We often get asked: “What should I read to get good at conflict resolution?” First, we point folks to our post on the baker’s dozen reads for resolvers. That post gives our top twelve essential books to read if you strive to become a really great conflict resolver. We call it the baker’s dozen because the 13th book on the list is always a work of fiction, specifically a novel. Why?
Novels function like field guides to human behavior. In a novel, we get data in about the characters that we will never get in real life. We get to see into the interior of the characters’ minds, and scan their emotional landscape. Often in a novel, we are accompanied by a trusty narrator who explains the situation to us. As in real life, this narrator is unreliable and biased. But, we almost always get more information from a fictional narrator than in real life. Information that is robust, relevant, and helpful to understanding the setting and the plot.
Reading the how-to’s and the textbooks is required. Reading literature is fundamental. At The Teagarden Group, we are hopelessly fickle in our opinion on the books that ought to be on this list, and are apt to change the list on a whim. So – without justification or commentary – here’s today’s baker’s dozen fiction reads for resolvers …
Call It Sleep by Henry Roth
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Wolfe
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
A Good Man is Hard to Find, and other stories (short story collection) by Flannery O’Connor
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Maus by Art Spiegelman