Make it a resolution to acquire imagination, courage, and perspective. Here’s a list of ten books that will help you boost your knowledge and expand your worldview.
New does not necessarily mean better for enhanced thinking and writing. Instead of describing notable books published this year, let us talk about what you will enjoy. This list is a portion of the 55 books read since January. The hyperlink to purchase each book is provided, so you can initiate an emotional roller coaster or an intellectual journey within seconds.
The theme for this year’s list is perspective-taking. In an era of ideological minefields, where people cannot physically communicate or befriend neighbors and childhood friends, because they are not privately sharing identical viewpoints, what we all need is to look in a mirror and dissect our beloved worldviews.
We need to be willing to learn about views that are different from our own. We need to be willing to be wrong. We need to be willing to have our ideas questioned. We need to get out of our self-curated bubbles and disagree and debate (civilly!) in actual face-to-face conversations.
Here’re 10 books you should read to expand your worldview:
Each of these books will assist you in being psychologically broader and stronger. With that said, these books are also enjoyable. I prefer being intellectually challenged while enjoying the ride. I suspect you will feel the same way after opening these book covers. I bet my reputation on these picks.
1. The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
This book is listed as number one because regardless of your interests and favorite genre; this is required reading. This is a treatise on how society has changed in the past 10 years, and not for the better. If you want to understand the current political landscape, without any mention of despised public figures, this is it.
The book revolves around three problematic ideas that recently dominated the culture of the United States:
- What doesn’t kill us makes us weaker. (Humans are fragile and must feel emotionally safe, especially in debates, discussions, and disagreements.)
- Always trust your feelings. (When you feel anxious, embarrassed, or uncomfortable without having basis in fact, this is sufficient evidence to say that whatever or whoever made you feel this way is wrong, harmful, bad, evil, etc. – a vast change from the days when “emotional reasoning” was considered a cognitive distortion.)
- Life is a battle of good and evil people. (The world is a perpetual battle of your friends versus the “other groups.”)
We now live in a world where adults file accusations of harm immediately, especially with social media, before initially doing an internal check. Just because we feel offended does not automatically mean the other person is an aggressor or bad person. And being on a hypervigilant search for harm ensures you will find it. Assuming innocence until proven otherwise is, unfortunately, becoming a relic in public discourse.
Essentially, many of the principles for protecting people from dissenting viewpoints run counter to thousands of years of theory and practice, from stoic philosophy to cognitive-behavioral therapy. This book is timely. Regardless of how much you agree with the authors, it’s time to have a serious conversation of whether the social progress pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, and if so, what can be done. Do yourself a favor. Read the entire book.
Buy the book here
2. Faking It: The Lies Women Tell About Sex — and the Truths They Reveal by Lux Alptraum
My first reaction after reading this book was – how is this not an international bestseller? If you are a woman, you are going to be nodding your head from the first chapter onward. If you are a man, prepare to have your worldview torn asunder. Provocative stereotypes and common behaviors by women are introduced and then flipped around in each chapter.
Good science. Good stories. Fantastic writing. Emotionally intense. This is probably the easiest book to read on this list. Just know that once you pick this up, you will not want to leave your reading chair until finished.
Buy the book here