Author Topic: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)  (Read 9299 times)

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24370
The link is to Neil DeGrasse Tyson' s list of the 8 books any intelligent person should read. Comments, disagreements, additions?

http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/12/29/neil-degrasse-tyson-reading-list/?utm_content=buffer45269&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

ad_orientem

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6086
  • Lex orandi lex credendi
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2015, 05:25:12 PM »
I've read four of them. I'd add something by Dostoyevsky, probably The Brothers Karamazov or Devils.
Rationalism leads to Protestantism leads to atheism.

BashfulAnthony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7520
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 05:40:28 PM »

And, of course, the best-selling book ever is the Bible, with an estimated 5 billion plus sold.  Though, as we know, there are many atheists who may have bought one, but have never read it, though they pretend they have. They belong to that large group of people who say, when a book title is mentioned, "oh, yes. I've got that."
BA.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24370
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2015, 05:44:03 PM »

And, of course, the best-selling book ever is the Bible, with an estimated 5 billion plus sold.  Though, as we know, there are many atheists who may have bought one, but have never read it, though they pretend they have. They belong to that large group of people who say, when a book title is mentioned, "oh, yes. I've got that."

True of lots of Christians too.

BashfulAnthony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7520
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 05:45:15 PM »

And, of course, the best-selling book ever is the Bible, with an estimated 5 billion plus sold.  Though, as we know, there are many atheists who may have bought one, but have never read it, though they pretend they have. They belong to that large group of people who say, when a book title is mentioned, "oh, yes. I've got that."

True of lots of Christians too.

Absolutely! 
BA.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

BashfulAnthony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7520
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 06:03:21 PM »

I read Dostoevsky when I was younger.  It is pretty dark stuff really, not very easy reading.
BA.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

ad_orientem

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6086
  • Lex orandi lex credendi
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 06:08:09 PM »

I read Dostoevsky when I was younger.  It is pretty dark stuff really, not very easy reading.

It can be difficult to get in to, yeah. I chose those particular books because they describe the dangers of nihilism and liberalism.
Rationalism leads to Protestantism leads to atheism.

Hope

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 25569
    • Tools With A Mission
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2015, 06:11:51 PM »
A very 'political' list in a way. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson Selects the Eight Books Every Intelligent Person on the Planet Should Read
by Maria Popova
How to “glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world.”


Does the 'sub-title' necessarily follow from the main title?  I'm not convinced.
Are your, or your friends'/relatives', garages, lofts or sheds full of unused DIY gear, sewing/knitting machines or fabric and haberdashery stuff?

Lists of what is needed and a search engine to find your nearest collector (scroll to bottom for latter) are here:  http://www.twam.uk/donate-tools

Rhiannon

  • Guest
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2015, 06:13:07 PM »
I've read bit of one of them, done bite size version of another at school and read a kiddies' version of a third.

<dons dunces' cap>

Ok, here's my list.

1 And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

2 The Ghost Stories of M R James

3 Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

4 Cottage Gardens by Geoff Hamilton

5 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkein

6 The Killings at Badgers Drift by Caroline Graham

7 Guide To British Wildlife - any

8 River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall

Probably not so informative about Western history or human nature (although IMO Ms Christie knew more than she gets credit for) but I have limited time to read and so prefer to spend it on the practical and the enjoyable.

BashfulAnthony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7520
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2015, 06:13:44 PM »

I read Dostoevsky when I was younger.  It is pretty dark stuff really, not very easy reading.

It can be difficult to get in to, yeah. I chose those particular books because they describe the dangers of nihilism and liberalism.

I love reading historical novels, as history is an interest of mine.  Too many to mention, but often, when picked at random, they can be poor reading.  But I very much like Phillippa Gregory, Bernard Cornwall, Elizabeth Chadwick, Edwin Thomas, Georgette Heyer - the list goes on and on!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 06:29:52 PM by BashfulAnthony »
BA.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

Shaker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14913
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2015, 06:24:10 PM »
And, of course, the best-selling book ever is the Bible, with an estimated 5 billion plus sold.

Do we know it's the case that these 5,000,000 Bibles are actually sold, as opposed to handed out/given away?

Quote
Though, as we know, there are many atheists who may have bought one, but have never read it, though they pretend they have.

How do you know that they're pretending?

*

It's a bit of a weird mish-mash to me. I've read five of Tyson's eight (1/3/4/5/8) and am reasonably conversant with the contents of the others. Gulliver's Travels is certainly worth reading - when I was little it was often presented as a well-loved children's book, but for adults it's a biting satire on the follies of religion, culture and other human behaviours - but it's a bit of a peculiar choice for a list of books that any intelligent person should read/have read. Tyson says that "If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world", and that's true up to a point, but I'd say that if you want a better idea still you'd drop Gulliver's Travels in favour of something like The Communist Manifesto and/or the first volume of Capital, which have had incalculably more reach and influence on innumerable human beings. A few years back Melvyn Bragg wrote a book called Twelve Books that Changed the World (a liberal construal of the word 'book'; some are in fact documents). Bragg's choices were:

1. Principia Mathematica (1687) — Isaac Newton
2. Married Love (1918) — Marie Stopes
3. Magna Carta (1215)
4. Book of Rules of Association Football (1863)
5. On the Origin of Species (1859) — Charles Darwin
6. On the Abolition of the Slave Trade (1789) — William Wilberforce in Parliament, immediately printed in several versions
7. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) — Mary Wollstonecraft
8. Experimental Researches in Electricity (three volumes, 1839, 1844, 1855) by Michael Faraday
9. Patent Specification for Arkwright’s Spinning Machine (1769) — Richard Arkwright
10. The King James Bible (1611) — William Tyndale and 54 scholars appointed by the king
11. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) — Adam Smith
12. The First Folio (1623) — William Shakespeare

(Of these specifically I've read 3, 7 and 12).

Whether it's books/documents which have changed the world or - a slightly different concept - books that every well-informed and intelligent person should read/have read, it's an interesting challenge ... I'm going to have fun coming up with a list of my own  :)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 06:26:18 PM by Shaker »
I work hard so that my cats can have a better life.

Rhiannon

  • Guest
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2015, 06:29:58 PM »
I just like brain fluff in the little downtime I get. I could have produced a list of worthier books I've read but it's extremely irritating to have someone decide for you what to read if you want to be thought 'intelligent'.


Shaker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14913
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2015, 06:31:13 PM »
I just like brain fluff in the little downtime I get. I could have produced a list of worthier books I've read but it's extremely irritating to have someone decide for you what to read if you want to be thought 'intelligent'.

I was thinking exactly the same thing - I don't believe this of Tyson as he's a nice fella but there often seems to be an implicit suggestion that if you haven't read these books you can't be intelligent.
I work hard so that my cats can have a better life.

BashfulAnthony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7520
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2015, 06:32:44 PM »


Quote
How do you know that they're pretending?

Well it's quite evident from what they post.  I defy any atheist to say, in honesty, that they have read the whole OT!

BA.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

Gonnagle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10886
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2015, 06:33:17 PM »
Dear Sane,

Who is this Tyson bloke, long lost cousin of the boxer guy.

His description of the Bible is very thought provoking, very Dawkinish >:(

I think I read that Art of War book, I am set for life if I ever decide to invade China.

Gonnagle.
http://www.barnardos.org.uk/shop/shop-search.htm

http://www.twam.uk/donate-tools

Go on make a difference, have a rummage in your attic or garage.

Shaker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14913
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2015, 06:37:30 PM »
Well it's quite evident from what they post.
Because they disagree with you means they haven't read it, you mean?

Quote
I defy any atheist to say, in honesty, that they have read the whole OT!
I defy anybody, atheist or not, to say that they have read the whole of the Old Testament - vast swathes of it are staggeringly boring and an utter waste of precious time, even in Jacobean English.
I work hard so that my cats can have a better life.

BashfulAnthony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7520
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2015, 06:38:21 PM »
Dear Sane,

Who is this Tyson bloke, long lost cousin of the boxer guy.

His description of the Bible is very thought provoking, very Dawkinish >:(

I think I read that Art of War book, I am set for life if I ever decide to invade China.

Gonnagle.

Don't overreach yourself, Gonners:  start with Poland!    :)
BA.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

Rhiannon

  • Guest
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2015, 06:45:24 PM »

I read Dostoevsky when I was younger.  It is pretty dark stuff really, not very easy reading.

It can be difficult to get in to, yeah. I chose those particular books because they describe the dangers of nihilism and liberalism.

I love reading historical novels, as history is an interest of mine.  Too many to mention, but often, when picked at random, they can be poor reading.  But I very much like Phillippa Gregory, Bernard Cornwall, Elizabeth Chadwick, Edwin Thomas, Georgette Heyer - the list goes on and on!

CJ Sansome's good. As is Susanna Gregory.

ad_orientem

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6086
  • Lex orandi lex credendi
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2015, 06:47:38 PM »
I defy anybody, atheist or not, to say that they have read the whole of the Old Testament - vast swathes of it are staggeringly boring and an utter waste of precious time, even in Jacobean English.

I have, and yes, the genealogies and the law do make for rather dry reading.
Rationalism leads to Protestantism leads to atheism.

Gonnagle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10886
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2015, 06:58:02 PM »
Dear Sane,

Nope, can't think of any book I have read which would make sound wind swept and interesting but for all forum members who involve themselves with discussions of theology, Most books by Karen Armstrong.

Gonnagle.
http://www.barnardos.org.uk/shop/shop-search.htm

http://www.twam.uk/donate-tools

Go on make a difference, have a rummage in your attic or garage.

BashfulAnthony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7520
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2015, 07:00:06 PM »
I defy anybody, atheist or not, to say that they have read the whole of the Old Testament - vast swathes of it are staggeringly boring and an utter waste of precious time, even in Jacobean English.

I have, and yes, the genealogies and the law do make for rather dry reading.

If you have read Leviticus and Deuteronomy I take my hat off to you.  THough I wonder why you would, unless you are Jewish!
BA.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

ippy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10001
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2015, 08:17:43 PM »
I defy anybody, atheist or not, to say that they have read the whole of the Old Testament - vast swathes of it are staggeringly boring and an utter waste of precious time, even in Jacobean English.

I have, and yes, the genealogies and the law do make for rather dry reading.

If you have read Leviticus and Deuteronomy I take my hat off to you.  THough I wonder why you would, unless you are Jewish!

I've always thought that "Brave New World" should be required reading for everybody, we my wife and I were only talking about this yesterday.

ippy
 

ad_orientem

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6086
  • Lex orandi lex credendi
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2015, 08:38:41 PM »
I defy anybody, atheist or not, to say that they have read the whole of the Old Testament - vast swathes of it are staggeringly boring and an utter waste of precious time, even in Jacobean English.

I have, and yes, the genealogies and the law do make for rather dry reading.

If you have read Leviticus and Deuteronomy I take my hat off to you.  THough I wonder why you would, unless you are Jewish!

Because they speak of Christ.
Rationalism leads to Protestantism leads to atheism.

Gordon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12280
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2015, 08:56:54 PM »
This thread has had me thinking about those novels, as opposed to non-fiction, that I've found to be most memorable since my early teens and have stayed with me ever since, and that I've re-read several times over the years because I've enjoyed them as much as found them to be meaningful in one way or another. There are 4 that jump out (no doubt as soon as I post this I'll think of others).

1. 1984

2. Great Expectations

3. Lord of the Flies

4. Far from the Madding Crowd

Rhiannon

  • Guest
Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2015, 08:59:06 PM »
Lord of the Flies one of my most memorable reads.

Also Macbeth.