What I'm Reading

CURRENTLY READING

Bertand Russell, History of Western Philosophy: And its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day.   I want to learn more about philosophy.  This book seems like a good start.  A good beginning to the fractal deep dive.  My interest in philosophy is part of a larger idea of structured learning; a kind of personal challenge to re-educate myself in middle age.  

Jordan Peterson, Maps of Meaning.   I've only begun and this is already an intellectual workout.  Exactly what I signed up for, but turning out to be 'dog that caught the car' scenario.  This one may stay in the currently reading section a while.

Carl Von Clausewitz, On War.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine put this book on my radar.  It was first written in 1873 so the language is a bit awkward.  Other than strange prose, it's good so far.

Pipeline

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.  This book has come at me from a thousand directions.  My socioeconomic bubble demands it.  Required reading evidently.

TRANSFORMATIONAL READS

The books that qualify for this list transformed me in some important way. I've read these books more than once. They were able to jump the chasm from an 'interesting read', to manifesting themselves into my thought patterns or behavior.

Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

COMPLETED

Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind.  If you already know the history of LSD, this book will mostly rehash what you already know.  Pollan also focuses on renewed interest in researching psychedelics applied to mental health.  

He does bring up one interesting concept that is left unexplored; the dissolution of ego during a trip and it's lasting effects on the individual.  This is interesting because I'm a fan of Terror Management Theory which is based in concept of the super charging of the ego to abstract the terror of death.

If you are into this kind of book, specially LSD, you might like Tom O'Neill, Chaos. Great read about Manson, the trial, and MKUltra...even the connection to Jack Ruby.  At the very least, it's a great offset to Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter.

Jordan Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.  A pretty straighforward book.  Good for the younger crowd but not so much for mid to high functioning adults.  I read this as background information because I like to listen to Peterson's lectures and speaking engagements.

David Hunt, Girt the Unauthorised History of Australia.  A few books about Australia might pop up in this section.  I'm planning a trip there.  I thought I'd be a good toursit and ingest some required reading.

Not going to Australia?  If you consider traveling to Australia as being tantamount to a roadtrip to Mars, I still highly recommend this book.   Hunt's wit and humor make this a great read.   If you're a Bill Bryson fan, you might like Hunt's style.

💡
Girt: "to encircle or bind." - As in by sea; regarding Australia

History books can sometimes feel like being beat over the head with emotionless facts.  Instead, Hunt tells the story of Australia which turns out to have some amazing twists and turns.  It includes many actors we already know from other parts of history, but may have not understood their roles in Australia.  

Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash.   Not for me, but people do really love this book.  I'm not a fiction fan so it was a reach even before I cracked open the cover.