This year, I read 55 books. Although I am not reading for the sake of numbers, this is most definitely a record for me. Some of these books deeply moved me and gave me new ideas and perspectives on live. I have compiled a list of 11 books which I recommend to any one, for different reasons. The book titles are listed in random order. Some of the books can be read and downloaded free of charge.
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
This classic book, a fictionalized autobiography, describes the journey on a motorcycle of a father and his son. It takes a while before the story picks up, but then the history of both is slowly revealed. The book is full of philosophic contemplation, such as “What is the definition of quality?” and the difference between rhetoric and dialectic. It has a beautiful ending that literally moved me to tears.
2. Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier
Author Jaron Lanier does not have any social media account. That hasn’t impeded him at all, as he is one of the top 25 most influential people over the last 25 years of technological history. In his book he constructs ten very compelling and well supported arguments for removing yourself from social media. On top, he writes it in such a positive and uplifting manner that it is a joy to read.
3. Common Sense by Thomas Paine
With more and more totalitarian control being instigated by governments all over the world, Common Sense is a refreshing pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in the 18th century. In it, he advocates for independence from Great Britain. Written in a clear and persuasive way, Paine gives moral and political arguments to encourage people to fight for egalitarian government.
4. One Red Paperclip by Kyle Macdonald
I had heard the story, but never read the entire story. Kyle Macdonald started a barter experiment. He starts by a paperclip and finally ends up with an entire house. It is a lovely story, written in a light and honest way. Highly recommend for if you see more possibilities in life.
5. Bezmenov World Thought Police 1986 by Tomas Schuman
A candid account of the role that state media played in the KGB’s activities in the Soviet era. Far reaching tactics were used to change the perceived reality of the Soviet Union over an extended period of time. It contains very interesting ideas and concepts that we can find back in today’s world. When you demoralize a society, people will not know anymore what is right or wrong. Hence they become lethargic and subject to totalitarian control.
6. How to Hack Like a Porn Star by Sparc Flow
A fascinating technical story of a real hacker who takes the reader on a fictional journey of hacking a bank. A little bit of IT background will help in understanding the technicalities described in the book, but without one can still follow very well. It demonstrates the vulnerabilities in any complex system architecture. IT security should not be left to the experts alone.
7. The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Edith Eger
The author describes her heart breaking story from being deported to concentration camps in World War II, their liberation and subsequent escape to the United States. Edit Eger became a psychologist and draws wisdom from all her horrifying and her beautiful experiences in life. Deeply moving.
8. TranscEnding the Global Power Game by Armin Risi
A beautiful book which you can purchase directly from the author himself. It is a work that combines the spiritual, philosophy, esotericism, history of mankind, and proven conspiracies and projects it onto the current developments and near term future of this planet.
9. Mutual Aid by Pyotr Kropotkin
Highly thought provoking and fascinating book. Kropotkin reveres Darwin, but rightfully points out that life is more than the mutual struggle for survival. He gives a wealth of examples from the animal kingdom where mutual aid is the predominant drive. Then he investigates primitive tribes and subsequent civilizations and confirms that mutual aid is also prevalent there.
The book triggered me in pondering over the mutual struggle that we experience today, which is mainly caused by a flawed money system which creates artificial scarcity.
10. When Google Met WikiLeaks by Julian Assange
A shocking book that exposes Google’s close ties with the U.S. government, including the NSA and the State Department. It discloses the lies told by its former CEO, Eric Schmidt and the tech company’s dystopian vision for a “new world order”.