A Reading List to Drive the ‘Woke’ Crowd Crazy

4 min

At the beginning of the year, a couple of my coworkers challenged me to join the yearly book challenge on Goodreads. While I am still wrapping up a few of my selections, I’m on track to finish my goal, and it’s rewarding to see the finish line in sight.

Having done this challenge, I took notice when I saw another writer, Carina Pereira, commenting on her Goodreads challenge over at Book Riot. For some reason, I have a hunch that her reading list didn’t take the same course as mine, especially in the “woke” category:

On my Goodreads of 2020, I see books about racism, both fiction and nonfiction, books on ableism, books written by trans people and about trans people, the whole LGBTQIAP+ community, in fact, as well as books by Native writers (a first for me). I went out of my way to actively follow BIPOC accounts, carefully choosing which themes I wanted to learn more about; even starting a book club with a friend, to work on becoming a better ally and a better citizen.

In other words, Pereira is marching lockstep with the diversity crowd and can therefore wear her participation ribbon proudly. Only… there seems to be something a bit dissatisfying about doing what everyone else is doing, for Pereira mentions that her book selections were already “on the radars of most of the people” with whom she wanted to share them.

To save Pereira and others like her from repeating this experience in the new year, I’ve culled a few titles from my own reading lists. They may be a bit shocking to Pereira’s sensibilities, but given that they’re different from the run-of-the-mill selections she admits to reading, perhaps she would be open to some true diversity.

Fulfilling the race category, Coming Apart, by Charles Murray, examines the true state of white America. Murray finds that, contrary to popular opinion, white Americans are suffering, particularly those who are not among the handful in the elite class. In fact, the decline of religion, family, community, and vocation have spread beyond whites to negatively affect every American, regardless of race, color, or creed.

Meanwhile in the sexual orientation category, I offer three different titles.

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield is my first choice. Butterfield, a former English and women’s studies professor from Syracuse University, details her journey out of lesbianism. Now a straight, married mother of several adopted children, Butterfield treats the LGBTQ lifestyles and gender identification issues with truth, compassion, and understanding, making this a powerful book regardless of where one stands on issues of sexual orientation.

In relation to gender issues, Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs offers an intriguing take on the differences between the sexes. As science increasingly demonstrates, men and women are different, and there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that fact. Navigating such differences, however, is another matter, and finding out how to do so can make a world of difference in a marriage.

Because many sexual mores have been thrown out the window, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a refreshing reminder that commitment to sound, moral principles—particularly in matters of marriage and sex—pays off in the end. Postmodern society would likely call Brontë’s title character a prude, but the positive effects of Jane’s moral uprightness and patience are hard to argue with.

Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson is my choice for learning more about native cultures. Richardson’s opening chapters portray the harrowing true story of cannibals in the region formerly known as Irian Jaya (now Western New Guinea). Contrary to the idea of the noble savage, Richardson’s story exposes the atrocities of pagan cultures and shows the relief that Christianity can bring to oppressed peoples.

Although Pereira failed to offer any titles on capitalism or Marxism, the latter is so popular today that I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend Marx & Satan by Richard Wurmbrand. In a few short pages, Wurmbrand details the darker side of the ideology sweeping our nation, leading the thinking individual to carefully consider the underlying roots of Marxism before giving it a warm embrace.

Diversity is a trend that will likely continue to receive praise and promotion in the coming year. Yet as Pereira’s post implies, attempts at diversity are prone to ending in conformity. True diversity lies in working to understand arguments and thoughts often sidelined in today’s culture, an endeavor which these selections are sure to help readers achieve.


Dear Readers,

Big Tech is suppressing our reach, refusing to let us advertise and squelching our ability to serve up a steady diet of truth and ideas. Help us fight back by becoming a member for just $5 a month and then join the discussion on Parler @CharlemagneInstitute!

Image Credit: 


Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist is the editor of Intellectual Takeout. When not writing or editing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and time with family and friends.

Add a Comment


Join the conversation...

You are currently using the BETA version of our article comments feature. You may notice some bugs in submission and user experience. Significant improvements are coming soon!


Thank you for this list and your honest look at how forcing “diversity” in both the academy and the town square has instead enforced conformity of thought. Blessings to you! Jane Gnade


Thank you very much for your book list! And I appreciate your sentiments.


Interesting....Marx & Satan is "under review" on Amazon. Let the censorship begin ( or continue).


"Item under review" regarding the Kindle version might just be that the scan of the text converted to Kindle format is poor quality, and Amazon has withheld it from sale. You can find a PDF copy of Marx & Satan on Archive.org at this link: https://ia803205.us.archive.org/7/items/marx-and-satan/MarxAndSatan.pdf
I have a better book in the race category for your list. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Huckleberry Finn’s central theme is how racism and hate have taken a beautiful and innocent friendship and run it over with a steamboat. Obviously, the steamboat represents a racist, hateful society. Twain’s writing in Huck Finn is world class. There are passages in Huck Finn that are on the same level as a James Joyce or a William Faulkner. You do not see this in any of Twain’s other writing. The ironic thing is that Huck Finn has been banned by many school libraries because of the use of the N word. Who knew that a book set in south during the era of slavery would have people that used the N word? That was sarcasm btw.


Terrific read some —great ideas for opening up the mind, soul and spirit —better to be diverse in thought,then to just say your diverse in action. Your article about communities and neighborhoods January 4, was awesome. I truly believe that type of community cohesiveness will help to bring this nation together and coagulate the freedoms and liberties opportunities that our founding fathers sought after by writing the bill of rights and our constitution. I can be reached at BerZerktoad @Gmail or my personal email MillerTodd3@gmail. I would love to find you on Parler, but we know that that is a difficult proposition at this point in time. While large corporations have different rules and autonomy regarding freedom of speech,just because they have the ability to suppress someone’s speech doesn’t make it right to do so. Especially, when they are overtly biased in the speech that they are permitting in the first place.