How do you enrich your inner life in a culture that cares far more about the externals? Columnist David Brooks marks out for us the forgotten road to character and introduces us to remarkable individuals from history who have walked it.
Read on for key insights from The Road to Character.
11 Minute Read
by Lynne Murphy
What happens when an American teaches linguistics at a British university? Controversy—that’s what. “It’s ‘lift’—not ‘elevator.’” “It’s ‘mashed potato’—not ‘mashed potatoes.’” “‘Colour’ is spelled with an ‘ou’—not just an ‘o.’” “It’s ‘the government are’—not ‘the government is.’” Britons will joke that England and America are separated by a common language. Linguist Lynne Murphy endeavo(u)rs to separate fact from fiction and debunk some stubborn stereotypes and assumptions about our common language.
Read on for key insights from The Prodigal Tongue.
We are creatures of habit. Our brains are routine-creating machines that establish patterns so that we can automatically complete simple, repetitive tasks without giving them much thought. This mindless automation allows us to reserve our mental energies for more important tasks; it also helps us to effectively manage the myriad decisions we face each day. But not all habitual behavior is good. Sometimes we pick up habits we’re not proud of, like overeating, procrastinating, smoking, angry outbursts, and alcoholism. The Power of Habit shows us how habits form, how they become ingrained, and how they can be changed so that you can master your habits before they master you.
Continue reading for key insights from The Power of Habit.
14 Minute Read
It’s often tempting to surround ourselves with people who will tell us what we want to hear. Lincoln demonstrated courage and concern for country over his own sense of self-importance when he incorporated into his cabinet the very men against whom he’d run—all of whom had more political experience than Lincoln at the time of his election. This is the story of Lincoln’s ability to win unlikely hearts and minds to his cause, to mediate conflicts, and assuage the concerns of a torn and anxious nation.
Read on for key insights from Team of Rivals.
9 Minute Read
Martin Luther King, Jr. offers candid reflections on faith, culture, and politics in the United States. Coretta Scott King says that, of all her late husband’s writings, Strength to Love is the work that people most consistently describe as life-changing.
Read on for key insights from Strength to Love.
One out of every three people you meet is an introvert, and these people are overlooked in a culture that favors extroversion. Quiet points to the hidden and often-undervalued strengths that introverts possess.
Read on for key insights from Quiet.
A recent experience with a flaky, unresponsive girl galvanized comedian and actor Aziz Ansari into taking a break from stand-up routines to explore the landscape of modern romance. He, together with a slew of sociologists, designed a series of sociological studies that took them all over the world and deep into the literature of love. The result was Modern Romance, a comprehensive look at changes in the rules and expectations of love and relationships across recent history and culture, as well as the challenges and possibilities currently at play.
Read on for key insights from Modern Romance.
8 Minute Read
C.S. Lewis was one of the most beloved Christian authors of the twentieth century. In this best-selling classic, Lewis's aim was to articulate and defend the fundamental beliefs that are common to all Christians. He begins with arguments for God's existence, then turns to the basics of Christian doctrine. To ensure he was speaking on behalf of Christians across denominational lines, Lewis sent the original script to four clergymen (Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic) inviting their critique. The result is the presentation of a common, or “mere” Christianity.
Read on for key insights from Mere Christianity.
Admiral William McRaven recently delivered a commencement address to his alma mater, University of Texas. His advice was so well received that he expanded his speech into a best-selling book. Drawn largely from “a lifetime of lessons crammed into six months” of Navy SEAL basic training, McRaven offers some refreshing common sense to a complicated world where such wisdom is sorely lacking.
Read on for key insights from Make Your Bed.
8 Minute Read