The best books on philosophies

The Books I Picked & Why

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt, Vol. I

By Jacques Casanova De Seingalt

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt, Vol. I

Why this book?

I was psychiatrically diagnosed as a successful prosocial psychopath. After being notified of this and giving a TED Talk on this in 2009 Literary agent Jane Dystel contacted me with a deal to write a memoir. So I first searched out other memoirs written by a successful prosocial psychopath and the granddaddy of all whacky true life bad boys was the first. As his full memoir volumes are 3,500 delicious pages in length, the 2,500 truncated version will do just fine.


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Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons

By George Pendle

Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons

Why this book?

For my entire life, since I was seven years old, I had one science hero, Leonardo da Vinci. Then I found a true all-pro, planetary weirdo to marvel at, John Whiteside Parsons. Not quite a scientist, more a techno-engineering DYI genius. He really really made things, including himself, go boom. Like Parsons, as a youngster, I loved making explosives from scratch. He was THE pioneer who brought the world into the rocket age. And oh, on the side he was a downtown L.A. sex-crazed occultist.


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The Complete Works of Plato, Volume I

By Plato

The Complete Works of Plato, Volume I

Why this book?

After 2,400 years, Plato finally won the battle against Socrates, Aristotle, Avicenna, Rousseau, Locke, Freud, French and Neo-Liberalism, and most parents of two-year-olds. According to 21st-century neuroscientists, as Plato provided in the Allegory of the Cave, the prescient idea is that we are not born as blank slates, but rather have the basic knowledge of beauty, good and evil baked into our prenatal brain (genetically preformed circuits!)


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Four Essays on Liberty

By Isaiah Berlin

Four Essays on Liberty

Why this book?

I mention this book as a way to listen to some old hour-long video talks by the sage Isaiah Berlin. He did, in fact, hate to write, but he loved talking. After reading any of his several essays, go right to the meat. Which will give the political, philosophical How-to Guide to leading a Nazi, Marxist or Terrorist revolution. I give talks and podcasts on the biological psychiatry of such evils and he is my go-to guy.


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Beartown

By Fredrik Backman

Beartown

Why this book?

I was a collegiate downhill and giant slalom racer but could never skate. But in my adulthood, I really got hooked on NHL hockey and have had, until this year, Anaheim Ducks season tickets since 2000. Greatest mind-blowing violent ballet sport of all time. So I read this book Beartown because it is about hockey. It’s really more about a one-sport town in the Canadian provincial wilderness dying, and the rape that started Beartown circling the drain.


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