great books with descriptions

INNER LIFE/CREATIVITY/SELF-HELP/EXPLORATION
see SARK, Robert Fulghum
Joanna Field – A Life of One’s Own
– An Experiment in Leisure
Ben Zander – The Art of Possibility
Austin Kleon – Steal Like An Artist
Carol Lloyd – Creating a Life Worth Living
Laurence Boldt – Zen and the Art of Making a Living

PEOPLE/THE WORLD/HUMAN NATURE
see Hazlitt, Emerson
Erasmus – The Praise of Folly
Ambrose Bierce – The Devil’s Dictionary (1911) – read online
Charles Mackay – Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds – Vol 1. read online Vol. 2 read online
Deborah Tannen – You Just Don’t Understand
Lakoff/Johnson – Metaphors We Live By
Jonathan Haidt – The Happiness Hypothesis
Ernst Cassirer – An Essay on Man
Walter Lippmann – A Preface to Morals
Robert Wright – The Moral Animal
Walter Bagehot – Physics and Politics – read online
Erving Goffman – Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

ECONOMICS/POLITICS/DEMOCRACY/SOCIETY/CULTURE/MEDIA
see Noam Chomsky, C. Wright Mills, J.K. Galbraith, Bertrand Russell
Bernard Mandeville – The Fable of the Bees (1729) – read online
E.F. Schumacher – small is beautiful
J.K. Galbraith – The Affluent Society
J.R. Saul – Voltaire’s Bastards
Michael Oakeshott – Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays
Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America (1835)- read online
Donald Horne – The Public Culture
Walter Lippmann – Public Opinion
Raymond Williams – Culture and Society 1780-1950
Erich Fromm – The Sane Society
Susan Faludi – STIFFED
R.H. Tawney – The Acquisitive Society – read online

PHILOSOPHY
see Nietzsche, Santayana, William James
Dennis Rohatyn – Philosophy, History, Sophistry
George Santayana – Egotism in German Philosophy – read online
Rick Roderick lectures – view online
Hilary Putnam – Realism with a Human Face
Lakoff/Johnson – Philosophy in the Flesh
Bertrand Russell‘s essays e.g. Sceptical Essays, Unpopular Essays etc

ETHICS/RELIGION
William James – The Varieties of Religious Experience
Sam Harris – The Moral Landscape
– The End of Faith
Jonathan Glover – Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century
Ram Dass – Be Here Now
The Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words

ART
Robert McKee – Story

PHILOSOPHY OF ART/CRITICISM
Theophile Gautier – preface to Mademoiselle de Maupin – read online
John Dewey – Art as Experience
Oscar Wilde – Intentions
R.G. Collingwood – Speculum Mentis
David Best – Feeling and Reason in the Arts
Jean Gimpel – The Cult of Art
John Carey – What Good Are The Arts?

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/BIOGRAPHY
Gandhi – The Story of My Experiments with Truth
Boswell – Life of Samuel Johnson

ESSAYS & APHORISMS
see Great Essays & Essayists
Montaigne – Essays
La Rochefoucauld – Maxims
La Bruyere – Characters
G.K. Chesterton – Heretics
Hazlitt – Table Talk
– The Plain Speaker
Emerson – Essays, First and Second Series

SCIENCES
The Feynman Lectures on Physics
Martin Gardner – Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science
Jared Diamond – The Third Chimpanzee
– Guns, Germs & Steel
Robert Sapolsky – Biology of Human Behavior – Stanford U. lecture course, on youtube.

NOVELS
Sterne – Tristram Shandy
Cervantes – Don Quixote – read online
Kurt Vonnegut Jr – The Sirens of Titan
– Breakfast of Champions
Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
– Lila

MATHS
Needham – Visual Complex Analysis
Stillwell – Mathematics and its History
Hofstadter – Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

OTHER
Lin Yutang – The Importance of Living
– The Importance of Understanding

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