The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Ernt Allbright returned from the Vietnam War and he had not been the same since. Told through the eyes of his teenage daughter Leni, the Allbright family escapes to beautiful and dark Alaska in hopes that things will be better. The family goes on an emotional journey of battling their father’s abuse and PTSD symptoms, experiencing true love in their rural community but also deep, heartbreaking loss. This coming-of-age story is captivating and told beautifully, with characters you will grow to love. I would highly recommend this novel!
To read: Educated by Tara Westover
Truth Plus Love: The Jesus Way to Influence by Matt Brown
Every Christian has the duty to reflect Jesus in his or her sphere of influence, whatever that sphere may look like. With this in mind, I have been long awaiting the arrival of this book in eager expectation and am thrilled to at last begin reading it. Truth Plus Love tackles the call to be a Christ-like influence in a culture in need by both “ lov[ing] unconditionally” and “champion[ing] truth without compromise.” The book’s author, evangelist Matt Brown, has already been a vibrant voice on social media and in person—I can hardly wait to experience his book and deeply soak in its wisdom because when talking about Truth Plus Love, we’re really also talking about impacting the world.
Gender- and sex-related issues of violence and social conflict have been around since the earliest stages of history, but with the Internet and smartphones becoming cultural norms, this broader conversation seems to be more prevalent than ever. As someone who cares deeply about seeing human trafficking ended in our generation but hasn’t done his due diligence in other related areas, I wanted to read one of Katz’ books.
I discovered Katz’ work years ago on YouTube, when I was looking up documentaries related to assigned schoolwork. I was surprised and encouraged by hearing a man talking so openly and plainly about a topic that so readily gets swept under the rug. Also, years ago at a church event, I was talking with representatives from a sex trafficking recovery non-profit. They shared that women almost always identify with the victims, and men – feeling troubled about the situation but not wanting to identify with perpetrators – often end up avoiding conversation and interaction. When I wanted to learn more about this topic, Katz quickly became top-of-mind.
It is easy for people (myself included) to automatically assume we know everything about issues like these and to then remain firmly locked in our ideological camp – viewing information that’s new to us as propaganda or bias. I am really enjoying reading a book that’s a newer take for me, and hope to glean many actionable insights from it.
To read: Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Freedman and The Right Side of History: Why Reason and Moral Purpose Made The West Great by Ben Shapiro