Ross Douthat had a great column in the New York Times this past week proposing that his readers broaden their news reading horizons, left, right, and internationally. The column had a wealth of publication recommendations and links; check it out. 

Inspired by this suggestion, I wanted to issue a challenge to my fellow Table Readers to help us broaden our own reading horizons –

Think of an issue or a part of life that is deeply important to you. What is one book on the topic that you would recommend that would help others either see where you are coming from, or understand something that seems often misunderstood? (For the sake of variety, let’s assume that texts central to a particular religion, like the Bible and the Book of Mormon, go without saying.)

If you can think of five topics that are important to you and have five books to go along with them, feel free to list all of them, with or without commentary!

Here are my three:

– On the gap between conservatives and liberals in morality and politics (eye-opening for both Left and Right).

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
by Jonathan Haidt

– On food. Especially in the U.S.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
by Michael Pollan

– On unwed motherhood and American poverty.

Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage
by Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas

photo credit – Zsuzsanna Kilian