Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: TBR To Expand the Mind

The list this week for Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie a.k.a. whatever you want.  One of things that has grated on my nerves during my short life is the constant feeling that my state education was pretty shoddy.  Looking back to the past, writers often boasted of speaking Latin and reading all these great writers.  So, I am on a quest in life to teach myself what I feel like I should be taught at some point in my life.  This is my TBR list for my quest to 'expand my mind'.  Any recommendations for non-fiction books you think I should read, especially history, would be throughly appreciated.

1. Freud - The Freud Reader
Reason: a go-to staple who provokes a lot of influence/reaction, positive and negative, in writers.
2. Foucault - Madness and Civilisation
Reason: discusses what it means to be 'mad' and how society/civilisation defines it.
3. Sartre - Existentialism & Humanism 
Reason: argues for existentialism as a way of life, as well as presumably explaining what 'existentialism' means.
4. Germaine Greer - The Female Eunuch
Reason: a modern feminist classic

5. John Berger - Ways of Seeing
Reason: although I really didn't enjoy my Philosophy of Perception lectures, but this one addresses the issue of perception in the context of art
6. Oscar Wilde - De Profundis
Reason: a discussion of his homosexuality written during his time in prison
7. Henry David Thoreau - Walden 
Reason: a window into a simpler way of life

8. Hannah Arendt - Eichmann in Jerusalem
Reason: as well as reporting on Eichmann's trial, it also delves into psychological and philosophical questions about evil (The Eichmann Show is well worth a watch too)
9. Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Reason: Machiavelli seems to be everywhere, even in some of Terry Pratchett's writings, what does it really mean to be a Machiavellian character?
10. Frantz Fanon - The Wretched of the Earth 
Reason: this is an in-depth look at the consequences of imperialism on the individual and Africa

Honourable Mentions

Carl Jung
Daniel Goleman - Emotional Intelligence
Ben Goldacre - Bad Pharma 
Stephen Hawkings - A Brief History of Time
Simon Sebag Montefiore - Jerusalem The Biography
Sun Tzu - The Art of War
Owen Jones - The Establishment

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  1. Walden is one of my favorite books ever. So many great picks here. I like that you offer your reason for wanting to read each book.

    1. Thank you that's very encouraging RE picks! If I'm honest I would probably forget what the book is about and why I wanted to read it if I was asked off the top of my head :-)

  2. This is a very difficult list, but reading all of these would be so rewarding! Freud's theories are interesting, although I'm still not sure how much I believe them to be real or accurate, but they are so influential in literature. The Feminine Mystique might be an interesting one to add to your TBR, as well as the Greek tragedies and comedies, as they have been so influential to literature. And I love Oscar Wilde, and what I have read of De Profundis is beautifully written, as all Wilde's works are, The Picture of Dorian Gray makes some very thought provoking comments on art and the artist and the separation and connection of the two, which might interest you if you haven't read it.
    Thanks for stopping by The Local Muse

    1. Yes I'm a bit skeptical about Freud now too and all the early-late 20th century books seem to have something implicit/explicit to say about him. Thanks for the The Feminine Mystique too it's on my wish list!! I forgot all about the Greek tragedies too, I've read scatterings of Plato and Aristotle but they're quiet intimidating. That's good to hear about Wilde, Dorian Grey is exceptional yes! :-) Thanks for all your recommendations! :-)

  3. Nice choices! Although I should warn you - I'm 44 and still wishing I'd read more intellectual stuff ;-)

    1. Thank you! Yes I did wonder that, whether there would ever be an end to the list and/or satisfaction! ;-) :-)


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