8Books That Make You Think
I’ll assume, since you clicked on an article called “8 books that made me think,” you are asking which books impacted me. 🙂
In that vein, below are a compilation of the books that made me smarter at different points in my life. I’ve listed them in the order I read them (from earliest in my life to most latterly).
I don’t agree with all the points made in these books and often the book forced me to do the valuable work of understanding and articulating why I disagreed.
My hope is if you’ve read one on the list and liked it, you might find the next few on the list after it is right up your alley.
If you haven’t read any of them, then I think starting with whichever book seems most interesting is the best way to go.
by Ernst Mayr
At once a spirited defense of Darwinian explanations of biology and an elegant primer on evolution for the general reader, What Evolution Is poses the questions at the heart of evolutionary theory and considers how our improved understanding of evolution has affected the viewpoints and values of modern man.Science Masters Series
2.Endless Forms Most Beautiful:
“A beautiful and very important book.”―Lewis Wolpert, American Scientist For longer than a century, opening the black box of early-stage advancement was the sacred goal of science. Evo-Devo―Evolutionary Developmental Biology―is the new science that has finally cracked open the box. Within the pages of his rich and riveting book, Sean B. Carroll clarifies how we are finding that perplexing life is unexpectedly a lot less difficult than anybody at any point anticipated.
3.The Story of Life: Great Discoveries in Biology
A unique opportunity for students to learn biology through stories told by one of the great science storytellers of our time: Sean B. Carroll. This improving content follows the structure of an initial science course, with brief parts that length the broadness of the existence sciences. This gives maximum flexibility to assign a few stories or all of them.
4.The Selfish Gene
The Selfish Gene takes the idea of evolution and applies it to human culture. Rather than looking at humans as having genes, Dawkins thinks about it as genes having humans. Humans don’t pass on their genes, genes build humans as an approach to pass on themselves.
The book additionally authored the expression “meme” as the possibility that bits of human culture react to transformative procedures just like biology. A pop-culture meme is just like a successful gene because it successfully convinces people to spread it.
This book opened the conduits for me in considering evolution as a metaphor for other parts of the world and my life.
5.Finite and Infinite Games
“There are at least two kinds of games,” states Carse as he begins the book, “One could be called finite; the other infinite.”Limited games are played to be won and to show our mastery over other players.
Infinite games are played for the reason for proceeding to play and welcoming others to go along with us.
Carse finds new ways of understanding everything from acting, to sex, to evil, to science, to wealth and social status.
This book changed the way I related to the world in a profound way, from how I approach relationships to how I approach my work. I reread it nearly every year.
6.The God Delusion
A preeminent scientist — and the world’s most prominent atheist — asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11.
With thoroughness and mind, Dawkins analyzes God in the entirety of his structures, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being.He shows how religion fuels war, incites extremism, and misuses youngsters, buttressing his focuses with chronicled and contemporary proof. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe’s wonders than any faith could ever muster.
7.God Is Not Great:
In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’ recent best-seller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the key religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a root of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With strong clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life build on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty of the double helix.
8.Out of Your Mind
A delightful introduction to Buddhist concepts from a self-proclaimed “spiritual entertainer.”
Watts shows how to break through the limits of the rational mind and expand your awareness and appreciation for the great game unfolding all around us.
Out of Your Mind helped me see that nothing is as good or bad as it may, at first, appear.