I had a teacher in my undergraduate days who only gave us essay tests. He was a thinker; and he wanted to see how we thought. Actually, he wanted to see that we did think.
By the time I got to my much more demanding post-graduate work in Rhetoric, he was the teacher that had most prepared me. And I was always grateful.
I think of that teacher when I read a book that makes me think.
When I read books – which I do with great frequency – I love reading books that teach me something new. I especially like to read books that beckon me to take time to think about something in a different way.
But the books that I remember – the books that linger with me – are the books that act as a gigantic slap-in-the-face to my thinking. I can’t quite shake them. I can’t forget them. And I never quite fully learn all the insights and lessons that they have for me.
In my work, presenting and delivering synopses of good books, I basically read a book three times.
First, I fully read the book, highlighting way too many passages. (I always surpass the Kindle allowed limit – always).
Second, when I work through all of my highlights into the synopsis handout, it is like reading a book a second time.
And then, third, when I go over my final handout, and present the synopsis, it is like a third reading.
Sometimes, I’m sorry to confess, re-reading the highlights is something of a chore. I feel like “I’ve already read this.”
This was all a very long introduction to this one point: the one book that I strongly recommend that you read at this moment is The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis. It will linger with you; it will make you think; it will disturb you; it will delight you with its insight. It is, without a doubt, the best book I’ve read this year; maybe longer. And I’ve read some very good books.
What book does this for you?
As I was reading this book, the nineteen year old daughter of Michael Lewis and his wife Tabitha Soren was killed in a car crash, along with her boyfriend. So tragic. Comfort and peace to their family…
I will present my synopsis of The Premonition this Friday, June 4, 2021, over Zoom, at the First Friday Book Synopsis. Join us. Click here for log-in info and details.