Photo illustration by RealClearLife.
Photo illustration by RealClearLife.
By Diana Crandall / December 28, 2018 5:00 am

As the 2020 election cycle kicks off next year, it’s more important than ever to be informed, and as we all know, the places we get our information are increasingly polarized. What’s the antidote to the 24-hour cable news and internet circus? It seems obvious to pick up a book, but not enough people do.

That’s not hyperbole, either. Leisure reading in the U.S. is at an all-time low. Skim reading is the new normal. The New Yorker has declared we’re in a post-literate culture. Reading tweets or other social media posts and regurgitating them over dinner with your in-laws doesn’t count — especially since the 280-characters, not unlike soundbites, wipe out the gray areas in all of the difficult topics we’re facing in America right now. And there’s science to back up how books brings us together, no matter what our political opinions are.

So take some time to polish up and broaden your understanding of policy issues before you cast a ballot. Here are our picks for the new year.

If you’re conservative:

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson

A Higher Loyalty by James Comey

The Guy’s Guide to Feminism by Michael Kaufman

If you’re liberal:

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — And Men Can’t Say by Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly

If you’re human:

The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity by Sally Kohn

The Perils of Perception: Why We’re Wrong About Nearly Everything by Bobby Duffy

Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink by Tucker Carlson

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt