Five books related to the young adults in your life, and the issues they care about:
• Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America by Jeff Chu
This is one of the most important books I’ve read recently. It’s about being gay and Christian in America, by one of the most intelligent, sensitive, unflinching, and gifted writers around. It gets to the heart of one of the most difficult conversations we need to have in this country about sexual identity and faith — a topic that is a huge concern to so many of the college students I meet around the U.S., and to me, too.
• Feed by M. T. Anderson
If you have not read this novel, you are depriving yourself of one of the most chilling portraits of the potential negative effects of technology and its relationship to consumer culture ever written. It is more than a must. It’s practically prophetic. The author is absolutely brilliant, and he’s been awarded with more than one National Book Award nomination for his ability to weave that brilliance into a compelling novel that gets to the heart of some of the most important and difficult topics that face us today — and does so fearlessly.
• Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers by Christian Smith
Yes, it’s a publication of findings from a major study so, no, it’s not the easiest read, but it’s really good stuff. It provides super-excellent research on attitudes about faith and spirituality among young adults in America, and I recommend it highly. Whether or not the young adults in your life admit it openly, they care deeply about spirituality and religion, and it’s important to pay attention to this subject in their lives.
• Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy
A must-read in thinking about gender, girls, women, and the state of “feminism” today — as it’s been hijacked by people who don’t know a thing about feminism. Levy’s writing is courageous and smart, and she gets to the heart of one of the depressing realities of today’s girls and women — that somehow, what Levy calls “raunch” has come to be associated as “feminist” — and wrongly so.
• Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus by Kathleen A. Bogle
This is an excellent introduction to hooking up — what it is, and how it shows up on college campuses today — by a top-notch sociologist, and someone who cares deeply about young people, too.
Read the rest of our Q&A with Donna Freitas here: http://powells.us/10xq2ZV