The Google Doodle book club: What to read, according to Google

Want to join Google’s book club? Look no further than its Doodles. Check out Google's reading list.

4. “Fear and Trembling” by Soren Kirkegaard

Google paid homage to Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard with this May 2013 Google Doodle.

So Google may have honored the works of a whimsical children’s book author and classic fiction, but that doesn’t mean its bookshelf is all color and stories. On May 5, 2013, Google posted a Doodle celebrating Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s 200th birthday.

Mr. Kierkegaard had a vast collection of work, but his overarching ideas argued the merits of individualism and finding truth in the way one lives ones’ life. He also focused on Christian ethics, and many consider him the father of existentialism. One of his seminal works was “Fear and Trembling” published under the pseudonym Johannes de Silentio. The book is said to be a takedown of the Hegelian premise that the ethical is universal. 

We'll leave Google's interpretation of Kierkegaard's works up to you.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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