Recommend an Enlightening Book

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by snico1995, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. snico1995

    snico1995 GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 13, 2010
    United States
    Lately I have been wanting to read something that would really make me think and make me a more intelligent person so I wanted too see if anyone on the temp knew of anything.

    Maybe a book about philosophy or something, no fiction or biographies or things of that nature.
  2. Schizoanalysis

    Schizoanalysis From somewhere inside the rabbit hole...

    Jun 23, 2009
    Anything by Slavoj Zizek

    Or an introduction to French thought / Poststructuralism
  3. snico1995

    snico1995 GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 13, 2010
    United States
    will definitely check out that author, but the book you mentioned i couldn't find, have a link?
  4. darkreaperofdrea

    darkreaperofdrea GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jul 27, 2010
    Batcave pl0x
    i recommend Twilight Saga books *trollface*
  5. Issac

    Issac I

    GBAtemp Patron
    Issac is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Apr 10, 2004
    A French writer wrote a few articles about writing. Those are put together in a book called "Species of spaces and other pieces" by Georges Perec. I've just read the first article called "Species of Spaces" and I found it really interesting and thought provoking, reminding me to see details as well as bigger pictures of spaces.
    Example: An intersection, okay, just an intersection. But, it's a road, or two roads actually. There are cars here, there's asphalt. There's a manhole in the middle of one of the roads. There's a sidewalk, there are cafés along the sidewalk, there are people drinking coffee there... people are passing the intersection... suddenly, the intersection isn't just an intersection, it's also all the space surrounding the intersection. the people there, each object constructing the whole.

    I think much about it and stop once in a while and think about my surroundings more often now. looking at spaces from many different views and finding more than just a sidewalk, more than a trainstation, more than a school hallway.

    Then, I know you didn't want fiction, but House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski felt enlightening to me. Even though it's fiction, it pretends not to be. It's a collection of comments and interpretations of comments and interpretations of a documentary video about a strange house. You don't read it just to read a good story, but also to experience the book itself. Many hidden things within the book, patterns, codes, references to other codes, the book questions its own authencity.. I mean it's deep, quirky, some would call it pretentious. I like it, it's fiction, but I felt enlighted anyway.
    Image of a book excerpt in the spoiler:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
  6. Urza

    Urza hi

    Jul 18, 2007
    United States
    The Enlightened Man's Book Collection (torrent)

    List of files
  7. Schizoanalysis

    Schizoanalysis From somewhere inside the rabbit hole...

    Jun 23, 2009

    Any book such as this would do the trick:;sr=8-1-fkmr1

    If this one isn't in your library, any other introductory guide to poststructuralism would serve just as well...
  8. snico1995

    snico1995 GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 13, 2010
    United States
    thanks guys for your suggestions, you all really helped me out!
  9. TrolleyDave

    TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

    Former Staff
    Jan 1, 2007
    Wales, UK
    I'd highly recommend the following [​IMG] -

    Propaganda - Edward Bernays. It's the first book every written on the use of propaganda, how it can be used to control a nation and how to make it work. It'll make you see things in a very different perspective. From there move on to other books about propaganda. Use Google or Amazon to search through other books available and find ones that you think will be interesting.

    The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein. It's a book about Disaster Capitalism as thought up by the Chicago School of Economics. It's a very interesting read on Corporotism, Globalism and Extreme Capitalism. It also explains about corporations moving into disaster affected areas and blackmail them. It's a hard read for most but if you can hack it there's alot of good info in there.

    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins. Another book about Extreme Capitalism and how the US government and corporations manipulate the world. A real eye opener.

    The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates - Xenophon. Self explanatory really! lol A great starting point for his stuff.

    Voltaires Philosophical Dictionary - Voltaire. A brilliant philosopher with ideas on a wide range of subjects. A great starting point for learning about him.

    The Republic - Plato. Again, no real explanation needed. An interesting book and a good starting point for his work.

    Words of Wisdom from the Dalai Lama - The Dalai Lama. A good starting point for learning the philosophies of Tibetan Buddhism and just Buddhism in general.

    The Encyclopedia of Gandhian Thoughts. You can buy the book but there's a website containing alot of what he said. He's often over looked but in my opinion he was a great modern philosopher with a keen insight on things.

    The Bible - Various Authors. I'm not religious, nor do I believe in a God as outlined in the Judaic/Abrahamic religions but there are alot of great philosophies and ideas in there, and some great moral tales as well.

    The Qu'ran - Mohammed. As above really. If you study the Qu'ran though you should also study the Hadiths. There's contradicting philosophies between the two, and even contradicting philosophies in the Qu'ran (abrogation), but again there are some great ideas and philosophies in there. Most of the best stuff comes from when he was in Medina, before he attacked Mecca.

    Buddhism - Here's a nice little site that has some info on Buddhism. Picking up any book on the history and teachings of Buddhism is good though. If I was forced to choose a religion then I would choose Buddhism.

    Noam Chomsky - Anything by him really is good by Manafacturing Consent is the best place to start. Anti-zionist and great thinker. Here's some of his quotes.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski - Most of his stuff is worth a read, he's an ex-advisor to Jimmy Carter. I'd highly recommend Between Two Ages as a starting point.

    Brave New World/A Brave New World Revisited/The Island - Aldous Huxley. Very forward thinking books about the development of society. Heavy reading but more than worth it.

    Animal Farm - George Orwell. This book completely changed the way I think when I was a kid and began my interest in various political structures. It's classified as a kids book but don't let that put you off reading it. The original cartoon is also an excellent watch.

    1984 - George Orwell. Another book that changed the way I look at things when I was young. Alot of what is said is relevant today and eerily prophetic.

    edit : Oops, there's a couple of fiction books in my suggestions but you shouldn't dismiss it so quickly. Some fictional books can change the way you look or think about things. Even stuff as simple as Grimm Fairy Tales. [​IMG]
  10. Raiser

    Raiser I am mad scientist.

    May 31, 2008
    Tuesdays With Morrie.

    Best book I ever read.
  11. KingdomBlade

    KingdomBlade Blade v3+ (I R SHMEXY)

    Apr 24, 2009
    In Vulpes' Fur
    The Secret - Surprisingly, it actually works for getting your mind in a good mindset.

    Dante's Inferno - Self-explanatory I guess. It was one of the most compelling yet sometimes confusing reading experiences I've ever had. Hell fascinates me so due to this book.

    The Little Prince - Fictional, and for kids, but fascinating to read. It's plot is seems simple, yet contains so many views and philosophies that I couldn't yet comprehend when I read it back then, and it amazes me so much.

    To Kill a Mockingbird - Fictional, but a must-read. Of course, nearly everyone's read it but I'm still putting it out there.

    The Five People You Meet in Heaven - or anything by Mitch Albom. Fictional also, but amazing.

    The Picture of Dorian Gray - Yeah, fictional, but great book. I'm amazed at the story of this book.

    Anthem - Amazing book. It makes me think about what would happen to the world in the future.

    Zen and the Art of Happiness - Enjoyable read. I got confused, but overall good.
  12. naglaro00

    naglaro00 Mildly disturbed

    Jun 5, 2009
    How about Tao Te Ching
  13. GundamXXX

    GundamXXX Ergo Ego

    Sep 25, 2007
    Art of War - Sun Tzu. A book mandatory for several armed forces commanding officers but also has its applications in the real world

    Who moved my cheese - Spencer Johnson. A small/thin book that for me changed my view on the world. A must read for everyone (especially since it takes about an hour or two at most)

    The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin. Another book that for me changed my thoughts about alot

    The Satanic Bible - Anton LaVey. Despite its name its not a book on satanic rituals but based on the core morals of humans, everyone is selfish on one way or another. Its repsonsible, somewhat, to my current way of thinking

    The Book of Five Rings - Miyamoto Musashi. A book based more on the Japanese style of thinking. Very good in my opinion.

    Dark Tower books- Stephen King. Although being fiction and not really fitting in this books mentioned I still would like to mention it. For me personally it gave me a different view on life with thing like ka and several powerphrases in the books

    Just my 2 cents [​IMG]
  14. nintendoom

    nintendoom Nintendoom

    Sep 12, 2009
    Viridian City
    How bout
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid?
  15. Logan 5

    Logan 5 GBAtemp Regular

    Jun 19, 2010
    United States
  16. campbell00

    campbell00 GBAtemp Regular

    May 5, 2007
    United States
    I see that you said no fiction books; this puzzles me:

    Fiction books are arguably more effective in conveying a philosophy, as it can "do" instead of "say". Plus, fiction (for me personally) is more enjoyable to read.

    With this in mind, I highly reccommend "The fountainhead" by Ayn Rand, the mother of Objectivism (a philosphy illustrated in her novels). Perhaps the most enlightneing book that I;ve ever read. It is an influence in my music and my programming.

    *By the way, one shouldn't read to become more intelligent. Rather, you must posses a love of intelligence itself. Don't force yourself to read philosophy if you aren't interested in it. Socrates is an "intelligent" author (OK, Plato), but I'm not too interested in him. I don't make myself read him just because I think that I should in order to be seen as "intelligent".
  17. GundamXXX

    GundamXXX Ergo Ego

    Sep 25, 2007
    I dont fully agree. Even if you have a love of intelligence you still need to read to expand your horizon.
    If you read 1 philosopher then read another one that disagrees with the first one and think about both points of view. This makes you think for yourself

    Also reading, regardless of what it is, expands your imagination and with more imagination comes more intelligence because you visualize things you read about and then you can visualize other things aswell like answers to problems you might encounter
  18. Defiance

    Defiance oh my god.. it's full of trading cards...

    Oct 7, 2007
    United States
    A good short story I read just a day ago, as a matter of fact, was The Last Question by Issac Asimov. Makes you think about the fate of the universe, and you can also look it up online as well (the story).

    EDIT: Although I personally like my first choice better, you can look up The Last Answer, by the same author, which is more philosophical. Made me think of something about an entity that never occurred to me before!
  19. Rhulqdahr

    Rhulqdahr Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    Everything depends from your attitude to life. Personally, I agree with many statements of Arthur Schopenhauer and a man strongly inspired by his beliefs - Friedrich Nietzsche.

    Arthur Schopenhauer supported pessimism in philosophy, talked about moral rules, the human will, human desires and how to negate them. He shared some of his ideas with Buddhism. His "On the Freedom of the Will" and "On the Basis of Morality" are definitely two books worth reading.

    I guess that Friedrich Nietzsche doesn't need to be introduced. He had written "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" which is the compilation of his main thoughts, probably the best book to read if you want to get to know about his ideology. Now, I'd like to justify him a little bit, because Nietzsche is often harshly criticised. That's because Adolf Hitler, who openly talked about his support of Nietzsche's philosophy, adjusted his statements to his wicked vision of the world. Nietzsche's approach may be unjust and ruthless, but he didn't want millions of people to be killed, that's for sure.

    If their perspective is interesting to you or if you just want to learn about different worldview, then I encourage you to read some of their books. When reading them one can be astonished, upset or even insulted, but never bored.