From Jordan: My intention was to assemble a list of books such that if anyone were to read all of the books on the list, their life and worldview would never be the same. Happy reading, friends.
by Robert M. Pirsig
One of the most important and influential books of the past half-century, Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerful, moving, and penetrating examination of how we live and a meditation on how to live better. The narrative of a father on a summer motorcycle trip across America’s Northwest with his young son, it becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life’s fundamental questions. A true modern classic, it remains at once touching and transcendent, resonant with the myriad confusions of existence and the small, essential triumphs that propel us forward.
by Daniel Quinn
Few books carry the power to alter a reader’s perspective as fundamentally as The Story of B. The novel presents a lucid and mesmerizing vision of human history that vastly differs from our traditional narrative and has tremendous implications for our modern society. With surprising twists and fascinating characters, The Story of B sends readers on an intellectual journey that will forever change the way they view spirituality, human history, and, indeed, the state of our present world.
by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha
A controversial, idea-driven book that challenges everything you (think you) know about sex, monogamy, marriage, and family. In the words of Steve Taylor (The Fall, Waking From Sleep), Sex at Dawn is “a wonderfully provocative and well-written book which completely re-evaluates human sexual behavior and gets to the root of many of our social and psychological ills.”
by Alan Watts
I firmly believe that studying the wisdom of Eastern religions can thoroughly improve one’s life and attitude. In this book, Mr. Watts takes the reader back to the philosophical foundations of Zen, discussing its history and interrelation with Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. As a Westerner, Watts anticipates the stumbling blocks encountered with such concepts as emptiness and no-mind, then illustrates with flawlessly apt examples. Many popular books have been written on Zen since Watts’ time, but few have been able to muster the rare combination of erudition and clarity that have kept The Way of Zen in readers’ hands decade after decade.
by Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. Brave New World is an eye-opening work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations. It remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic 1984, and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment.
by Kahlil Gibran
This book was soothing, enlightening, and beautiful. On the most basic topics–marriage, children, friendship, work, pleasure–his words have a power and lucidity that in another era would surely have provoked the description “divinely inspired.” Consider these poetic, moving aphorisms a 20th-century supplement to all sacred traditions–as millions of other readers already have.
by Paulo Coelho
Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho’s charming fable of courage and the pursuit of one’s truest desires will enchant and inspire readers for generations to come.
By Cormac McCarthy
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
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