Jesus' Book List
Book List #3 (2013)
The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isn't Always the Smart One
by Satoshi Kanazawa
We are taught flawed cliches that people like Kanazawa love to look at
carefully and knock down for their fraud and bluster. Instead, he gathers
facts and suggests better means of understanding what actually happens in
our existence, offering new insight to what we wrongly thought was confusing,
settled, and boring. We had been deceived -- now we gain insight.
Start with Seneca's Epistles (1-65) for warm and sensible guidance on
issues that remain relevant today and reveal a mode of thinking
useful for the aware and conscious. You might consider writing letters again,
and thirst onward for Epistle volumes
and then wish to discover more about Epicurus.
by Kahlil Gibran
A prophet appears and is asked difficult questions about the most
troubling matters that he answers deeply, offering wise guidance.
He reminds us of the eternal cycle to which we belong, the quality
of life we should be creating for our families, and the decent nature
of humanity. An easy afternoon read for those seeking clarity, and
a hint to an older culture that made its path instead of reacting
The Art of Struggle
by Michel Houellebecq
Houellebecq's poetry gained fame in France and allowed him to find the
potency that powered his novels. His poetry is compact and clear,
suggesting themes that were later expanded in his characters about
the dull misery of modernity that has drained the magic from our
lives, seeming at times to suggest that we could return to meaning by
withdrawing from relations, products, and lifestyles that are unsuitable
Decline of the West
by Oswald Spengler
A brilliant historian, Spengler surveys the soul of great civilizations
and their patterns of life and death. Like seasonal plants, they arise
in spring, fruit in summer, decay in autumn, and die in winter. Spengler's
detailed psychological assessment of civilizations will change the way
you view your society, its phase, and its place in history.
The Essential Neruda
by Pablo Neruda
This is a great introduction to Neruda's best poetry, spanning his works
from romantic, adventurous, sorrowful, spiritual, to reflective. The
original Spanish is matched with highly competent English translation.
Recommended for dreamers and lovers.
Kitchen Confidential - Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
by Anthony Bourdain
An insider's view into restaurant kitchens from a chef with an eye
for detail and a gift for crisp and engaging writing that captures
the humor and humanity of a cutthroat industry. This was the book that
made Bourdain famous, intended only for other insiders who would appreciate
his ability to articulate the essentials of a crazy era in a demanding
Heresies - Against Progress and Other Illusions
by John Gray
"Science is supposed to be the pursuit of truth, but in secular cultures
it has become the chief vehicle for myth. The human needs that were once
expressed in religion have not disappeared. From the cult of cryogenics
to absurd neo-Darwinian ideas, the core myths of western religion are
being recycled as science. In the course of this transformation, the
wisdom they contain is being lost. Growing scientific knowledge is not
producing a more rational view of the world, but a secular mythology
that is further from the truth of the human condition than the religious
myths of the past."
Book List #2 (2008)
The Discovery of France
by Graham Robb
A hundred years ago there was no France, just a bunch of dissimilar
towns that were doing the same as they had done for thousands of years.
Neither was their a French language outside of Paris, though some
"French" people had learned a few years of French as a second language.
This book makes it clear with detailed research and historical examples
that the ancient past is not so ancient, and in many cases continues on
The Northern Crusades
by Eric Christiansen
The battles to tame the last of the European heathens raged for centuries
as the bringers of Judeo-Christian submission forced their gifts upon
people who had previously lived in accordance with nature and reality.
Despite widespread pagan genocide by the Judeo-Christians, isolated
populations continued living as they always had, still holding true to
their values and beliefs, unaware of who claimed rule over profitable
cities or of the Middle Eastern religion promoted by the occupiers.
The Economist Magazine
If you are able to read one magazine, it should be the Economist. The title
reveals its perspective: all stories are seen through the eyes of how money
can be made from world events -- a very stupid and short-sighted viewpoint --
but the factual reporting is top-notch, insightful, and focused on pragmatic
The moralizing and desire to equalize everything for the sake of easy
commerce is understandable given the goals of their readership, but once
you get past that there is no better news source for a quick but potent
summary of world events.
The Secret History of the War on Cancer
by Devra Davis
As cancer rates rise along with the unchecked use of cancer-causing chemicals
and toxic waste, the depth of knowledge about cancer within the medical
profession has been declining. Davis takes the reader through the history
of what has been known about cancer and how much has been lost along the
years as if indifference, human weakness, or deliberate sabotage took its
toll. Though it is often repeated that curing cancer is not profitable but
prolonged treatments can earn millions of dollars in insurance fees, Davis
paints a picture of a profession that was once on the verge of curing cancer
but now struggles and fails to retain awareness of what once was known.
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Perhaps the only living example of a traditional scholar, Nassim Taleb
enjoys puncturing the self-inflated who presume to know far more than
they really do. In an age where people bestow titles upon themselves
and everyone imagines themselves the smartest guy in the room, Taleb
effortlessly points out the carnage of errors and presumptions piled
upon one another so the inevitable collapse can be understood before
In this book, Taleb focuses on rare events that are not predictable or
even considered in standard analysis, yet are often definitive, whether
as field-changing innovations or a perfect storm of financial events.
His emphasis is on clean, detailed thinking about what is really known
and how to look forward understanding past extreme events that were not
predicted, yet took place with highly impacting results.
by Marcus Aurelius
Meditations serves as a Traditional holy book that provides wisdom and
counseling in difficult times. Its spirituality is deep, its advice
eternal, and its lessons easily demonstrated. It is a good antidote to
individuality and helpfully reminds that personal lives are short and the
larger whole is what matters, but the self is completely unimportant.
Paired with long walks, Meditations will clarify the deepest and most
troubling questions when given the proper quiet, reflection, and
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
by Michael Pollan
These extra calories are from nutrient-deficient food. It began with refined
flour in the 1870s which removed bran and wheat germ to produce long-lasting
snowy white flour. Consumers loved it because flour no longer turned rancid,
and it didn't become infected with bugs.
Okay. Why didn't bugs chomp down on this new flour? Quite simply because the
nutrients, the bran, wheat germ, carotene, were gone. Pollan explains, ". . .
this gorgeous white powder was nutritionally worthless, or nearly so. Much the
same is now true for corn flour and white rice." Take a look at a package of
white flour and count the additives that make up for the loss of natural
ingredients. Then you'll understand the basic thrust of this book and its
Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription: Notes and Asides from Nation Review
by William Buckley
Who knew that William F. Buckley Jr., the quintessential conservative,
invented the blog decades before the World Wide Web came into existence?
National Review, like nearly all magazines, has always published letters
from readers. In 1967 the magazine decided that certain letters merited
different treatment, and Buckley, the editor, began a column called Notes
& Asides, in which he personally answered the most notable and outrageous
letters. The selections in this book, culled from four decades of these
columns, include exchanges with such figures as Ronald Reagan, Eric Sevareid,
Richard Nixon, A. M. Rosenthal, Auberon Waugh, John Kenneth Galbraith, and
Arthur Schlesinger Jr. There are also hilarious exchanges with ordinary
readers, as well as letters from Buckley to various organizations and
Book List #1 (2001)
Cosmic Consciousness : A Study on the Evolution of the Human Mind - Richard Maurice Bucke
An illuminating guide to the power of transcendent realization and the
evolution of the human mind.
Discipline and Punish : The Birth of the Prison - Michel Foucault
Historical philosophy on the concept of punishment and its many mutations
over the ages.
Essays and Aphorisms - Arthur Schopenhauer
An excellent introduction to the penetrating mind and subtle humor of
the great German philosopher.
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television - Jerry Mander
The aware reader will wonder why television is not considered a
catastrophic health hazard.
On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Three essays tracing the roots of morality to the less than noble origins
of the revolt of the lower classes.
A History of Pagan Europe - Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick
A definitive history on Europe's Pagan civilizations
that flourished before the invasion from the east. Great price!
Love and Sex: Cross-Cultural Perspectives - Hatfield/Rapson
A readable academic work surveying an amazing variety of cultural perspectives
on love and sex.
A Pattern Language : Towns, Buildings, Construction - Christopher Alexander
Sensible architectural design for a community that serves the human need
to be aligned with nature.
Raymond Pettibon: The Books 1978-1998 - Raymond Pettibon
A modern artist known for his unique illustrations and
stream of consciousness commentary.
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes - Jacques Ellul
A discussion of how propaganda dominates reality at every place in
society and how it persists successfully despite the harm it causes.
The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
This book opens a lucid and insightful view into nature's cycle of
propagation and the varying strategies that evolve in ecosystems over time.
Sin Boldly! Dr. Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper - David Williams
A trenchant attack on society's illusions as well as a concise
guide to writing that will be useful to all aspiring authors.
Sperm Wars - Robin Baker
Evolutionary biology points its curious eye towards human sexuality and the
subconscious battles being played out over quality sperm in the dance of
The Technological Society - Jacques Ellul
A thorough examination of the mechanism by which technological society
operates and an explanation of why we are the cogs.
The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims - Arthur Schopenhauer
Cogent words of wisdom from a sage who is not afraid to share
unpleasant truths and shatter the safety of darkness.