As a student, I look for ways to better my learning experience. Recently, a few books have stood out as being a real help in that process. I want to understand more of what I read, and I want to have a good philosophy for why I read what I read. These books have helped me do that.
The first of such books is John Piper’s book Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, which I have read twice in the past year. This book looks at thinking (specifically reading) through a God-centered lens, typical of Piper. How can reading glorify God?—this is the question answered in Think. Piper has done a great service by helping me think of education as worship.
Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books. I recently finished this book and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Tony Reinke covers a lot of ground. He begins the book with a Theology of reading and rounds it off with some practical advice. Many topics are covered including biblical worldview, the importance of reading non-christian books, the importance of reading fiction, how to find time to read, how to highlight books, and even how to raise children who read, in addition to many others. If you want to learn to read better, this is the book for you.
Asking The Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking. This book is not as exciting as the previous two, but has proven to be valuable. Reading critically is an essential skill for students (especially for the Christian who values Truth). Browne and Keeley outline what it takes to analyze an argument.With college comes a lot of reading, and Asking The Right Questions gives you the tools to read better and not to be deceived by faulty arguments. Learning to read critically also has the fringe benefit of helping you write accurately, that is, to avoid mistakes in logic that your readers could (and should) dismiss.
Speaking of writing, students do a lot of that, too. On Writing Well is “the classic guide to writing non-fiction” as the subtitle aptly states. Though it may not yet be apparent in my writing, this book has helped me begin to write with more clarity.
If you have any book suggestions along these lines, please comment!