Philosophy / Spirituality Books I Enjoyed in 2015
Why don't more people read spirituality books? It's not like I'm the only one who needs to continually told "yo dude...chill out and be zen." I enjoyed and would recommend all 7 of these books, but the top 4 were my favorites.
- •Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion By Alain de BottonThe main idea of this book is that "rather than mocking religion, agnostics and atheists should instead steal from it—because the world’s religions are packed with good ideas on how we might live and arrange our societies." Sounds simple but this has turned out to be pretty influential insight for me. Some friends and I have been meeting to build something like a church without religion to put some of these ideas into practice.
- •The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically by Peter SingerI love and hate books that challenge me to radically change my views. Before reading this book, I enjoyed the comfort of thinking I lived an ethical life, but now I’m not so sure. That sounds depressing, but the overall message of the book is quite uplifting. Each of us has an ability to make a bigger positive dent on the world than we think. This book lays out a game plan to make a bigger impact by earning, saving, and donating intelligently rather than emotionally.
- •Man's Search for Meaning By Viktor E. FranklHappiness and meaning can be found anywhere. The author even found meaning, love, and generosity in a Nazi concentration camp.
- •Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion By Sam Harris
- •Walden by Henry David ThoreauA re-read. Walden influenced me more than any book I read during my 20s. So much that I copied Thoreau and spent 2 years living “in the woods so I could live deliberately”. Thoreau lived in a cabin at Walden Pond. And I lived in the back of my compact pickup truck in Yosemite. As I re-read this I was reminded of the power of Thoreau's message: Simplify, simplify, simplify.
- •A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy By William B. IrvineLessons of the stoic philosophy school distilled into modern practice.
- •The Power of Now By Eckhart Tolle