Books to Grow Your Empathy (Best of Recently)

My favorite books from the last couple months all fall into a similar sub-category. Maybe I made it up, but I feel like each of these books was a really interesting way to build understanding around big topics so that we can move forward with more nuance, grace, and empathy.

Non-Fiction

One: Unity in a Divided World by Deidra Riggs – about peacemaking and being in community with people when we disagree or differ.

“Either we lean into all of who the other person is, or we don’t.” p. 27

“When we offer grace for each person’s journey, we’re saying, in essence, “I trust God to get you to the place where he wants you to be.”p. 63

“Our God is not a prisoner of culture.” p. 87

“Our love for others should lead us to action, and the purpose of that action is to make room for those at the margins so they can get to God. ” p. 129

“Whatever you and I may face in our regular, ordinary days is where we live out our courage, bravery and faith.” p. 161

Human Being and Becoming by David G. Benner – about painting a more inclusive picture of our own humanity, what that means, and the importance of a journey towards personal wholeness.

“The journey toward increasing wholeness is quite different from the journey toward increasing perfection. Wholeness isn’t the elimination of inconsistencies and the shadow aspects of personality but an integration of them.” p. 30

Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World by Osheta Moore – All about peacemaking and shalom in your everyday life. This book is amazing. You should preorder it. Right now. I will be sharing more with you as the launch date gets closer, but let’s get it on your radar (or in your amazon cart!) early ;)

Fiction:

Swing Time by Zadie Smith – about a girl in the northeast: growing up, dancing, race, and childhood friends. I found the tone perfect: believable, grounded in the current state of the world, and just my kind of person.

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter – a WW2 novel set in Poland, France and Brazil. I love that this book really zeroed in on one family’s emotions, relationships, and stories in a way that felt really compelling and true.  I felt like I learned a lot about people and about how the war effected Poland.

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel – I may not have read this book if I had read the jacket before I checked it out from the library. I picked it up on a whim because of a podcast. I really appreciated and liked learning from this book. And I felt like it was done so well (tactful, relatable, big picture, real people, real problems, and an individual story individual story instead of an ‘issue’) that you couldn’t help but feel more in tune with the underlying issues of this issue than you may have been before. I don’t know. It really worked for me. Makes me realize that many issues are much more complicated than they look from the outside.


What was the best book you read this spring?

I’d love to hear about it! Find me on Instagram!!

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