The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is a self-help book that explains how powerful people have gained and maintained their control over the centuries. While controversial for its manipulative tactics, this book also shares eye-opening insights into history, strategy, and human nature.
Discourses of Epictetus is a compilation of lectures on Stoic philosophy from almost 2,000 years ago. The book delivers timeless wisdom that continues to be intensely practical, guiding us on how to stabilize our emotions, become more self-disciplined, and live a good virtuous life.
Homo Deus offers a thought-provoking look into humanity's future; It talks about how advances in technologies like artificial intelligence and genetic engineering could radically transform us. Yuval Noah Harari proposes the uncomfortable notion that we may try to become like gods to avoid death and unhappiness.
Ikigai is about finding our life purpose and living longer, according to wisdom from Japan where people do live longer than average. The key ideas include: doing activities that make us feel 'flow', nurturing enjoyable relationships, keeping busy after retirement, and daily light eating and exercise.
The Way of Zen is a comprehensive introduction to Zen Buddhism, including the history and practices. Alan Watts explains how the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism combined with Indian Buddhism to form Zen. He also shares many practices of Zen such as meditation, koans, and arts.
1984 is a novel about a terrifying future where everyone is controlled by a totalitarian political "Party" led by "Big Brother." George Orwell predicted many real-life methods of government overreach including: strict censorship, mass surveillance, "Thought Police," manipulation of language, and rewriting history.
Letters from a Stoic is about how to stop feeling unsatisfied in life or worried what people think. Seneca says we must first reduce our desire for pleasure, wealth and social approval. Then we can become less fearful and hesitant with techniques like remembering that we're all gonna die.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** is like your smart but impolite friend explaining some great lessons from philosophy. Mark Manson shows how to live by your values so you can act with less hesitation, do what's most important to you, and stop worrying what people think.
12 Rules for Life is about putting your life in order and taking responsibility for what happens. Jordan Peterson begins each chapter with a simple Rule like "Stand up straight" then he launches into thought provoking lessons from science, religion, history and psychology.