Must-read Books (a definitive list)

Checkmat

Pelican
Pride male said:
Is Gone Girl a must read?
I would say so, yes. I saw the movie first and loved it, then read the book and thought it was just as good. The book is different/deep enough to really enjoy even if you know what's going to happen.
 

Maistre

Sparrow
1) Yes Anna Karenina is absolutely a fucking must read. Oh my god I love it so much. Honestly my favorite book of all time. Stiva is just the perfect example of a natural alpha, the way modern feminists (i.e. all of academia) reads the text and evaluates Anna vs. Alex Alexeivich, the Christianity that is the beating heart of the text... I could go on for days, but my god...what a book

2) I’m a third of the way in to another must-read, The Decline of the West, and ive been reading it for almost a year. So unbelievably dense, shrill at tunes, and being somewhat self-obsessed but holy fuck it at times hit those unbelievable stretches of holy fuck only nietzsche can

Why is it a must-read? There's two answers I can give you, for there's two levels to this work’s appreciation:

Are you (really, really, really) into historiography, and think the way macrohistory has been sidelined in the last couple decades is a fucking shame? When you read Nietzsche write about the Greeks and briefly on other historical topics, were you screaming “more daddy! Please more!”? Do you find the full throated investigation and application of historicism calling your name in the night? Are you certain that aristotelian teleologies and organic structures characterize any proper understanding of history?

If any of the above mentioned topics are among your foremost intellectual passions, you owe it to yourself to read this book. Honestly, is you aren’t like suuuuuper into the philosophy of history and historiographical debates, this book probably isn’t right for you, as it’s essentially a terminal reading in that field. Nothing wrong with that - people should only read super high level works on the things they’re really willing to put in the hours. That’s why I am reading it - there’s nothing that interests me more than global, meta-historical theories, and ive now spent years and years learning about them. The fact that this book is one of the absolute foremost masterpieces in this field, and better still, that it’s one of the ideological cornerstones of the alt-right, meant I, personally, simply had to read it.

That, then, would be the more strictly intellectual, academic approach to this work, so great that even, despite its seriously fascist and counter enlightenment undertones (at times not so under), it’s universally regarded as a “great book” by the (((academic establishment))) and those who take their cues from it.

Now on to the hotter, presumably more interesting (to you) sense of appreciation for this work - it’s ideological context. In a more general sense, Spengler (the author) takes on a ton of the same intellectual concepts the alt-right opposes - from drive by shots at kantian liberalism, to basic opposition to the application of cartesian mechanistic, rather than aristotelian organic, concepts to human societies, and rejects the “onwards and upwards” Whiggish history of modern liberals. He derides democracy, egalitarianism, and free markets as destructive and deceptive institutions, and brings the press in for particular contempt. He believes that tradition and racial affinity are the sources of true power, and predicted the cataclysms of the world wars

Most profoundly of all, I believe and especially for our moment, as that he diagnoses our society as one in decline, enervated and infertile. He believes, sometime around the year 2000, that we will be taken into a new era of “Caesarism.”

I don’t think there’s anyone who more presciently and cogently names and describes the fundamental, long-term trends which have given rise to the alt-right and undermined the power of our current elites. For that reason alone, he’s worth a read.

If your interest in piqued, allow me to warn you that to really get anything at all, to even be interested in this book and to be reading it as anything more than a political fetish object, you have to fucking do your background reading.


Not to sound like some science bitch or anything but i think one needs to understand Nietzsche’s historical and cultural thought before starting decline of the west to really get anything out of it, given that the whole work is in pretty explicit dialogue with nietzche, so if ur serious about this and if you haven’t already read like the birth of tragedy and on truth and lies in a nonmoral sense I’d strongly recommend hitting those first


I’ll leave you with some quotes from Wikipedia that give you a real taste of just how prescient this strange, sad, inspired teuton was

In 1931, he published Man and Technics, which warned against the dangers of technology and industrialism to culture. He especially pointed to the tendency of Western technology to spread to hostile "Colored races" which would then use the weapons against the West.[14] It was poorly received because of its anti-industrialism. This book contains the well-known Spengler quote "Optimism is cowardice".

...

Spengler described the process by which Enlightenment rationalism undermines and destroys itself, passing from unlimited optimism to unqualified skepticism. The Cartesian self-centered rationalism leads to schools of thought that do not cognize outside of their own constructed worlds, ignoring actual every-day life experience. It applies criticism to its own artificial world until it exhausts itself in meaninglessness. In reaction to the educated elites, the masses give rise to the Second Religiousness, which manifests as deeply suspicious of academia and science.

...

The Second Religiousness appears as a harbinger of the decline of mature Civilization into an ahistorical state. The Second Religiousness occurs concurrently with Caesarism, the final political constitution of Late Civilization. Caesarism is the rise of an authoritarian ruler, a new 'emperor' akin to Caesar or Augustus, taking the reins in reaction to a decline in creativity, ideology and energy after a culture has reached its high point and become a civilization.[15] Both the Second Religiousness and Caesarism demonstrate the lack of youthful strength or creativity that the Early Culture once possessed. The Second Religiousness is simply a rehashing of the original religious trend of the Culture.
 
Pride male said:
Is Grand Chessboard Brezhinski a must read?
Keep in mind The Grand Chessboard was written back in 1997 so some of its content is noticeably dated, but if you want a better understanding of ongoing geopolitical struggles (especially Ukraine, Middle East, and to a lesser degree East Asia), yes. It also gives insight into how the globalist elites view the world and what their objectives are, as far as the U.S. as a vehicle for their agenda.

Brzezinski describes the U.S. and the culture of "Americanism" as an inherently transnational, globalist ideology that is an important part of America's unique status as a global empire. He compared it to previous empires and points out the differences that make America the first truly global empire. Although he covers up some of the globalists' intentions with the typical "freedom and democracy" language, in many ways Grand Chessboard is pretty blunt about how exactly the elite want to manipulate various countries to achieve their ends. He also wrote about how "America" (i.e. the globalists) need to use its power to reshape the world the way they want.

Each section of the book is devoted to a particular continent or region, in which he gives his overview of it. At the beginning, besides his overview of previous empires, Brzezinski also describes the British theorist Mackinder's thesis on how controlling Eurasia is the key to world dominance, and outlines a number of important countries on the Eurasian chessboard for the U.S. to manipulate in different ways, dividing them between two categories: geostrategic "players" (countries with the power to exert influence beyond their borders) or geostrategic "pivots" (countries that may not be powerful or willing on their own but due to their geographic location or resources have influence on their region). Throughout the book he gives his view on these countries, their past history and recent political trends (as of 1997 of course), and how they should be dealt with/managed/controlled from the globalist perspective, as well as what the ideal results are.

He listed the players as: France, Germany, Russia, India, and China. He listed the pivots as: Ukraine, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Turkey, and Iran.

Many of his predictions are accurate, as for example he brought up the rise of nationalism and Euroskepticism in the EU, and the possibility of conflict over Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.

So yes, overall I would recommend reading Grand Chessboard, it is very interesting.
 

bgbusiness

Kingfisher
About 20% done with Principles by Ray Dalio.
If you are into finance/business/stocks at all, this is a must-read book.
It's about 50% about self-development and 50% about stocks...
 
Piankhi said:
Just got my hands on Brave New World. Is it a must read?
There are people out there who believe the author was MI5 and the novel is an expose, not just fiction. He was head of some eugenics laboratory and all that.

If you read it from that perspective it's frightening.
 

Easy_C

Crow
You’re barking up the wrong tree by trying to figure Alduous Huxley.

His brother Julian was FAR more important and was one of the major subversives responsibile for coming up with the social engineering plan.
 

JCleetus

Newbie
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

Gibbon noted five things that presaged the collapse of the Roman Empire:

1) Ostentatious displays of wealth.
2) A preoccupation with sex and perversions of sex.
3) Freakishness in the arts and outlandish enthusiasms pretending to be creativity.
4) A huge disparity between the most wealthy citizens and the poor.
5) An increased desire to live off the state.
 

Monty_Brogan

Woodpecker
Gold Member
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

Gibbon noted five things that presaged the collapse of the Roman Empire:

1) Ostentatious displays of wealth.
2) A preoccupation with sex and perversions of sex.
3) Freakishness in the arts and outlandish enthusiasms pretending to be creativity.
4) A huge disparity between the most wealthy citizens and the poor.
5) An increased desire to live off the state.
So 2020 America? I’ll have to look into that book, I keep hearing people talk about it.
 

kel

Pelican
Related, not specifically about the western Roman Empire (and his dates for the western Roman Empire seem wildly off and just kinda hammered in to fit the pattern he's establish), but it's a short read available online: The Fate of Empires by Sir John Glubb
 
Dr. Peter Kreeft, Catholic writer and Philosophy professor, came up with his Books Nobody Should Be Allowed to Die Without Reading.

I recommend watching this talk where he explains why he chose each one:

-------Categories-------
1) Autobiography
2) Novels
3) Plays
4) Epics
5) Supernatural Fantasy
6) Sci Fi
7) Spirituality
8) Apologetics
9) Classic Philosophy
10) Popular Philosophy
11) History
12) Theology
13) Poetry

------------------------------ Books ------------------------------

Autobiography:​

1) St. Augustine - Confessions (The Sheed Translation) : https://www.amazon.com/Confessions-...6&sr=1-1&keywords=augustine+confessions+sheed

2) Sheldon Vanauken - A Severe Mercy : https://www.amazon.com/Severe-Mercy-Sheldon-Vanauken/dp/0060688246

Novels:​

3) Dostoevsky - Brother's Karamazov : https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Kar...99&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=doestoevsky+brothers

4) C.S. Lewis - Til We Have Faces : https://www.amazon.com/dp/0156904365/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I5KVVE6F6GA0N&colid=1PBQQPAQLTCO5&psc=0

Plays:​

5) Robert Bolt - A Man For All Seasons : https://www.amazon.com/Man-All-Seas...4668600&sr=1-1&keywords=a+man+for+all+seasons

6) Thorton Wilder - Our Town : https://www.amazon.com/Our-Town-Thr...=UTF8&qid=1514668627&sr=1-1&keywords=our+town

Epics:​

7) J.R.R. Tolkien - Lord of the Rings : https://www.amazon.com/Hobbit-Lord-...=1514668704&sr=1-7&keywords=lord+of+the+rings

8) C.S. Lewis - Chronicles of Narnia : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004RUG8LE/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I364VNAABT4HCC&colid=1PBQQPAQLTCO5&psc=0

Supernatural Fantasy:​

9) C.S. Lewis - The Great Divorce : https://www.amazon.com/Great-Divorc...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=K0C2HKD3MBKDWG9HEVAC

10) C.S. Lewis - Screwtape Letters : https://www.amazon.com/Screwtape-Le...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5KVPFZJR9YZ2H4WAGBG2

Sci Fi:​

11) Walter M. Miller Jr. - A Canticle for Leibowitz : https://www.amazon.com/Canticle-Lei...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WK1K7W4MRE5PD727WB61

12) Aldous Huxley - Brave New World : https://www.amazon.com/Brave-New-Wo...668950&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=audoulous+huxley

Spirituality:​

13) Brother Lawrence - The Practice of the Presence of God : https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Pre...1-2&keywords=the+practice+and+presence+of+god

14) Therese of Lisieux - The Story of a Soul : https://www.amazon.com/Story-Soul-A...4671250&sr=1-1&keywords=the+story+of+the+soul

Apologetics (reasons for faith):​

15) Blaise Pascal - Pensees : https://www.amazon.com/Pensées-Writ...&qid=1514669178&sr=1-3&keywords=Blaise+Pascal

16) C.S. Lewis - The Problem of Pain : https://www.amazon.com/Problem-Pain...9241&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=problemb+with+pain

Classic Philosophy:​

17) Plato - Apology of Socrates : https://www.amazon.com/Socrates-Apo...514670252&sr=1-1&keywords=Apology+of+Socrates

18) Ancius Boethius - Consolation of Philosophy : https://www.amazon.com/Consolation-...278&sr=1-1&keywords=Consolation+of+Philosophy

Popular Philosphy:​

19) G.K. Chesterton - St. Thomas Aquinas : https://www.amazon.com/Saint-Thomas...fkmr1&keywords=intro+to+aquinas+gk+chesterton

20) G.K.Chesterton - Orthodoxy : https://www.amazon.com/Orthodoxy-G-...70336&sr=1-1&keywords=orthodoxy+gk+chesterton

History:​

21) G.K. Chesterton - The Everlasting Man : https://www.amazon.com/Everlasting-...514670360&sr=1-4&keywords=the+everlasting+man

22) Warren Carrol - Our Lady of Guadalupe: And the Conquest of Darkness : https://www.amazon.com/Our-Lady-Gua...dy+of+Guadalupe:+And+the+Conquest+of+Darkness

Theology:​

23) C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity : https://www.amazon.com/Mere-Christi...82&sr=1-2&keywords=mere+christianity+cs+lewis

24) St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa : https://www.amazon.com/Aquinass-Sho...=1-1&keywords=thomas+aquinas+summa+theologica

Poetry:​

25) G.K. Chesterton - Lepanto :
26) T.S. Elliot - The Waste Land: https://www.amazon.com/Waste-Land-N...1514670084&sr=1-1&keywords=wasteland+ts+eliot
 
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, by Timothy Keller

keller.jpg

An Amazon review from jcolino:
"If you're looking for a book that will describe the history, meaning, and purpose of marriage, this is it. It's not a marriage counseling book nor a weekend retreat themed book. We have plenty of those kinds of books on our shelves, so this was a welcome departure from the 200-page "Husbands love your wives and wives obey your husbands" types.

The Kellers take the subject from the angle of the church he lead in New York city where singleness is the norm and marriage is thought of as a trap. He takes the time to explain Biblically what marriage is and what it isn't. Yada yada yada, it was good and refreshing."

 
Top