My most treasured book from 2021
As the year is coming to a close, the inevitable favorite books of the year post is also due.
If I had to select merely one book as my favorite this year and one which I would recommend to everyone, that book is “Live Not by Lies - A Manual for Christian Dissidents”.
Firstly, regardless of the title of the book I don’t think it’s solely geared towards Christians, the case can be made that it’s mostly for religion-abiding people but even then, I think that it will captivate anyone with a strong and objective moral compass.
Even though it is named manual, I think it lends itself very little to actual instructions, but instead offers a loose-fitting path on how to plan and live according to the truth. This book is truly impossible to put down, it offers an account of the struggles of survivors of communist Europe, from Chekoslovakia to Slovenia to Russia. It is so easy to forget the horrors and the plight of these people, as is to romanticize the political ideology as “equitable and just”, ignoring what it did to families, children, and the whole society.
The author and the survivors make the case that soft totalitarianism is already present in the west. In many ways, as one of the survivors in the book says, nowadays we may have it harder because our modern lives don’t facilitate identifying who the enemy is, as was the case in hard totalitarian communism.
This book is filled with stories of overcoming and finding hope and meaning beyond fear, all of which can be applied to modern-day life, especially as a religious person in a secular world that tends to frown at the idea of God.