Author Topic: Truly mind expanding books you have read  (Read 5557 times)

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Offline Gerbig

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Truly mind expanding books you have read
« on: April 19, 2012, 08:11:02 PM »
Really, the only books I really enjoy reading are ones that expand my mind and really teach me something.

Be it science, politics, history, sociology, psychology, health/fitness,  etc etc, as long as the author adds to my knowledge of the world in a substantial way.

Anybody got any book suggestions along those lines?

Offline Neutral Milk

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 08:20:30 PM »

Offline Rai

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 10:25:39 AM »
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann was one of the most mind-blowing things I've ever read, collecting all the most important research about the Pre-Columbian Americas, most of which is yet yet to enter common knowledge. It is brilliantly written and extremely well-researched.

I could also recommend The First Fossil Hunters by Adrienne Mayor, which explores what people in Classical Antiquity thought of the fossilised remains of animals they found. Also on Antiquity, J. E. Lendon's Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity is a superb piece on how misplaced beliefs in the truth-value of Homeric descriptions of warfare influenced military thinking for centuries.

I'm also reading Paul Preston's The Spanish Holocaust which is a pretty damn mind-expanding book on the Rwanda-esque behaviour of the Rebels during the Spanish Civil War. It is very enlightening especially concerning the sexual, social, religious and political motivations of this less-known mass extermination.
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Offline Jonzard

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 05:32:00 PM »
While it may be one of those "opens your mind so much that your brain falls out" books, The Singularity is Near is pretty mind-expansion inducing.

Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2012, 06:41:52 PM »
Everything Bad Is Good For You by Stephen Johnston, although he may be preaching to the choir a bit there
The Drunkard's Walk by whathisname Mlodinow is pretty cool
Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen is still, to me, *the* book to read if you want to understand why high school history is so boring even though actual history is so awesome
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Offline Jonzard

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2012, 11:19:13 AM »
Consciousness Explained by Dennett and The Meme Machine by Blackmore will stretch out your thinking too.

Offline SkeptiKiwi

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 09:08:59 PM »
Consciousness Explained by Dennett
+1

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Offline ricree

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2012, 09:58:12 PM »
Gödel Escher Bach, is another really good one.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 02:54:35 AM »
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "mind expanding".

I agree with Gödel Escher Bach. Hofstadter's next book, Metamagical Themas is also very good.

The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene is excellent.
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Offline jack wooster

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 03:27:01 AM »
The Meme Machine by Blackmore will stretch out your thinking too.

deffinitely this, and also Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism Without Beliefs.
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Offline AgnosticBuddha

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2012, 01:21:46 PM »
deffinitely this, and also Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism Without Beliefs.

I have a much read, dog-eared copy myself. It's actually the inspiration of my forum name and avatar.

Offline Lukas

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2012, 02:48:18 PM »
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five
Frank Kafka, The Castle (really, anything by Kafka...)

Offline jack wooster

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 03:48:44 AM »
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

and Kurt Vonnegut's Sirens Of Titan, deceptively brilliant.
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Offline Nat 20

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2012, 10:12:22 PM »
Brian Greene’s The Fabric of the Cosmos.  I loved it.  Afterwards I found myself craving more science.  That is how I stumbled across the SGU a few years back.
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Offline Gerbig

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Re: Truly mind expanding books you have read
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2012, 11:08:12 PM »
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "mind expanding".


It expands my knowledge base into new areas of understanding and presents new perspectives.

Explain books that did this for you, and I will read them hoping they will do the same for me

 

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