Don't Know Much

Resolve to Read

I wrote my recent book, Great Short Books: A Year of Reading—Briefly, after rediscovering the pleasure and immeasurable value of reading novels during the pandemic lockdown. Stressed, anxious, and sleep-deprived by the pandemic’s toll—worsened by the dreadful political environment in 2020—I swapped doom scrolling for the joy of reading. I found fiction to be an antidote, not an escape.

Since then, the censorship wars have boiled over in classrooms and libraries across the country. An ardent proponent of the right and need to read, I believe that we all must resolve to read. We must make reading one of our most important daily habits. Like food and faith, reading nourishes us. It is a balm for our hearts, minds, and souls.

To encourage the “Reading Resolution,” I will regularly offer a brief “What I am reading” post for the foreseeable future. And then I will ask “What are you reading?”

My aim is to encourage more people to put down their phones, break from their screens, and quit doom scrolling through the endless bad news — which is calculated to keep us glued to those screens.

My hope is to start a conversation about books because books change our lives and fire our imaginations. Books can change the world–and they have!

Right now, I am working my way through two books:

Lessons is the most recent novel by Ian McEwan. It merges a coming-of-age story of Roland Baines as a teenager with the disappearance of the adult Roland’s wife twenty-five years later. McEwan (Atonement, Amsterdam, The Comfort of Strangers) is one of my favorite novelists and is among the 58 writers in Great Short Books.

On the nonfiction side, I am reading Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn. First published in 1994, it helped spark the “Mindfulness” movement.

I’ll update this post with my reactions to both.

So now: What are you reading?


© 2023 Kenneth C. Davis








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