral foundations, talks about how we are instinctive creatures who use reason to justify our instinctive thoughts, and how and why people of different religions and political leanings tend to react to moral situations. It has clarified so much of some of my own group situations, and I love how Haidt exhorts us to think more charitably about those we disagree with and try to understand them through this lens. It is a descriptive rather than normative book, so he leaves a lot for the reader to decide on his/her own. Seriously, it’s so good and so important. READ IT.

Aristotelian Ethical Ideas in the Novels of Jane Austen” by Amanda Marie Kubic. Jane Austen AND philosophy of ethics?! This is a slam dunk top choice. We even podcasted about it!

Foundation triology by Isaac Asimov. I may have given this a three-star rating at first, but I’m constantly rethinking that. The novels have stuck with me. I think I’ll end up giving it a 4-star. Psychology… politics… sociology… philosophy…. it’s an exciting mix, even if these elements are not always treated as fully or richly as I’d hoped. The trilogy is certainly ambitious, exciting, and fresh enough for me to recommend widely.

SPQR by Mary Beard. A fantastic history of ancient Rome. I am shocked by how little I know about history, about history that has directly led to the opportunities and life I have today. Good grief. This was an engaging and lively writing of Rome’s first millennium. Definitely worth taking up some brain space.

Ira Glass on what successful people won’t tell you about failure, from This is the article that set me free to make some changes in my life, and to our podcast. SO GOOD. So helpful.

Shaped by Stories, a new podcast by Diane Neu on the children’s books that shaped her guests’ early lives. For her inaugural episode, she interviews one of my dearest friends from graduate school, Dr. Zan Cammack, and I even got to be interviewed for episode 2! I’m so excited for this podcast and to hear about all the wonderful books people loved as youngins. Listen, rate, subscribe, enjoy.

The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I am SO excited to learn how to bake all kinds of bread, and to develop my instincts about dough at all its different stages! It is such a mysterious world to me, and I need more carby deliciousness in my life. So, here we go. I’ve skimmed this book and look forward to diving into several recipes over the next few months.

Good Bones” by Maggie Smith. Wrenching.

What would you highly recommend from your June reads?

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