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    I want to try and improve my reading. I’m interested in Society, Psychology, Religion, Philosophy, Ethics, Crime etc.

    Is there any books that you could recommend? Perhaps ones i could get from a local library.
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    Personally, I recommend that you read short and quite detailed books at first. I suggest you read 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck. It's quite a short, touching and smart book about the American Dream and two 'men' trying to achieve it. Once you've read that, just tell me and I'll tell you what to read next. If you don't find the first 2 chapters interesting, tell me as well.
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    Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan
    The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
    Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan
    The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
    The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker
    The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
    The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch
    Nudge by Richard Thaler
    Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    Made To Stick by Chip Heath
    The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford
    The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
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    (Original post by Trappist-1)
    Personally, I recommend that you read short and quite detailed books at first. I suggest you read 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck. It's quite a short, touching and smart book about the American Dream and two 'men' trying to achieve it. Once you've read that, just tell me and I'll tell you what to read next. If you don't find the first 2 chapters interesting, tell me as well.
    Why did you put men in scare quotes...
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    If you want a challenging read, read Russel's 'History of Western Philosophy.'
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    Anything by Terry Practchett, although perhaps it's not as "canonical" as other suggestions, as he tends to deal with these specific topics frequently in a fairly incisive deconstruction, framed humorously. Small Gods, Pyramids and Thief of Time probably are most relevant. Any of the Death books relate to many of those though, also most of the Witches books, in various ways, but slightly less directly than those. The Watch books, and any of the Moist books cover some aspects of the listed ones. I realise this is most of them but, problematising modern society by satire (and actual satire, rather than the cheap pseudo "satire" used by e.g. South Park, anything by Seth McFarlane, and so on use) and reference.

    In the more canonical literary sphere, Fear and Trembling, by Amelie Nothomb, offers an alternative perspective of Japanese society viewed from the lens of a westerner working in a business corporation there. It's quite funny at times, and is useful in illustrating that what is often considered "universal" from the perspective of western social sciences is in fact specific to those cultures. Natsuo Kirino's writings, while quite gritty and often very dark, also offer great insight into the nature of Japanese society, which is again useful as above. L'Étranger by Camus touches on all of those topics, and introduces some concepts of his existentialist philosophy (which is specifically somewhat different from Sarte's).

    More academically, you can't really go wrong with Jared Diamond, who discusses various concepts most of which relate to human society and evolution, across his books. Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Collapse, might be particularly relevant. The Black Swan introduces a common fallacy and discusses the implications of it. J.S. Mill's and Bertrand Russell's texts are often used as introductory forays into Philosophy. The Innocent Anthropologist I often see recommended as introductory reading for social sciences (not just anthropology) as it again points out the differences in western and other societies and how the assumption that the former is somehow more fundamental is problematised, I hear, in a fairly entertaining and enjoyable way. Dworkin is the usual reference for jurisprudence and might be interesting in terms of the notion of crime and justice as a result, although I have no idea how accessible his work is (I suspect not very). There's also Dawkins, although I'd suggest taking anything written by him with several large grains of salt.

    Plus there's the usual suspects, the benefit you'll gain from which is debatable; Nicomachean Ethics, The Prince, The Republic, Meditations (Descartes or Aurelius, they're separate but have the same dumb title), etc, etc...

    I wouldn't recommend anything beyond the first three sentences of the third paragraph in honesty but those other things tend to come up time and again so you may as well know what they are and hopefully avoid them until a little later.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Anything by Terry Practchett, although perhaps it's not as "canonical" as other suggestions, as he tends to deal with these specific topics frequently in a fairly incisive deconstruction, framed humorously. Small Gods, Pyramids and Thief of Time probably are most relevant. Any of the Death books relate to many of those though, also most of the Witches books, in various ways, but slightly less directly than those. The Watch books, and any of the Moist books cover some aspects of the listed ones. I realise this is most of them but, problematising modern society by satire (and actual satire, rather than the cheap pseudo "satire" used by e.g. South Park, anything by Seth McFarlane, and so on use) and reference.

    In the more canonical literary sphere, Fear and Trembling, by Amelie Nothomb, offers an alternative perspective of Japanese society viewed from the lens of a westerner working in a business corporation there. It's quite funny at times, and is useful in illustrating that what is often considered "universal" from the perspective of western social sciences is in fact specific to those cultures. Natsuo Kirino's writings, while quite gritty and often very dark, also offer great insight into the nature of Japanese society, which is again useful as above. L'Étranger by Camus touches on all of those topics, and introduces some concepts of his existentialist philosophy (which is specifically somewhat different from Sarte's).

    More academically, you can't really go wrong with Jared Diamond, who discusses various concepts most of which relate to human society and evolution, across his books. Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Collapse, might be particularly relevant. The Black Swan introduces a common fallacy and discusses the implications of it. J.S. Mill's and Bertrand Russell's texts are often used as introductory forays into Philosophy. The Innocent Anthropologist I often see recommended as introductory reading for social sciences (not just anthropology) as it again points out the differences in western and other societies and how the assumption that the former is somehow more fundamental is problematised, I hear, in a fairly entertaining and enjoyable way. Dworkin is the usual reference for jurisprudence and might be interesting in terms of the notion of crime and justice as a result, although I have no idea how accessible his work is (I suspect not very). There's also Dawkins, although I'd suggest taking anything written by him with several large grains of salt.

    Plus there's the usual suspects, the benefit you'll gain from which is debatable; Nicomachean Ethics, The Prince, The Republic, Meditations (Descartes or Aurelius, they're separate but have the same dumb title), etc, etc...

    I wouldn't recommend anything beyond the first three sentences of the third paragraph in honesty but those other things tend to come up time and again so you may as well know what they are and hopefully avoid them until a little later.
    This is a really good answer, wasn't expecting this kind of quality when I logged onto TSR tonight.

    I have a few questions.

    a) Why do you recommend taking Dawkins with "several large grains of salt"? I've heard this before, but never really got an answer as to why.

    b) Why do you believe the benefit to be gained from Nicomachean Ethics, The Republic and either of the Meditations are debatable? To my understanding, that's a fairly fringe opinion amongst philosophers.

    c) Related to the above, why this:

    I wouldn't recommend anything beyond the first three sentences of the third paragraph in honesty but those other things tend to come up time and again so you may as well know what they are and hopefully avoid them until a little later.
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    (Original post by Trappist-1)
    Personally, I recommend that you read short and quite detailed books at first. I suggest you read 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck. It's quite a short, touching and smart book about the American Dream and two 'men' trying to achieve it. Once you've read that, just tell me and I'll tell you what to read next. If you don't find the first 2 chapters interesting, tell me as well.
    I studied this book at GCSE! I had to resit the exam too, so i know the book inside and out! Thankyou for the suggestion though!
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    (Original post by The_Architect)
    This is a really good answer, wasn't expecting this kind of quality when I logged onto TSR tonight.

    I have a few questions.

    a) Why do you recommend taking Dawkins with "several large grains of salt"? I've heard this before, but never really got an answer as to why.

    b) Why do you believe the benefit to be gained from Nicomachean Ethics, The Republic and either of the Meditations are debatable? To my understanding, that's a fairly fringe opinion amongst philosophers.

    c) Related to the above, why this:
    a) He's racist and sexist and uses alleged science to defend it, even though there are about a billion natural examples that counter his overtures. His ravenous atheism matches the zealotry of the organised religion he hates so much, and he acts the same way as they do when someone doesn't full conform to his ideas. He's the model of a bad "liberal-minded" person.

    b)/c) it's not that I think they're not valuable in themselves, but that the opportunity cost for a (statistically) A-level student to spend the much greater amount of time deciphering and then absorbing the knowledge relative to spending less time on more accessible texts and working towards those is too great, in my opinion. You would get as much benefit if not more from others, and then later go and read through those when you have greater academic maturity, and benefit fully from it the first pass through.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    a) He's racist and sexist and uses alleged science to defend it, even though there are about a billion natural examples that counter his overtures. His ravenous atheism matches the zealotry of the organised religion he hates so much, and he acts the same way as they do when someone doesn't full conform to his ideas. He's the model of a bad "liberal-minded" person.

    a)/b) it's not that I think they're not valuable in themselves, but that the opportunity cost for a (statistically) A-level student to spend the much greater amount of time deciphering and then absorbing the knowledge relative to spending less time on more accessible texts and working towards those is too great, in my opinion. You would get as much benefit if not more from others, and then later go and read through those when you have greater academic maturity, and benefit fully from it the first pass through.
    Very interesting, thanks for the answer.
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    Albert Camus The Stranger
    kinda messed me up a bit lmao
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