Must-read Books (a definitive list)

Tenerife

Kingfisher
RatInTheWoods said:
Its not a cliche to say this book changed my life.

What you think will make you happy, those plans you have, how you see the world...

Its all a slight of hand, and your brain is holding you back.

This confronting book will teach you all about how you really work.

Not for the faint hearted...

Its free on the internet.





• Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight?

• Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they really want?


In this brilliant, witty, and accessible book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become.
What did you actually learn from it?
 

the chef

Woodpecker
Piankhi said:
Just got my hands on Brave New World. Is it a must read?
No, not really.

There's nothing you probably haven't been exposed to before. The writing is just OK. The plot isn't compelling at all. It's an above average book, and like others have pointed out, Huxley's future is more in line with reality (vs. Orwell) -- but I'd pass and read 1984 instead.
 

the chef

Woodpecker
My personal list off the top of my head:

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
East of Eden
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
1984
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Confessions of an Economic Hitman
Liar's Poker
Inside the Fighters Mind
 

Enigma

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Brave New World is barely over 150 pages and the writing is pretty straightforward. I could see if we were debating the pros and cons of slogging through a thousand page Dostoyevsky tome, but spending a single afternoon reading one of the most highly referenced and important novels in contemporary Western literature seems like a no brainer to me.
 

the chef

Woodpecker
Enigma said:
Brave New World is barely over 150 pages and the writing is pretty straightforward. I could see if we were debating the pros and cons of slogging through a thousand page Dostoyevsky tome, but spending a single afternoon reading one of the most highly referenced and important novels in contemporary Western literature seems like a no brainer to me.
You're right.
 

Gradient

Kingfisher
Tenerife said:
RatInTheWoods said:
Its not a cliche to say this book changed my life.

What you think will make you happy, those plans you have, how you see the world...

Its all a slight of hand, and your brain is holding you back.

This confronting book will teach you all about how you really work.

Not for the faint hearted...

Its free on the internet.





• Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight?

• Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they really want?


In this brilliant, witty, and accessible book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become.
What did you actually learn from it?
Each person has their own interpretation of such things, but this book was at BEST a mildly entertaining read. It has very little to do with finding happiness at all. Instead the author merely cites dozens of "studies" that seem in show that people are often mistaken about what they think they want or what they think outcomes of experiences will be.

Anyone who buys this book thinking that it is some sort of self-help book is going to be a very unhappy reader.

The book was well and humorously written, but I - personally - do not see how it could be particularly life changing.
 

Richard Turpin

Kingfisher
Heightcel said:
Dune

Hands down the best science-fiction book i've read.

Sapiens

anthropology / history, great read
Just finished Sapiens. Got Sapiens and Homo Deus from a second-hand book shop. I initially loved it, as I seemed to learn something new on every page. Until I read this, I'd never really processed too deeply how Homo Sapiens are just one of at least 6 other human species that roamed the earth. Some of whom were, on paper at least, superior to us in build and intellect.

But the author is definitely politicizing science. I realised this, even before I read this review on Voxday that confirmed a lot of my suspicions;

http://voxday.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/book-review-sapiens-by-yuval-harari.html

More unsustainable claims do not take long to appear. It may well be true that by about 400,000 years ago Man became able to hunt large game on a regular basis, and that in the last 100,000 years we jumped to the top of the food chain. There also seems little doubt that after humans migrated out of Africa in the last 70,000 years or so they exterminated large mammals in Australia, the Americas, and other parts of the world. But part of his explanation for this is that:

Having so recently been one of the underdogs of the savannah, we are full of fears and anxieties over our position, which makes us doubly cruel and dangerous. Many historical calamities, from deadly wars to ecological catastrophes, have resulted from this over-hasty jump (pp. 12-13).

No, we're not full of fears and anxieties about our position in the food chain, and never have been, because a species is not a person who can remember things like having been the underdog of the savannah tens of millennia in the past. Knowledge of our life on the savannah has only been vaguely reconstructed by archaeologists and anthropologists in modern times.
I would still recommend the book, as it inspired me to learn more about the subject. I'm going to give his other book 'Homo Deus' a go next. A study on the future of Humanity, I understand. As long as I continue to learn from his books, I'll continue to read them, even though the author undoubtedly has his own agenda (I'll just need to have my guard up).
 

Hypno

Crow
Heightcel said:
Dune

Hands down the best science-fiction book i've read.

Sapiens

anthropology / history, great read
I haven't read Sapiens, but I recommend the sequel, Homo Deus. Not necessarily required reading, but excellent and thought provoking on what it means to be human.
 
One of my favorite game books which also happens to be pretty funny is "8 Ball" by Jeffy.

This is the story of his troubled childhood, his delving into degeneracy, and then his redemption by discovering game and improving his life. Really funny book, and I've re-read it several times when I feel frustrated about women. Set in San Francisco, he talks about how crazy life is living there amidst swingers, gays, and the homeless. He also talks about becoming a pickup guru.

Also, got to mention "Free Speech isn't Free" by Roosh. I didn't realize how harsh the establishment was coming down on him while he was in Canada, and also when arranging the meetups in the US. He's really philosophical with his outlook of things, and has grown a lot since he started writing. I still really like looking at the archives of "DC Bachelor", to see how he grew from that to Neomasculinity/ being a banned international thought criminal.
 
Nascimento said:
let's talk about books that alter your mindset significantly or change your viewpoint on life in a positive way.
My list is pretty boring but changed my life for the better!

David Allen - Getting Things Done

This was a real eye opener... Use your brain for thinking not remembering is the most important line to remember from this book...

Since implementing The Secret Weapon (Evernote & GTD, there's a youtube tutorial about it) I've got a better overview of all my responsibilities... People sometimes wonder how I get everything done (most people say I do too much, well I don't like being a couchpotato thx), well with the help of this book! And this one too:

Jeff Olson - Slight Edge

Doing a little bit every helps a lot! Some days I wasn't satisfied with myself because I thought I didn't do enough, after reading this book I learned to appreciate what I've done... It's better to do a little then to do nothing at all...

Atul Gawande - The Checklist Manifesto

Checklists are boring... I know... But like David Allen said, you can't use your brain to remember stuff, so if you have recurring complex tasks, make a checklist... This has saved my skin multiple times!

Sam Carpenter - The Systems Mindset

Everything is a system, and systems can always improve...

Robert A. Glover - No More Mr Nice Guy

What an eye opener. Said goodbye to the days of being a White Knight Blue Pilled Mr Nice Guy!
 

rottenapple

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I also cosign the recommendation for "Sapiens", an amazing summary of the trajectory of mankind. I'll read the sequel soon enough.
 

Hypno

Crow
rottenapple said:
I also cosign the recommendation for "Sapiens", an amazing summary of the trajectory of mankind. I'll read the sequel soon enough.
The sequel is Homo Deus. I don't know if its must-read, but I recommend it strongly.

The premise is that tecnology, especially biotechnology, is compounding exponentially and we are going to merge with machines in the near future (i.e. become god like, hence the title). Author goes on to discuss what this will mean by asking what does it mean to be human, how are we different from machines, how are we different from animals, etc. Author is a typical atheistic academic andopenly hostile to religion, but his questions are thought provoking and the book well written.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
Hypno said:
rottenapple said:
I also cosign the recommendation for "Sapiens", an amazing summary of the trajectory of mankind. I'll read the sequel soon enough.
The sequel is Homo Deus. I don't know if its must-read, but I recommend it strongly.

The premise is that tecnology, especially biotechnology, is compounding exponentially and we are going to merge with machines in the near future (i.e. become god like, hence the title). Author goes on to discuss what this will mean by asking what does it mean to be human, how are we different from machines, how are we different from animals, etc. Author is a typical atheistic academic andopenly hostile to religion, but his questions are thought provoking and the book well written.
E. Michael Jones reviewed both Harari books a few weeks ago, sharp as always, though you might have some difficulty following his arguments if you're not familiar with concepts like Platonic dualism:

 


Osho - Fear

I'm still working on this book and it's already been a life changer.

The big things I have taken away from it so far

- All fear stems from the fear of death

- Death and life are two sides of the same coin, you cannot live a full life if you also aren't afraid of death

- Accept death, it's natural and you should look at it as the "climax" of your existence

- Fear of pain - You cannot have pleasure without pain, they are the same thing it's just how you interrupt it that changes. Take a bucket of water, now take one hand and make it hot and take the other hand and make it cold. Then put both hands in the water, what's the feeling? Well, for one hand the water will be warm and the other it will be cold. It's how you view things. You cannot have a life of just pleasure, you must also have pain and the greater the pleasure the greater the pain.

- When there is pain, go fully into it, pain is a sign you must go deep

Some books speak to you, this one does especially considering how I'm dealing with fear a lot in my life right now.

What I like about it is that when you read it, you don't think "Oh that's hippy dippy bullshit." it makes a lot of sense, it doesn't try to push a religion down your throat. There's so much to learn in this book, anyone with anxiety or feels they are fearful in life should give it a read.

The interesting thing, is I ordered a whole wack of used books, they're coming from the States and UK. The shipping is supposedly 15-30 days with some order reaching 60 days. This book came in the mail within 4 days and it was not expedited, even the "tracker" for the shipment said it would take close to 2 months to get here. Somehow it made it here in 4 days.

I definitely have taken that as a sign of the importance of this book in my life.

I was at the lake the other day, watching the waves and I took notice of how every wave is different, no two wave is the same and they don't know how to be anything else but waves.

Then a few days later I read almost the exact same sentence in the book when it mentioned about how waves are unique and don't try to be anything else but waves.

I highly recommend this book.
 

Piankhi

Robin
Has anyone read Carl Johan Callemans books like Mayan Calendar and the rise of consciousness? Does it make sense or is it crackpot?
 
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