Looking for books that will change how you see the world? Want the best nonfiction books to guide you to enhance your understanding and perception of reality? These books will help you get started.
Challenge your perception
We all have some idea about our reality. We see and hear things and we believe them to be a certain way. However, reality may not be what you make of it. There are some excellent books that can challenge how you see the world and completely alter the way you perceive it.
By introducing us to various theories and phenomena, the best nonfiction books can help us expand our minds and look at our reality in a new way.
Best nonfiction books you must read
Here are 7 great books that will change what you believe you know about reality and give you a lot to think about.
1. The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch
Published in 1997 by renowned physicist David Deutsch, this book covers everything from quantum computers, the multiverse, the physics of time travel, the reality of nature, the significance of human life, the limitations of virtual reality and even the fate of our universe.
The book focuses on how quantum mechanics can help us understand reality and posits the multiverse hypothesis, part of the four-strand Theory of Everything (TOE).
The Fabric of Reality provides detailed explanations on various topics that are presently being researched. It offers a clear and detailed explanation of new physics and disciplines related to our existence for scientists and normal readers alike.
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist and author, writes “A no holds barred work of non-fiction that vastly deepens the rabbit hole by dropping an atomic wormhole right smack in the middle of it. A delicious read for the scientifically minded who are looking to shatter their mental paradigms and think outside of the box of mere simplistic reductive reasoning.”
2. The Labyrinth of Time: The Illusion of Past, Present, and Future by Anthony Peake
This book posits an extraordinary hypothesis that focuses on the connection between reality and consciousness. It deals with the phenomenon of deja vu which Anthony Peake identifies as Deja vecu.
Peake talks about the perception-shattering idea that we tend to live the same life repeatedly and we possess that capacity to alter our outcomes. Apart from deja vu, the book covers many other fascinating hypotheses like altered states, near-death experience, precognition, etc.
It even features accounts of contemporary time theories like stages of hypnotic trance, precognitive dreams, the elasticity of time during severe stress, and time slips.
This is one of the best nonfiction books that offer you a different look at the notion of time and how it has manipulated our perception of reality. Robert A. Charman of The Society for Psychical Research says “The reader will learn much from this book about our theories of time, including lots of intriguing clinical case histories and neurological experiments on time perception.”
3. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter
Published in 1979, this book explores concepts related to intelligence, symmetry, and mathematics. It shows us how systems can be meaningful even though they might be meaningless elements through formal rules and self-reference.
Also known as GEB, the book reveals how cognition appears from concealed neurological mechanisms. The book shows how we can store and represent knowledge, what communication actually means, and the basic idea of “meaning.”
Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach won the National Book Award for Science and the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. The author outlines how the formal system associated with mental activity rises above the system it’s based on. Hofstadter discusses how computers may achieve human-level intelligence based on the idea that consciousness comes from a formal system of neurons.
Author Gary Z McGee explains “Godel, Escher, Bach is a great book if you enjoy thinking about thinking. Even better if you like thinking about thinking about thinking. It’s dense and wordy and deep.”
He adds “Hofstadter breaks down the complexity of consciousness, and the complexity of complexity itself, in interacting layers of thinking that crosses, intersects, and re-crosses multiple domains of knowledge.”
4. The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality by Michael Talbot
This 1991 book is one of the best nonfiction books if you wish to do some research on how our reality could be a holographic simulation. Author Michael Talbot discusses that our physical universe is nothing more than a hologram and all paranormal phenomena are an outcome of this holographic simulation model.
Most of us have some idea about holograms and some of us are even familiar with the “reality is a simulation” theory thanks to movies like The Matrix. This book explores the idea that we might be living in a hologram and our current reality is a fake simulation even though it may seem that we live in a three-dimensional world.
This revolutionary theory of reality can even help to explain some of the paranormal abilities of the human mind and answer some important questions about our mind and body and even the entire universe.
Lyall Watson, the author of Supernature, says The Holographic Universe is an elegant book, and Talbot “helps to bridge the artificial gap that has opened up between mind and matter, between us and the rest of the cosmos.”
Although this may seem like a far fetched idea, what Talbot proposes here may prove to be true thanks to modern technology, advanced physics and string theory.
Read also: Essay on Reality: Life as a Simulation
5. Endgame: The Problem of Civilization by Derrick Jensen
Published in 2006, this two-volume book is one of the best nonfiction books by best-selling author and philosopher-poet of the ecological movement, Derrick Jensen. The book shows how our civilization is unsustainable and takes a deeper look at what we should do to make it sustainable.
The first volume titled The Problem of Civilization focuses on the immediate need to systematically destroy civilization, while the second volume titled Resistance, focuses on the physical challenges of dismantling a civilization.
Believing that industrialization is gradually damaging our natural world, Endgame Vol. 1 shows how we need a revolutionary and unimaginable strategy shift. The author combines psychology, literature, economics, history, environmentalism and philosophy to present a strong argument that requires your immediate attention.
Endgame: The Problem of Civilization covers a number of serious issues like “Civilization is not and can never be sustainable” and “Love does not imply pacifism.” He offers a detailed look at how to end industrialized, technologized civilization so that we can go back to a more agrarian communal life.
Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Open Space of Democracy says “Derrick Jensen is a force for the common good. His books are mandatory reading in the study of culture and social change. Derrick Jensen is a contemporary philosopher with his feet firmly on the ground.”
Former Navy Intelligence Specialist Gary Z McGee adds “Endgame will take everything you think you know about being a human being in a seemingly functional society and turn it on its head. Definitely not for the typical diehard statist, nor the faithful law-abiding citizen.”
6. Reality Is Not What It Seems by Carlo Rovelli
Published in 2014, the book primarily discusses the history & evolution of quantum gravity. Focusing on the ideas of various philosophers and scientists from Democritus to Albert Einstein, Rovelli proposes an idea about how quantum gravity unites the entire universe.
He even talks about how space, time, matter, and energy are the same. He even attempts to rebut the notions of continuity & infinity. There is no doubt that it is one of the best nonfiction books to read if you want to alter your perception of reality.
According to a review in The Guardian, Reality Is Not What It Seems is a “deeper, more intellectually challenging meditation – outlines for the general reader some of the key developments in physics from the ancient Greek philosophers and the Roman poet Lucretius to the present day.”
The book asks some important questions about time, space and reality. It is a fabulous journey that shows how the concept of reality is constantly changing and there’s so much for us still to explore.
Rovelli writes “Our culture is foolish to keep science and poetry separated, they are two tools to open our eyes to the complexity and beauty of the world.” He adds “Only by keeping in mind that our beliefs may turn out to be wrong is it possible to free ourselves from wrong ideas.”
7. What is Reality? The New Map of Cosmos, Consciousness, and Existence by Ervin László
What is the purpose behind the formation of space, time, and the universe? Is there a spiritual reason for our existence? In this book, Hungarian philosopher and theorist Ervin László explores what lies beyond the boundaries of existence.
This is an inspirational yet thought-provoking book that takes a look at the nature of reality and consciousness. The book forces us to gain a new perspective about our value in the universe and how we see truth and science. Ervin Laszlo enables us to explore the true potential of the human mind and takes us on an evolutionary journey.
What is Reality? The New Map of Cosmos, Consciousness, and Existence covers a number of paradoxes which have puzzled contemporary science and provides a paradigm shift in how we see reality.
It is an amalgamation of metaphysics, philosophy, science, and accepted wisdom to prove how everyone is a part of the infinite cycle of existence. For normal people like us, the book offers some valuable answers to really big questions. This is one of the highly recommended and best nonfiction books out there on reality.
Apart from these, here are 18 other perception shattering best nonfiction books that you need to check out:
- The Perception Transformation: How to Transform The Reality By Understanding Our Perception by Chris Smythe
- Moral Tribes by Joshua Greene
- Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
- Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Bob Berman and Robert Lanza
- Breaking Open the Head by Daniel Pinchbeck
- Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha
- Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality by Dean Radin
- The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications by David Deutsch
- Escape from Evil by Ernest Becker
- Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art by Lewis Hyde
- The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations by James Surowiecki
- A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink
- The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
- Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer
- Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
- The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil
Now, since we are already talking about nonfiction books, we have one really interesting nonfiction book up our sleeves. A book that takes a deep dive into toxic and abusive relationships and helps you understand the reality of such relationships.
Toxic Love Disorder
It’s the perfect handbook for anyone who is struggling to get out of a toxic and manipulative relationship, and this book also sheds light on people who only want to harm and hurt others. It’s a goldmine of information for anyone that is in a romantic relationship, or even people who want to know more about how negative people think and work.
Love sure is intoxicating and how! Order your now copy now and open the doors to empowerment!
Change how you look at the world
So there you have it! If you are ready to completely alter your perception about reality and how the world works, then these books will certainly guide you towards the right direction.
Not only these books will open your mind to new ideas, notions and concepts, these will help you gain new insights and enable you to look at the world in a new way.
Alter your relationship with reality and ask what reality even means. Step out of the doors of your perception and enter a realm where everything is possible.
So go ahead, start reading and expand your mind.