Hopefully, the COVID-19 pandemic will pass soon and politicians will lift their draconian lockdowns and shelve their many other destructive economic interventions. In the meantime, here are twenty books, movies, TV shows, and video games with notably positive and/or philosophically valuable messages to help you pass the time, keep your mind active, and keep your spiritual fuel tank full.


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book is a perfect example of Gaiman’s unique ability to wrap serious themes in lighthearted, feel-good charm. The book follows a young boy who is raised by ghosts (and one reformed vampire) in a graveyard after his family is murdered. Despite the subject matter, the book is never dark; its tone is unfailingly chipper. As the boy grows up, he gleans wisdom from his dead and often humorless mentors, but he never loses his sense of wonder and adventure.

Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

Sword of Truth is an eleven-book fantasy series that extolls the virtues of reason, capitalism, and self-interest (and it’s the only work on this list explicitly inspired by Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism). Although slightly preachy and redundant at times, its plots involving dragons, magic, and medieval politics are rapturously entertaining, largely because they are infused with broad themes of individualism. . . .

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