10 Book Recommendations To Expand Your Worldview

Book Recommendations

3. Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything by Randi Hutter Epstein

Again, how is this book not a bestseller? Many of the topics in this book are complicated. Sleep. The immune system. Sex. Violence. Maternal and paternal love. Puberty. But Epstein weaves a good yarn, and is really, really funny. Just the stories about medical charlatans alone are worth the price of admission. If you love science, and you want to question free will a bit, take this book for a ride.

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4. What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan

There are few things worse than when people in your family and inner circle die out of order. This is a story about suicide. I know what you’re thinking – “I don’t need to read a 320-page book about suicide.” Yes, you do. We think we know more about the important people in our lives than actuality. We simply do not know what happens behind closed doors. If you are a parent or have friends, read this to ramp up your skills a few percentage points.

Social media offers an illusion that we are connecting with people, and are there for family and friends for the wins, strains, and stressors. This is about the pressure to succeed. This is about presenting yourself as something that you are not. This is about how we interpret people’s insides from their outside appearance. This is about the stigma and insufficient treatment of mental health issues in society. If I am making this book sound too somber, do not be mistaken. You will probably want to cry, but this is because the story is relentlessly compelling.

Buy the book here

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5. Penpal by Dathan Auerbach

You might not know the origin of this book. Auerbach posted snippets of a story on Reddit, an online forum for weird creative writing. He received a ton of followers who begged for more. Eventually, he basically wrote an entire book-length story for free online. Because of the hype and untraditional nature, a lot of readers trash this book. Ignore the haters. This was the creepiest book I read this year.

My mom died when I was young, and I often have a hard time remembering whether my memories are accurate, or whether they are recreations from photograph albums and anecdotes told by relatives.

This book pivots on the same theme – what do you really know about your past? What have you forgotten or misunderstood, because you were just a kid trying to make sense of the world? The book unfolds from the perspective of a kid who experiences a few bizarre events and only begins to understand the earlier events as he gets older. You, the reader, will learn the truth in the same sequential order of the narrator putting the pieces of his life narrative together.

The hair on my arms is raised as I write this. I cannot express this strongly enough: This is creepy stuff. Expect to be haunted long after you’re finished.

Buy the book here

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6. A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

I cannot believe nobody told me about this book. I picked it up at the local library and didn’t get up until 15 hours later. In 2016, the two authors won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting of this unbelievable story. Unbelievable is the keyword. In short, an 18-year-old woman says she was raped at knifepoint, the police didn’t believe her, the victim admitted to the investigators that she lied, she was charged with a misdemeanor for false reporting, and then the story really gets started.

Did I mention that this is unbelievable? Except it isn’t. Get ready for a reorientation about gender, trust, first-line responders, criminal investigations, and more. As a side note, there is a fantastic side story about what it’s like to be a female police officer. I wish I bought this for a re-read. Don’t make my mistake.

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Todd B Kashdan

A world-recognized authority on well-being, strengths, social relationships, stress, and anxiety, Dr. Todd Kashdan has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is the author of The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why being your whole self - not just your “good” self - drives success and fulfillment (Hudson Street Press) and Curious? Discover the missing ingredient to a fulfilling life (HarperCollins). His books have been translated into over 15 languages. Dr. Kashdan is a Professor of Psychology at George Mason University. He received the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology and the Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year at George Mason University. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and Association for Contextual and Behavioral Science.View Author posts