As promised on Naked Humanity, I give away one of my favorite books for free every week. Here is the list of books I offer. (This also just happens to be a great list of books to pick up, period.) If you have a suggestion, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Fear Works
How Fear Works is a very important book for today’s world. We all assume that we need to be more fearful because our world is scarier–but is this true? Frank Furedi explains how we got so wrapped up in unnecessary fearfulness, and the radical implications for today’s world.
The Worm at the Core
The first author of this book was a guest on episode 24 of the podcast, do check it out! In this book, you can learn just how massively significant your impending death is for the way that you make decisions and live your life.
The Island of Knowledge
Marcelo Gleiser was on episode 15 of the podcast, and gave a brilliant introduction to the ways in which we misunderstand science over and over again. This book is beautifully written and helps you understand not just science but how to learn to love uncertainty, risk, and mystery.
Infinite Jest is a “gargantuan, mind-altering” novel. It probes questions about who we are, why we live the way we do, how we connect, and the role of entertainment in our lives. Simultaneously quite funny and also very deep.
The Prophet is a classic of poetic meaning. Containing a collection of passages on various themes (love, marriage, loss), this is a deeply meaningful and also very accessible little book. Can transport you to your deepest self in no time.
The Chicago Tribune calls Becoming Wise “a compendium of wisdom, at once intimate and expansive.” Krista Tippett (you may have noticed a likeness) has long been a role model of mine, largely because of her ability to sit with big questions and powerful answers. I really enjoyed this book.
Naturalist is the autobiography of world famous and beloved entomologist E. O. Wilson. Journey with him through the swamps of his childhood and into his fantastical life revitalising science and fighting to preserve the world’s biodiversity.
Love Poems from God
This is one of two books I keep on my nightstand (the other rotates, and is currently Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit). Full of mystic poetry across the Abrahamic faiths, including by Rabia, Rumi, and Meister Eckhart, this book grabs you by the soul and warms – sometimes electrifies – you from head to toe.
Stumbling on Happiness
A brilliant book on the psychology of happiness. Gilbert teaches us that we know less about what’s good for us than we think, and what to do about it.
Sex at Dawn
Sex at Dawn is an incredibly thought provoking book about sex but also about so much more — about community, about human nature, about our animal past and present. If you want to challenge how you live and love, this book is perfect.
Surely You’re Joking!
Richard Feynman was a world-changing physicist and also an out-of-the-box, larger-than-life man who in this book tells stories that both inspire you and have you laughing out loud.
A History of God
Karen Armstrong is known for her ability to write with both sophistication and accessibility about major issues. This is a classic and well-written history of Abrahamic traditions.