Books

Epoch Booklist: Recommended Reading for April 22–28

This week’s selection of books includes a satire on our times, a novel by C.S. Lewis, and a book to help us communicate and understand numbers.

Fiction

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Scary Accurate Satire

‘The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness’
By The Babylon Bee

The world has truly gone insane, and sometimes the best way to reflect the insanity is through satire. The Babylon Bee’s new book is a goldmine of hilarious graphics and text that will keep you laughing and open your eyes to how destructive “wokeness” is.

Salem Books, 2021, 208 pages

Fiction

Epoch Times PhotoDystopian Battle of Good and Evil

‘That Hideous Strength’
By C.S. Lewis

Set in England, this final novel in Lewis’s space trilogy features a struggle between power-hungry utopians seeking to create a totalitarian government and those who resist them. The utopian crew belongs to an organization called the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments, or N.I.C.E., which hopes to retool society, culture, and human nature itself. Although the resistance, led by an otherworldly director, seems without resources, cosmic forces—including a resurrected Merlin—come to their rescue.

Scribner (reprint), 2003, 384 pages

History

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Rhyme Throughout Time

‘A Little History of Poetry’
By John Carey

Poetry, the oldest language art, predates literacy. Its cadence, rhythm, and rhyme allowed complex things and events to be remembered. When literacy arrived, the first literature recorded was poetry. Written for a general audience, this book delivers a short history of poetry, offering a useful introduction. Carey starts at 4,000 B.C. with the Epic of Gilgamesh and continues through the poets of the 21st century. It may introduce you to previously unknown poets or renew old friendships.

Yale University Press, 2020, 320 pages

Mathematics

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Visualizing Numbers Effectively

‘Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers’
By Chip Heath and Karla Starr

Most people have trouble with numbers. They can easily visualize numbers up to 12. Beyond 100, numbers blur together. This book presents tools to understand numbers and effectively communicate their meaning to others. Through some simple rules, the authors provide a step-by-step process to allow mastery of the incomprehensible. It’s written both for those who intuitively grasp numbers and those for whom they are baffling.

Avid Reader Press, 2022, 208 pages

Literary Criticism

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Musings on the Masters

‘The Medieval Mind of C.S. Lewis’
By Jason M. Baxter

Regarded as one of the great minds of the 20th century, C.S. Lewis is perhaps best known for his fantasy literature, mostly “The Chronicles of Narnia.” In his early 30s, Lewis converted to Christianity; he’s likewise famously known for his works of apologetics such as “Mere Christianity.” What books sparked his keen imagination?

IVP Academic, 2022, 182 pages

Classics

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A Masterpiece of Mind and Spirit

‘The Brothers Karamazov’
By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This sweeping tale looks at the meaning of religion, guilt, morality, life, and death. When their father is murdered, brothers Dmitri, Alyosha, and Ivan seek to come to grips with their past and present. Dmitri is the sensualist, Ivan the intellectual, and Alyosha the spiritual guide who tries to bring peace to those around him. Key themes in this often-dark story are the search for God and faith and the transformative power of forgiveness and mercy. It’s considered by many to be one of the greatest novels ever written.

Penguin Classics (reissue), 2003, 960 pages

For Kids

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A Childhood Classic

‘The Boxcar Children’
By Gertrude Chandler Warner

Orphans and siblings Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny make a home in an abandoned boxcar, but then go to live with their wealthy grandfather, who makes their beloved boxcar a playhouse. This is the first in the long “Boxcar” series.

Albert Whitman & Company (reprint), 1989, 154 pages

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Bear’s First Overnight Guest

‘A Bedtime for Bear’
By Bonny Becker, Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

A delightful installment of Becker’s Bear and Mouse series, “A Bedtime for Bear” engenders smiles throughout as the lovable Bear, who likes everything “just so,” hosts his first overnight guest (Mouse), who makes “quite a racket.”

Candlewick, 2016, 48 pages

Dustin Bass
Dustin Bass is the host of Epoch TV's About the Book: A Show about New Books With the Authors Who Wrote Them. He is an author and co-host of The Sons of History podcast.
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 JeffMinick.com to follow his blog.
Mark Lardas
Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, historian, and model-maker, lives in League City, Texas. His website is MarkLardas.com
Anita L. Sherman is an award-winning journalist who has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor for local papers and regional publications in Virginia. She now works as a freelance writer and is working on her first novel. She is the mother of three grown children and grandmother to four, and she resides in Warrenton, Va. Anita can be reached at anitajustwrite@gmail.com
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.
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