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    1. Any recommendations for reading classic non-fiction in modern times?

      I've been on a long and steady roll reading classic literature, both fiction and non-fiction. I think it's important to get a perspective from earlier times that influenced our current culture and...

      I've been on a long and steady roll reading classic literature, both fiction and non-fiction. I think it's important to get a perspective from earlier times that influenced our current culture and also because many of these works have withstood the test of time.

      However, I'm having real trouble reading some of the non-fiction e.g. Plato's Republic and Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals. With both fiction and non-fiction I accompany my readings with Sparknotes to make sure I'm not missing anything important. In the case of non-fiction I often can barely get a cohesive thought out of the original text. In some cases the text is too old to be understood on it's own and in others the author has great ideas but poor writing (e.g. Nietzsche, famously). But Sparknote's is much too brief—I'd like a more involved experience.

      My request is this: I'm looking for books (or resources to find such books) about classic non-fiction that

      1. distill the concepts without watering them down
      2. provide context with either modern culture and/or other works that are related
      3. are written for an intelligent layman; prose meant to communicate to a non-expert audience but with scholarly rigor

      Basically, I read at a high level but I am not a professional scholar of literature, philosophy or history, yet I would like to have a bridge to such an understanding.

      EDIT: I found this site to be exactly what I was looking for: https://plato.stanford.edu/index.html

      10 votes
    2. International alternatives...

      I've recently realised I read a lot of American literature. I'd like to broaden my horizons so I'm wondering for fun if anyone out there can suggest an international (i.e non-US) counterpart for...

      I've recently realised I read a lot of American literature. I'd like to broaden my horizons so I'm wondering for fun if anyone out there can suggest an international (i.e non-US) counterpart for any of the following or just general non-US recommendations?

      • Denis Johnson
      • David Foster Wallace
      • Flannery O'Conner
      • Carson McCullers
      8 votes
    3. What are the most influential books to you?

      I'm young, I'm looking to understand more ways of looking at the world. What books do you recommend people to read that had profound impacts on your world outlook, character, or anything else like...

      I'm young, I'm looking to understand more ways of looking at the world. What books do you recommend people to read that had profound impacts on your world outlook, character, or anything else like that. Future me says thank you.

      Edit List (Books listed so far by Title):
      "Accelerando" by Charles Stross
      "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess
      "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn
      "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson
      "Bardo Thödol" by Padmasambhava
      "Brave New World" by Huxley
      "Book of the Dead" by ?
      "Cain" by José Saramago
      "Capital vol.1" by Karl Marx
      "Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software" by Charles Petzold
      "Collected Fictions" by Jorge Luis Borges
      "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoyevsky
      "Die Grundlage der Allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie" by Einstein
      "Divine Comedy" by Dante
      "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick
      "Don Quixote" by Cervantes
      "Daughters of the Dragons" by William Andrews
      "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
      "Ethics" by Spinoza
      "Fables" by Aesop
      "Fahrenheit 451" by Bradbury
      "Faust" by Goethe
      "Flowers for Algernon" By Daniel Keyes
      "Fragile Things" by Neil Gaiman
      "God and the State" by Mikhail Bakunin
      "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas R. Hofstadter
      "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
      "Great Books" by David Denby
      "Harry Potter" by J.K. Rowling
      "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
      "History of Violence" By Édouard Louis
      "Homo Deus" by Yuval Noah Harari
      "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
      "Illiad" by Homer
      "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn
      "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami
      "Le contrat social" by Rousseau
      "Les fleurs du mal" by Baudelaire
      "Leviathan" by Hobbes
      "Maus" by Art Spiegelman
      "Naked Economics" by Charles Wheelan
      "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
      "Neuromancer" by William Gibson
      "Odyssey" Homer
      "On the Origin of Species" by Darwin
      "Paid Attention" by Faris Yakob
      "Personality-Shaping Through Positive Disintegration Processes" by Kazimierz Dąbrowski
      "Player Piano" by Vonnegut
      "Poetics" by Aristotle
      "Republic" by Plato
      "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari
      "Shogun" by James Clavell
      "Slaughterhouse-Five" by Kurt Vonnegut
      "Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu
      "Tales of Power" by Carlos Castaneda
      "Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science" by Peter Godfrey-Smith
      "The Ancestor's Tale" by Richard Dawkins
      "The Bible" by :contentious_topic_here:
      "The End of Eddy" By Édouard Louis
      "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
      "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood
      "The Lucifer Effect" by Philip Zimbardo
      "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes
      "The Prince" by Machiavelli
      "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins
      "The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweill
      "The Stranger" by Camus
      "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff
      "The Three-Body Problem Trilogy" by Cixin Liu
      "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus" by Wittgenstein
      "Traité d'atheologie" by Onfray
      "Treatise of the Three Imposters" by ?
      "Where Mathematics Comes From" by Lakoff and Nunez
      "Where I'm Calling From" by Raymond Carver
      "1984" by George Orwell

      20 votes
    4. Barack Obama has shared his summer reading list

      Reading list here - https://www.facebook.com/barackobama/posts/10156093753316749 The books he recommended are -- "Educated" by Tara Westover, a memoir about a woman who leaves her survivalist...

      Reading list here - https://www.facebook.com/barackobama/posts/10156093753316749

      The books he recommended are

      -- "Educated" by Tara Westover, a memoir about a woman who leaves her survivalist Idaho roots behind;

      -- "Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje, a post-World War II novel that Obama says is "a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family;"

      -- "An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones, about a newlywed black attorney wrongly convicted of rape;

      -- "Factfulness" a tome by Swedish academic Hans Rosling on the "secret silent miracle of human progress," and;

      -- "A House for Mr. Biswas," considered to be the first, great novel by the late V.S. Naipaul.

      I am interested if anyone has read these books and has any thoughts on them.

      10 votes