3 books that challenged my thinking this year


This year I've been broadening my reading beyond biblical and religious studies as much as possible. Three of the books that have impacted my thinking on other topics--human knowledge (epistemology), morality and politics, and relationships--are the following that I highly recommend:

1. Chuck Klosterman's 'But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past'

Takeaway: When we recognize how often the 'facts' of the past prove to be either dead wrong or insufficiently accurate it should cause us to be humble about what we think we know now because future generations will likely know better. 

2. Jonathan Haidt's 'The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion'

Takeaway: OK, so some religion here...but the main focus is different moral systems within a pluralistic society. Except in extreme cases, people on the other side of the aisle are not 'immoral' but instead work from a different set of moral starting points. 

3. Nicholas Epley's 'Mindwise: Why We Misunderstand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want'

Takeaway: While I'm still reading this one, thus far I've been blown away by the evidence that we not only struggle to understand other minds but we're not that good at understanding even our own. That said: we've got a special gift that allows us to communicate and it can be enhanced.