Author Damon Young's Essential Reading After 2017
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Damon Young is a prize-winning Australian philosopher and writer. He is the author of seven books, including How to Think About Exercise, Voltaire's Vine and other Philosophies, Distraction and The Art of Reading. He has also written poetry and short fiction. Young is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne and a founding member of the School of Life in Melbourne.
As 2017 comes to an end, what books could you suggest that people read to reflect on this year’s tumultuous events and why do you recommend them?
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
A confronting look at race relations in the United States, currently going backwards in many ways. Bold, clever, and beautifully written.
Ken Liu, The Paper Menagerie
We hear lots of hype about modern technology and its implications. These brilliant short stories explore the overlaps of science, ethnicity, politics, history—and the human condition.
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Want to understand the difference between a president's vanity and a prime minister's cowardice? Go back to the very beginning of virtue ethics: Aristotle, in fourth century Athens.
Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts
Gender and sexuality are currently controversial issues, too often turned into stupid soundbites. Nelson's moving memoir does away with simplification, exploring the complex terrain of this territory.
Ruth Quibell, The Promise of Things
We have a lot of stuff: crammed in cupboards, piled in garages. Pushing back against quick fixes, Quibell discusses the nature and value of possessions; how to be more honest and patient with our stuff. (Disclaimer: the author is also my wife.)