100 books like Pensées

By Blaise Pascal, A.J. Krailsheimer,

Here are 100 books that Pensées fans have personally recommended if you like Pensées. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Consolation of Philosophy

Liam Milburn Author Of A Stoic breviary: Classical wisdom in daily practice

From my list on for building self-awareness that you might not expect.

Why am I passionate about this?

Building upon many years of privately shared thoughts on the real benefits of Stoic Philosophy, Liam Milburn eventually published a selection of Stoic passages that had helped him to live well. They were accompanied by some of his own personal reflections.

Liam's book list on for building self-awareness that you might not expect

Liam Milburn Why did Liam love this book?

This was a fellow who tried to do everything right, and yet, in the end, his whole worldly life seemed to go wrong. A senator, a scholar, and an advisor to a king, he found himself trapped in the usual sort of political machinations, and so was sentenced to death. He wrote this book while awaiting his execution. Lady Philosophy speaks to him, and he learns how his character matters more than his circumstances. 

“By Love are peoples too kept bound together by a treaty which they may not break. Love binds with pure affection the sacred ties of wedlock, and speaks its bidding to all trusty friends. O happy race of mortals, if your hearts are ruled as is the Universe, by Love!"

By Ancius Boethius, V.E. Watts (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Consolation of Philosophy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Boethius was an eminent public figure under the Gothic emperor Theodoric, and an exceptional Greek scholar. When he became involved in a conspiracy and was imprisoned in Pavia, it was to the Greek philosophers that he turned. THE CONSOLATION was written in the period leading up to his brutal execution. It is a dialogue of alternating prose and verse between the ailing prisoner and his 'nurse' Philosophy. Her instruction on the nature of fortune and happiness, good and evil, fate and free will, restore his health and bring him to enlightenment. THE CONSOLATION was extremely popular throughout medieval Europe and…

Book cover of Meditations: The Annotated Edition

Donald J. Robertson Author Of Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius

From my list on modern books on Marcus Aurelius.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author and cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist. I am one of the founders of the Modern Stoicism nonprofit organisation and the president and founder of the Plato’s Academy Centre in Athens, Greece. I’ve published six books on philosophy and psychotherapy, mostly focusing on the Stoic philosophy and its relationship with modern psychology and evidence-based psychotherapy.

Donald's book list on modern books on Marcus Aurelius

Donald J. Robertson Why did Donald love this book?

This is the most recent translation of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, at the time of writing but I’m mainly including it because of Robin Waterfield’s very thorough annotations, which are invaluable when it comes to understanding some of the more obscure passages. They provide historical and philosophical context that’s otherwise missing and make it much easier to appreciate what Marcus was trying to say.

By Marcus Aurelius, Robin Waterfield (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Meditations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the sixteenth emperor of Rome -- and by far the most powerful and wealthy man in the world. Yet he was also an intensely private person, with a rich interior life and deep reservoirs of personal insight. He collected his thoughts in notebooks, gems which have come to be called his Meditations. Never intended for publication, the work survived his death and has proved an inexhaustible source of wisdom and one of the most important Stoic texts of all time. In often passionate language, the entries range from essays to one-line aphorisms, and from profundity to…

Book cover of Dubliners

David W. Berner Author Of The Islander

From my list on the essence of the Irishman’s melancholic emotions.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dugan was my grandmother’s maiden name. Her family was from County Wexford, Ireland near Rosslare on the island’s east coast. In recent years I have extensively studied my Irish heritage and have discovered much about my family, and about the DNA running through my own Irish blood. The inquiry has revealed much about my love of storytelling, good conversation, and generally about the way I move through the world. As a writer of several books of personal narrative and fiction, I have tried to write books that capture a certain emotion, and now through my own ancestral discoveries, I understand how those emotions and familial ties are so tightly linked. 

David's book list on the essence of the Irishman’s melancholic emotions

David W. Berner Why did David love this book?

What can one say about this classic? It is the quintessential story of old Dublin.

Published in 1914, the collection of fifteen short stories takes the reader on a journey through middle-class Ireland, touching on Irish nationalism and country pride, but also on the forces that were slowing changing Ireland at the time. The stories move chronologically from boyhood to manhood and culminate with what some critics say is the finest short story ever written, “The Dead.”

This story, like many others in Dubliners is both a meditation on everyday urban life and a study of human relationships, including how we live with our memories, our heritage, and how we find ways to manifest our personal emotions.

By James Joyce,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Dubliners as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A definitive edition of perhaps the greatest short story collection in the English language

James Joyce's Dubliners is a vivid and unflinching portrait of "dear dirty Dublin" at the turn of the twentieth century. These fifteen stories, including such unforgettable ones as "Araby," "Grace," and "The Dead," delve into the heart of the city of Joyce's birth, capturing the cadences of Dubliners' speech and portraying with an almost brute realism their outer and inner lives. Dubliners is Joyce at his most accessible and most profound, and this edition is the definitive text, authorized by the Joyce estate and collated from…

Book cover of The Complete Stories

Audrey Wick Author Of Seeing Us

From my list on classic and contemporary Southern women’s fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a full-time English professor at Blinn College, I always try to choose stories for the literature classes I teach which will resonate with students. Likewise, as an author myself, I aim for that same approach with fiction writing: I want people to remember and reflect on what they read. Memorable settings can help achieve that, so it’s my pleasure to share some of these in America's South that span both the classic side of the spectrum as well as the contemporary side.

Audrey's book list on classic and contemporary Southern women’s fiction

Audrey Wick Why did Audrey love this book?

Georgia-born Flannery O’Connor gifted the world with dozens of stories, which can be read individually or collectively.

Set on farms, in small towns, and off-the-beaten path, she colorfully explores both people and places, inviting readers along to do the same. Some stories are folksy, some are humorous, and some are dark, but one thread is constant: her highly individualized style is built on strong literary conventions.  

By Flannery O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Complete Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the National Book Award

The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction.

There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O'Connor put together in her short lifetime--Everything That Rises Must Converge and A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium," in 1946, while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa. Arranged chronologically, this collection shows that her last story, "Judgement Day"--sent to her publisher shortly before her death―is a…

Book cover of Mama Bear Apologetics(r): Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies

Eryn Lynum Author Of 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting

From my list on intentional parenting.

Why am I passionate about this?

Life is busy. We all feel it. As my husband and I have built businesses, published books, traveled the country, and homeschooled our four kids, we’ve worried at times that our schedule is too packed and we’re losing sight of what matters. Seven years ago, we took time to write out a “Family Values List,” which has guided our family’s trajectory. We measure every decision and opportunity up against our core values. This provides a depth of intentionality in our parenting, which has led us to read (and write!) resources around how to make the most of the time we have together as a family. “Do life together” is on our values list, and it’s what we aim to do each day.

Eryn's book list on intentional parenting

Eryn Lynum Why did Eryn love this book?

Our kids are being fed overwhelming amounts of information and countless differing opinions. It’s dizzying to sort it all out and help them discern fact from fiction. Mama Bear Apologetics taught me not how to pre-program my kids' mindsets but rather how to coach them in thinking for themselves. They don’t have to be vulnerable to everything they hear. Instead, they can apply intellect to break down an argument and measure it against sound evidence and what makes sense. This book helped me develop a more solid worldview and showed me in practical ways how to help my kids do the same.

By Hillary Morgan Ferrer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mama Bear Apologetics(r) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Foreword written by Nancy Pearcey*

"Parents are the most important apologists our kids will ever know. Mama Bear Apologetics will help you navigate your kids' questions and prepare them to become committed Christ followers." -J. Warner Wallace

"If every Christian mom would apply this book in her parenting, it would profoundly transform the next generation." -Natasha Crain


The problem with lies is they don't often sound like lies. They seem harmless, and even sound right. So what's a Mama Bear to do when her kids seem to be absorbing the culture's lies uncritically?

Mama Bear Apologetics (R) is the…

Book cover of Concluding Unscientific Postscript

Lee Braver Author Of Heidegger: Thinking of Being

From my list on everything you want to know on existentialism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of philosophy because when I got to college, philosophy sounded like what Gandalf would study—the closest thing we have to the study of magic. It turns out, I wasn’t far from the mark. Philosophy shows you entire dimensions to the world that you never noticed because they exist at weird angles, and you have to change your way of thinking to see them. Entering them and seeing the world from those perspectives transforms everything. A great work of philosophy is like having the lights turn on in an annex of your mind you didn’t know was there, like an out-of-mind experience—or perhaps, an in-your-mind-for-the-first-time experience.

Lee's book list on everything you want to know on existentialism

Lee Braver Why did Lee love this book?

How many bibliographical jokes have you ever heard, well, read? This book has jokes in its Table of Contents, its title, its sub-title—in the author attribution! And at the end, the Postscript to this Postscript takes the entire thing back—twice!—although, as Kierkegaard says, to write something and take it back is not the same as not writing it. He wants to affect the reader, not just pass along abstruse theories. Kierkegaard criticizes the basic mindset of philosophy that pretends to have a God’s-eye view of reality when really we’re forced to make decisions of crucial importance, in precarious circumstances, with limited information, never knowing if it was the right one, perpetually living out our lives suspended over 70,000 fathoms of water. 

By Søren Kierkegaard, Walter Lowrie (translator), Joseph Campbell (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Concluding Unscientific Postscript as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Philosophical Fragments the pseudonymous author Johannes Climacus explored the question: What is required in order to go beyond Socratic recollection of eternal ideas already possessed by the learner? Written as an afterword to this work, Concluding Unscientific Postscript is on one level a philosophical jest, yet on another it is Climacus's characterization of the subjective thinker's relation to the truth of Christianity. At once ironic, humorous, and polemical, this work takes on the "unscientific" form of a mimical-pathetical-dialectical compilation of ideas. Whereas the movement in the earlier pseudonymous writings is away from the aesthetic, the movement in Postscript is…

Book cover of Is God a Delusion?

Mark Alpert Author Of Saint Joan of New York: A Novel about God and String Theory

From my list on to help you decide if God exists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I should make it clear that I have no religious agenda. I’m not a believer, but I’m not a committed atheist either. For ten years, I was an editor at Scientific American. During that time, we were diligent about exposing the falsehoods of “intelligent design” proponents who claimed to see God’s hand in the fashioning of complex biological structures such as the human eye. But in 2008 I left journalism to write fiction. I wrote an international bestseller about Albert Einstein (Final Theory). I wrote a trilogy of Young Adult novels about teenagers who become robots (The Six). And ideas about God kept popping up in my books.

Mark's book list on to help you decide if God exists

Mark Alpert Why did Mark love this book?

Philosopher Eric Reitan offers a spirited rebuttal to Dawkins by arguing that belief in God isn’t necessarily irrational or harmful. In particular, Reitan defends the progressive faiths that are based on universal love rather than sectarian division and superstition. I especially enjoyed Reitan’s discussion of atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell, who compared religious faith to a belief in the existence of a “celestial teapot” that travels around the sun in an orbit so distant that it could never be observed by telescope. You can’t disprove its existence, but doesn’t it seem ludicrous? Can you explain how it got there?   

By Eric Reitan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Is God a Delusion? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is God a Delusion? addresses the philosophical underpinnings of the recent proliferation of popular books attacking religious beliefs. Winner of CHOICE 2009 Outstanding Academic Title Award Focuses primarily on charges leveled by recent critics that belief in God is irrational and that its nature ferments violence Balances philosophical rigor and scholarly care with an engaging, accessible style Offers a direct response to the crop of recent anti-religion bestsellers currently generating considerable public discussion

Book cover of Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins

Rodney Holder Author Of Ramified Natural Theology in Science and Religion: Moving Forward from Natural Theology

From my list on my Christian faith confirmed through science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that the most important questions one can possibly ask are, ‘Is there a God?’ and ‘Is Jesus God in human flesh?’ Since becoming a Christian at University in Cambridge the answers I have found to these questions have been the bedrock of my life. They have been confirmed by experience and I have wanted to share them. My academic work has been devoted to them. I am an astrophysicist as well as a priest and find, contrary to popular conceptions, that these vocations fit wonderfully neatly together. I am persuaded that there is a wealth of evidence for the truth of Christian beliefs, including from science itself.

Rodney's book list on my Christian faith confirmed through science

Rodney Holder Why did Rodney love this book?

Keith Ward is a major philosopher and theologian. In this book, he presents a devastating critique of the simplistic arguments of Richard Dawkins. With touches of humour he deftly demolishes Dawkins’ materialistic atheism, showing how the priority of the divine mind as necessary being provides the ultimate explanation for anything to exist. Science provides explanations in terms of cause and effect, but does not explain why there is a universe in the first place or why the laws of nature are as they are. Contrary to Dawkins, belief in a divine mind does not close down scientific endeavour but inspires it. If the speculative multiverse idea were to explain the special nature of this universe, this would itself still need explanation, and would in any case be compatible with theism.

By Keith Ward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why There Almost Certainly Is a God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Dawkins claimed that 'no theologian has ever produced a satisfactory response to his arguments'. Well-known broadcaster and author Keith Ward is one of Britain's foremost philosopher-theologians. This is his response. Ward welcomes all comers into philosophy's world of clear definitions, sharp arguments, and diverse conclusions. But when Dawkins enters this world, his passion tends to get the better of him, and he descends into stereotyping, pastiche, and mockery. In this stimulating and thought-provoking philosophical challenge, Ward demonstrates not only how Dawkins' arguments are flawed, but that a perfectly rational case can be made that there, almost certainly, is a…

Book cover of The Atheist Who Didn't Exist Or: the Dreadful Consequences of Bad Arguments

Roxane Lapa Author Of Answering The Atheist: Good Questions Deserve Straight Answers

From my list on Christian apologetics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a Christian for 30+ years, and have had many questions about the Bible and theology. In order to answer my own questions, I’ve consumed scores of apologetics books, articles, videos, and podcasts, as well as studied the Bible itself, with lexicons and commentaries.

Roxane's book list on Christian apologetics

Roxane Lapa Why did Roxane love this book?

Andy Bannister has written this book in response to popular one-liners by new atheists, particularly Dawkins. Tired retorts comparing God to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy are hilariously dealt with by the author's dry British humour. I had a good couple of chuckles in this book. I particularly loved his imaginary friend who claimed he stole the Venus di Milo's arm, and also how he sarcastically puts trademark symbols on the words 'Science' and 'Reason'. Still, I think he does a good job of preventing his teasing from becoming a poo-flinging contest. Such a talented writer - loved this book!

By Andy Bannister,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Atheist Who Didn't Exist Or as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the last decade, atheism has leapt from obscurity to the front pages: producing best-selling books, making movies, and plastering adverts on the side of buses. There's an energy and a confidence to contemporary atheism: many people now assume that a godless scepticism is the default position, indeed the only position for anybody wishing to appear educated, contemporary, and urbane. Atheism is hip, religion is boring. Yet when one pokes at popular atheism, many of the arguments used to prop it up quickly unravel. The Atheist Who Didn't Exist is designed to expose some of the loose threads on the…

Book cover of Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World's Largest Religion

Ben Kirby Author Of PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities

From my list on for the questioning Christian.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the founder of PreachersNSneakers, a network of social media accounts and books of the same title, which looks to get others to question the state of the modern church and our obsession with wealth, entertainment and fame. Going through the process of curating the accounts and writing the book has helped me develop expertise on mega churches, celebrity pastors, social media and the prosperity gospel. My goal is to get all people to laugh, think and live more authentically.

Ben's book list on for the questioning Christian

Ben Kirby Why did Ben love this book?

This book invites questioning very established Christian ideas that many are afraid to bring up. On the opposite end, it provides a helpful resource to those looking to have tough conversations with friends about their faith. I loved this book because it helped me wrestle with my own questions about my faith and provide tools for helpful discourse with friends and family. Not exactly a light read, but immensely important.

By Rebecca McLaughlin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Confronting Christianity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Addressing 12 controversial issues about Christianity-the Bible's teaching on gender and sexuality, the reality of heaven and hell, and more-this book shows how current psychological and scientific research actually aligns with teaching from the Bible.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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