Epoch Booklist: Recommended Reading

TIMEDecember 24, 2021

This week, we revisit a classic Arthurian tale, savor the Middle Eastern pantry, and explore an influential work about how to conduct propaganda.


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The Art of Deception

By Edward Bernays

This book shaped early ideas about how to conduct propaganda and had a huge influence on marketing, advertising, and later, politics. It’s very relevant for understanding the mechanisms behind what we see on the surface and beyond the deception and manipulation all around us.

Ig Publishing, 2004, 175 pages

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Small Changes, Big Results

“Atomic Habits”
By James Clear

“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement,” author James Clear wrote, emphasizing the importance of small changes and long-term thinking.

He likens the effect of a 1 percent change in one’s habits to a very slight adjustment to the nose of a plane. If a plane begins facing a few degrees off of its aim, it’ll arrive—after a long journey—at an entirely different location than planned.

A valuable book with principles that can be applied to any aspect of life that’s dependent on your behavior, from finance to fitness.

Avery, 2018, 320 pages


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A Middle Eastern Pantry Primer

“Flavors of the Sun: The Sahadi’s Guide to Understanding, Buying, and Using Middle Eastern Ingredients”
By Christine Sahadi Whelan

Christine Sahadi Whelan is the culinary director and fourth-generation co-owner of Sahadi’s, New York’s James Beard Award-winning destination grocery store for Middle Eastern specialties.

So who better than Whelan to guide home cooks through buying and using ingredients such as sumac, Aleppo pepper, and date molasses? There are recipes for every course, along with plenty of ideas for incorporating these ingredients into existing favorites.

Chronicle Books, 2021, 352 pages


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A Treatise on Public Education

“Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling”
By John Taylor Gatto

Gatto’s 30-year teaching career in Manhattan earned him the New York City Teacher of the Year award not once, but three times. Named New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991, he issued his resignation that same year.

His book is an eye-opening indictment of the state of our public education system that every parent needs to digest.

New Society Publishers, 2017, 144 pages


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Life in the Gulag

“One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”
By Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Through the eyes of Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, we witness the cruelty of a Soviet labor camp. Falsely accused of spying, Shukov spends his days simply struggling to survive, working while sick, stealing an extra ration of food, and always being on the lookout for something to eat. The story is based on Solzhenitsyn’s personal experience, having spent eight years confined to such a camp. This book is a warning to all of us about totalitarian governments.

Berkley, 2009, 208 pages


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A Strange Tale

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”
Author Unknown

Set in the time of King Arthur, this story features a Green Knight, a wager, a beheading—in which the victim survives—temptations, and honor lost and regained. Having beheaded the Green Knight, Sir Gawain must promise to meet him in a year’s time so that the knight may return the blow. Chivalry, romance, and emblems of Christianity all play a part in filling out Sir Gawain’s quest and adventure. J.R.R. Tolkien, whose rendition is used here, was only one of several scholars who translated this late 14th-century poem into modern English.

Mariner Books, 2021, 256 pages

For Kids

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Spending a Day with a BIG Friend

“Danny and the Dinosaur”
By Syd Hoff

While visiting a museum, Danny wishes he could play with a dinosaur, and one of them obliges him. They watch a baseball game, visit the zoo, and play hide-and-seek with Danny’s friends. A sweet story of friendship, this book is a childhood classic.

HarperCollins, 2017, 72 pages

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A Monkey, a Man, and an Endearing Childhood Tale

“Curious George”
By H.A. Rey

In this first story of his adventures, Curious George swims in the ocean, slips out of jail, and goes flying on balloons. The Man in the Yellow Hat then adopts the monkey, leading to more adventures. This story is a delightful childhood tale.

HMH Books for Young Readers, 1973, 64 pages

Joshua Philipp is an award-winning investigative reporter with The Epoch Times and host of EpochTV's "Crossroads" program. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics give him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape.
Barbara Danza
Barbara Danza is a mom of two, an MBA, a beach lover, and a kid at heart. Here, diving into the challenges and opportunities of parenting in the modern age. Particularly interested in the many educational options available to families today, the renewed appreciation of simplicity in kids’ lives, the benefits of family travel, and the importance of family life in today’s society.
Crystal Shi
Food Editor
Crystal Shi is the food editor for The Epoch Times. She is a journalist based in New York City.
Jeff Minick
Jeff Minick has four children and a growing platoon of grandchildren. For 20 years, he taught history, literature, and Latin to seminars of homeschooling students in Asheville, N.C. He is the author of two novels, “Amanda Bell” and “Dust on Their Wings,” and two works of non-fiction, “Learning as I Go” and “Movies Make the Man.” Today, he lives and writes in Front Royal, Va. See to follow his blog.