Jenna Robinson of the Martin Center offers ideas for last-minute Christmas gifts.

One of my favorite projects at the Martin Center is the cultivation of our higher education library. So far, we’ve collected nearly 700 books about higher education and educational philosophy.

Even before COVID-19, books were a respite from the pressures of daily life, the 24/7 news cycle, and the acrimony of politics. Now, with gatherings limited and the pandemic dragging on, books have been constant companions. Even those I disagree with have been sources of serenity in a crazy world. I’m appreciative every day that I get to work among books—and with other people who love them as much as I do.

This year, we added 75 new titles to our collection. (You can view our catalog here). But our library is still far from complete. There are many classic and new books that we need to add to our shelves—and that I look forward to reading in the future. …

How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization by Mortimer J. Adler (2000)

From the editor:

Time magazine called Mortimer J. Adler a “philosopher for everyman.” In this guide to considering the big questions, Adler addresses the topics all men and women ponder in the course of life, such as “What is love?”, “How do we decide the right thing to do?”, and, “What does it mean to be good?” …

Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz (2020)

From the editor:

In an overloaded, superficial, technological world, in which almost everything and everybody is judged by its usefulness, where can we turn for escape, lasting pleasure, contemplation, or connection to others? While many forms of leisure meet these needs, Zena Hitz writes, few experiences are so fulfilling as the inner life, whether that of a bookworm, an amateur astronomer, a birdwatcher, or someone who takes a deep interest in one of countless other subjects. …