photo of Amy Julia's hand holding a kindle with the book Necessary Trouble on the cover

December Favorites

Here are some of my recent favorite books, a podcast, and an essay, as well as a beautiful song:

1. Novel: Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

What would it be like to have a replica of a human living with you? Where do emotions come from? What does it mean to be human? This book asks all these questions and more in a novel about the nature of morality, humanity, and love.

2. Non-Fiction: The Revolt against Humanity by Adam Kirsch

A VERY short but meaty primer that explains trans-humanism and anti-humanism and what they have in common and why we need humanism in order to flourish.

3. Memoir: Necessary Trouble by Drew Gilpin Faust

This memoir of Faust’s childhood and early adulthood doubles as a reminder of the turmoil of the ‘60s. Faust is an historian by trade, and she masterfully weaves together the history of the Civil Rights Movement and her own participation as a young white liberal southerner longing for the Beloved community to come into being.

4. Song: Hope Will Heal

At Hope Heals Camp last summer, I had the great honor of hearing Lily Hooten share this original song on the day she wrote it. It captures the sorrow so many of us experience on this earth, as well as the hope that can carry us through.

5. Cognoscenti Essay

I love this essay describing how much our worlds can change for the better, unexpectedly, when we receive our kids (with and without Down syndrome) for who they are.

6. On Being Podcast: Sara Hendren — Our Bodies, Aliveness, and the Built World

So many things I want to share about this conversation between Sara Hendren and Krista Tippett, but I was particularly grateful for her comments about her son Graham, who has Down syndrome, and how she sees him as “vulnerable in time.” She makes me think about what ways our society (and I) could change our attitudes towards time and become more welcoming and open.

More with Amy Julia:

Favorites and AJB Recommends
My Favorite Books of 2023

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