1. Hi, I'm the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.

"Books That Will Make Me Smarter"

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by dopey, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. dopey

    dopey Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,956
    Likes Received:
    2,201
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    A High School kid told me that ze wanted to read:

    Dr. Zhivago
    Essays by Joan Didion
    The Power Broker
    Umberto Ecco
    Swann's Way
    Ayn Rand
    War and Peace
    Pushkin
    Dead Souls (Gogol)
    Lolita
    Don Quixote
    Catch-22
    Toni Morrison
    Joyce Carol Oates

    so that ze would be smarter (ze is currently in the middle of Crime and Punishment and then moving on to War & Peace. I gather the list came from zir head and is sort of a "books literate people have read" list.

    Apart from the futility of the task and the oddity of the list already compiled, what books would you suggest? My approach would be not to focus on "books literate people have read" which is near endless, but rather choose books that would be mind expanding and introduce new ways of thinking. So apart from the various Dialogues, I would suggest something like Taleb's Black Swan and Hofstader's Godel, Escher, Bach. Especially since the kid is already pretty well read in the humanities from what I can tell.
     

  2. NorCal

    NorCal Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    8,732
    Likes Received:
    1,387
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Some good comics. Seriously, people who only read "important" books are clueless assholes. Being well rounded means exactly that, not just slavish genuflection towards the classics.

    Something about economics and finance. Again, if you want to be well rounded having a foundation in monetary theory is pretty relevant.

    The Federalist Papers.
     

  3. dopey

    dopey Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,956
    Likes Received:
    2,201
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Federalist Papers are good but were probably covered in school. Comics are fine but I don't think I was asked for a comprehensive list of everything ze should read. Otherwise, the newspaper would also be pretty high up there.
     

  4. Viktri

    Viktri Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    1,131
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Ender's Game
    Art of War
    Nietzche's Genealogy of Morality
    Freakonomics
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016

  5. dopey

    dopey Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,956
    Likes Received:
    2,201
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Freakonomics is a great suggestion.
    I read Ender's Game and liked it, but I would put the Foundation Trilogy or Dune ahead of it in the SF category.
    Haven't read the other two but thing Art of War might be a great choice as well. Not sure I want to recommend Philosophy other than for reasoning.
     

  6. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

    Messages:
    55,275
    Likes Received:
    17,867
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    In My Peak Douchemobile
    The World Atlas of Wine (Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson)
    The Riverside Shakespeare
    The Goal by Goldratt
    The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
    Agree with the Dune recommendation
     

  7. jrcampbe

    jrcampbe Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    When I was about 22, someone recommended I read, "How to Read a Book" by Mortimer Adler, the former editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia Brittanica.

    Since I was a cocky little douchebag at the time, I scoffed to myself and said, "I already know how to read."

    This turned out to be one of the most stupid and life-limiting things I ever did as a young man. I finally read it 15 years later and was blown away.

    Read this book before you read any other book. At the end of it is a list of the best writings of Western society, which is Adler's answer to your original question.

    Read this book. Don't make the same mistake I did!

    Jim
     

  8. dopey

    dopey Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,956
    Likes Received:
    2,201
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006

  9. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

    Messages:
    19,407
    Likes Received:
    3,878
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    NYC

  10. dopey

    dopey Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,956
    Likes Received:
    2,201
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006

  11. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

    Messages:
    26,401
    Likes Received:
    12,201
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Isn't Black Swan some sort of pop culture econ book? Like a long tail but written by a smarter person.

    Tell the person to read Anna Karenina instead of war and peace and some other classic like the red and the black.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016

  12. Flambeur

    Flambeur Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    5,058
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    

    It's rather silly when people offer opinions about books they haven't read.
     

  13. otc

    otc Stylish Dinosaur

    Messages:
    16,936
    Likes Received:
    6,471
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    I dunno...I have lots of opinions about the twilight books.

    Personally, I'd suggest "I Will Teach You To Be Rich". A good college graduation gift (HS might be a little early...although the info would be useful to late college students as well) if you figure they would actually read it. Not every piece of advice needs to be followed, and some of it seems like a no brainer...but it covers the sort of personal finance knowledge that will be extremely beneficial for a 22 year old applying for their first real job, rather than trying to figure it out when they are 28. Written in a way that's approachable by a youth, rather than some dry book that requires someone to say "oh shit, I have no idea what to do, better force myself to read this". It's never going to tell you "You need to keep a strict budget and not go to starbucks".
     

  14. CBrown85

    CBrown85 Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    5,291
    Likes Received:
    912
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    

    Whenever I teach sr secondary courses I have them read this at the beginning of the semester. There are a few like this. The Lively Art of Writing by Lucille Vaughn Payne is up there as well, as is I Say/They Say by Gerald Graff.

    If you teach someone how to learn, the rest generally takes care of itself.
     

  15. papa kot

    papa kot Senior Member

    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    65
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    A list of books won't help if you do not make reading a habit. I lost good 3-5 years of my life because I did not read—one of the biggest regrets in my life.

    As for the general guidelines, I suggest focusing on the items that aim to dramatically broaden your horizons. Read books that were banned, read authors whose points of view you may not like and indulge into history and economics. Subjects such as the American, the Russin and the French revolutions are a must. And, of course, anything related to your field of work.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy, and Terms and Conditions.