81 books like The Elegant Universe

By Brian Greene,

Here are 81 books that The Elegant Universe fans have personally recommended if you like The Elegant Universe. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Circe

By Madeline Miller,

Book cover of Circe

Kaighla Rises Author Of Evryn, The Light

From the list on remembering you’re 100% that bitch.

Who am I?

I am a writer, poet, and seeker, creating art that empowers women to choose their own destiny and live their truth, authentically. I’ve spent the better part of my life feeling powerless, victimized, and alone. For years, I lived in situations that demanded that I give up my power and subjugate myself to men in order to be respected and welcomed into my community. And then, after a period of extreme trauma, I learned how I had been brainwashed. So I have made it my life’s mission to spread this one message: you have all the power you will ever need, right now, within you. Claim it.

Kaighla's book list on remembering you’re 100% that bitch

Why did Kaighla love this book?

If you, like me, were forced to read Homer’s Odyssey in high school, you may recall the famous story about the witch Circe, who turned Homer’s sailors into pigs. And you may have felt as I did: slay, queen. If so, then Circe, Madeline Miller’s sophomore novel, is the book for you. 

In Circe, Miller expounds on the scant details we have on the life of Circe—who, like so many women in mythology and literature only existed as side character in the main male character’s storyline—producing a sweeping, moving narrative of female empowerment.

I loved this book because I could see so much of myself in this story—from Circe as the unwanted child to Circe the rebellious young woman to Circe the sensualized siren to Circe the broken-hearted muse. In all the phases of her life, Circe learns to find her own way in a world that does…

By Madeline Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The international Number One bestseller from the author of The Song of Achilles, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens…


Sapiens

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Book cover of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Jakub Growiec Author Of Accelerating Economic Growth: Lessons From 200,000 Years of Technological Progress and Human Development

From the list on the past and future of our civilization.

Who am I?

I’m a professor of economics based in Warsaw, Poland. As a researcher I was always drawn to most fundamental questions about the long run and the big picture. I study long-run economic growth at the global scale, concentrating in particular on the role of technological progress, technology choice and the accumulation of productive factors such as physical and human capital. Recently I have put forward a novel hardware-software framework, based on first principles from physics and generalizing previous economic frameworks to include any era in the human history, from simple hunting and gathering to automated multi-step production processes of the digital era. 

Jakub's book list on the past and future of our civilization

Why did Jakub love this book?

Bored with history books full of battlefields, military equipment, long lists of battles and treaties, and discussions of changing alliances among the heavily intertwined royal families? I certainly was. And that’s why I found Yuval Noah Harari’s unique look at the history of our civilization so appealing.

In particular I greatly appreciated his focus on scientific and technological progress as drivers of development, highlighting in particular the role of the European Scientific Revolution of 16th century CE, an episode much less appreciated than the later Industrial Revolution but probably equally consequential.

A top pick for anyone who wants to figure out the Big Picture about the roots of the human civilization and its current state.

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the…


Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman,

Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Elissa L. Perry Author Of Human Resources for the Non-HR Manager

From the list on less businessy business that can help managers.

Who am I?

In a world in which we are faced with increasing amounts of information that we have to parse (from social media, cable news channels, newspapers), it often feels hard to separate fact from fiction, and evidence-based research from junk science. In my own work, I have given a great deal of thought to how to get research-based evidence into the hands of practitioners (managers, employees) who can put it to good use. An important piece of the puzzle is helping practitioners understand the research evidence and how to apply it. The books on this list are great examples of authors who translate research into language that people can understand and use.

Elissa's book list on less businessy business that can help managers

Why did Elissa love this book?

This book reminds me of why I majored in psychology as an undergraduate and why I was drawn to the program of research I ultimately developed in my own career (the role of stereotypes in workplace discrimination). 

Over the course of his research career, Daniel Kahneman has made the case in many and varied ways that human cognition is limited and can lead to biases in judgments and choices particularly in unpredictable situations (a hallmark of many organizations). Understanding these limitations is the first step toward understanding how to work with them and around them to improve decision making in the workplace.  

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

37 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…


Book cover of A Short History of Nearly Everything

James G.S. Clawson Author Of A Song of Humanity: A Science-Based Alternative to the World's Scriptures

From the list on science vs. religion.

Who am I?

My core curiosity has been trying to understand the way the world is. Like all defenseless children, early on I trusted parents and elder others for that – for nearly half a century before I had the courage to question their comprehensive dogmas. I’ve been fortunate to have a wonderful education and to have traveled most of the globe, both of which assailed my assumptions. After a mid-life crisis/near-death experience, I decided to start over in understanding the world we live in. Before I died, I wanted to leave a science-based alternative to the world’s scriptures that open-minded parents could read to their children. My motto now is “In Truth We Trust.”  

James' book list on science vs. religion

Why did James love this book?

This is a very good attempt to help inform people of where we came from and how we got here. I love the broad perspective and easy flow of the story. Bryson attacks the big questions and stimulates our thinking. This is a great starting point for exploring the issues in the tensions between science and religion. 

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Short History of Nearly Everything as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The ultimate eye-opening journey through time and space, A Short History of Nearly Everything is the biggest-selling popular science book of the 21st century and has sold over 2 million copies.

'Possibly the best scientific primer ever published.' Economist
'Truly impressive...It's hard to imagine a better rough guide to science.' Guardian
'A travelogue of science, with a witty, engaging, and well-informed guide' The Times

Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller, but even when he stays safely at home he can't contain his curiosity about the world around him. A Short History of Nearly Everything is his quest to…


Sophie's World

By Jostein Gaarder, Paulette Møller (translator),

Book cover of Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy

Mahmoud Elsayed Author Of The Bitter Truth of Reality: The route to skepticism and the case against objective reality

From the list on to understand humanity and the universe.

Who am I?

Mahmoud Elsayed has always been interested in finding rational answers to the big existential questions. This could clearly be noticed in his writings and philosophy. He has also worked in various and somehow diverse fields of engineering and science which allowed him to smoothly, flexibly, and knowledgeably jump from a field of expertise to another in order to make his philosophical arguments comprehensive. 

Mahmoud's book list on to understand humanity and the universe

Why did Mahmoud love this book?

In this masterpiece, Jostein Gaarder presents the whole history of philosophy in the form of a novel. This is by far the most interesting historical presentation of philosophy I have ever come across. The genius of Jostein Gaarder could be clearly seen in the narrative as he does not just explain the ideologies of the philosophers across the decades, but also picks some ideas, visualize them, and smoothly integrate them into the story. 

By Jostein Gaarder, Paulette Møller (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sophie's World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The international bestseller about life, the universe and everything.

When 14-year-old Sophie encounters a mysterious mentor who introduces her to philosophy, mysteries deepen in her own life. Why does she keep getting postcards addressed to another girl? Who is the other girl? And who, for that matter, is Sophie herself? To solve the riddle, she uses her new knowledge of philosophy, but the truth is far stranger than she could have imagined.

An addictive blend of mystery, philosophy and fantasy, Sophie's World is an international phenomenon which has been translated into 60 languages and sold more than 40 million copies.


Book cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Richard Sparks Author Of New Rock, New Role

From the list on fantasy that aren’t afraid to be funny.

Who am I?

I’ve now completed four books in my New Rock fantasy series; and, while the stories are full-on adventures in a strange (but strangely familiar) new world, they contain lots of comedic characters and situations. I come from a background of comedy writing. Comedy isn’t nice people telling jokes. That’s a dinner party. Comedy is all about pain, fear, misery, confusion, suffering, mistakes, betrayals, accidents, dangers, and things going horribly wrong—and what good adventure doesn't have those? And why wouldn’t any strange new world be full of them? New Rock New Role, the first book in the series, is published on December 12th 2023 by CAEZIK SF & Fantasy.

Richard's book list on fantasy that aren’t afraid to be funny

Why did Richard love this book?

Hitchhiker began life as a BBC Radio series. And a lot of credit should go to Douglas’s writing partner, John Lloyd. After ten months on the scripts, Douglas knew that he needed help. He and John got the last two scripts done in two weeks.

John went on to become our generation’s leading comedy producer (Not the Nine O’clock News; Blackadder; Spitting Image; QI; The Museum of Curiosity). So, if you love the Hitchhiker books — who doesn’t? — give yourself the treat of listening to the original radio series. As the old saying goes, the pictures are better on radio.

By Douglas Adams,

Why should I read it?

27 authors picked The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This box set contains all five parts of the' trilogy of five' so you can listen to the complete tales of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Bebblebrox and Marvin the Paranoid Android! Travel through space, time and parallel universes with the only guide you'll ever need, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Read by Stephen Fry, actor, director, author and popular audiobook reader, and Martin Freeman, who played Arthur Dent in film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He is well known as Tim in The Office.

The set also includes a bonus DVD Life, the Universe and…


Stormbringer

By Michael Moorcock,

Book cover of Stormbringer

Christopher Patterson Author Of A Chance Beginning

From the list on broken and struggling heroes.

Who am I?

I believe that in our real world, most heroes are like any other human, exhibiting the struggles, the moral dilemmas, and the psychological battles any human would be. And that is what makes a hero so great. They rise above the internal and external struggles to become something better and something others can look up to. Heroes are not supposed to be Superman. They are Batman, struggling with the darkness of trauma and the weight of responsibility like everyone else. 

Christopher's book list on broken and struggling heroes

Why did Christopher love this book?

Elric of Melnibone is an anti-hero. He is a bad guy who worships a god of chaos and delights in doing bad things. Pressured by family, a sense of duty, and a deep devotion to both his lover and his friends, he begins to question his life and his culture up until now. The lack of caring weighs on him as he vacillates between a world of evil and chaos and a world of law and goodness. 

By Michael Moorcock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Feared by enemies and friends alike, Elric of Melnibone walks a lonely path among the worlds of the multiverse. The destroyer of his own cruel and ancient race, as well as its final ruler, Elric is the bearer of a destiny as dark and cursed as the vampiric sword he carries - the sentient black blade known as Stormbringer.

Containing the novel which perhaps did the most to propel Elric to the forefront of the fantasy genre, along with associated short stories and other material, this volume is a vital part of any fantasy reader's library. With an introduction by…


The Teachings of Don Juan

By Carlos Castaneda,

Book cover of The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

Andy Darby Author Of Me and The Monkey

From the list on on not getting lost in another bloody multiverse.

Who am I?

I have had a fascination with alternative realities since reading the stories of Michael Moorcock in my early teens. I spent years studying shamanism and occult practices so when I finally got my act together and started writing it was a given that a sizable amount of that would creep into my work. I also have a bizarre sense of humour and I like to inflict that on my readers where possible by creating unusual scenarios or interactions for my characters to get caught up in. I try to inject some science and historical fact into what I write although most should be taken with a large pinch of salt… 

Andy's book list on on not getting lost in another bloody multiverse

Why did Andy love this book?

Well, this book totally changed my view on the world and how reality is perceived! Whether you choose to believe that Castaneda met and was initiated by a Yaqui sorcerer, or whether you believe it is just a very convincing piece of writing by a college student studying anthropology is up to you. What shouldn’t be ignored are the underlying psychological truths and messages that make this a powerful story about seeing the world in which we live through new eyes. This book started my interest in shamanism and led to nearly 25 years of study and practice that has definitely influenced my life and writing.   

By Carlos Castaneda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Teachings of Don Juan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An anthropologist records his corversations with the Yaqui Indian sorcerer and offers a structural analysis of Don Juan's teachings.


Book cover of Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense: An Inquiry Into Science, Philosophy and Perception

Mahmoud Elsayed Author Of The Bitter Truth of Reality: The route to skepticism and the case against objective reality

From the list on to understand humanity and the universe.

Who am I?

Mahmoud Elsayed has always been interested in finding rational answers to the big existential questions. This could clearly be noticed in his writings and philosophy. He has also worked in various and somehow diverse fields of engineering and science which allowed him to smoothly, flexibly, and knowledgeably jump from a field of expertise to another in order to make his philosophical arguments comprehensive. 

Mahmoud's book list on to understand humanity and the universe

Why did Mahmoud love this book?

Our daily routine and the full of distractions life of the 21st-century human often draft us away and divert us from the fact that we live in a completely weird and bizarre reality. Steve Hagan digs deeper into this concept and presents amusing and mind-blowing notions about our perception and the things that we made out of it (philosophy and science). 

By Steve Hagen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling author of Buddhism Plain and Simple ponders what we truly know about reality.
 
Why the World Doesn’t Seem to Make Sense is an eminently down-to-earth, practical, and non-technical response to the urgent questions posed by contemporary science and philosophy. This revised and updated edition of How the World Can Be the Way It Is includes new scientific understanding and clarification of some of its more complex ideas. Steve Hagen aims for an intelligent general audience not necessarily familiar with modern or classical physics, philosophy, or formal logic.
 
Hagen takes us on a journey that examines our most basic…


God

By Reza Aslan,

Book cover of God: A Human History

Mahmoud Elsayed Author Of The Bitter Truth of Reality: The route to skepticism and the case against objective reality

From the list on to understand humanity and the universe.

Who am I?

Mahmoud Elsayed has always been interested in finding rational answers to the big existential questions. This could clearly be noticed in his writings and philosophy. He has also worked in various and somehow diverse fields of engineering and science which allowed him to smoothly, flexibly, and knowledgeably jump from a field of expertise to another in order to make his philosophical arguments comprehensive. 

Mahmoud's book list on to understand humanity and the universe

Why did Mahmoud love this book?

Whether you are religious or not, whether you like it or not, religions and God/Gods have been a part of the human civilizations as far as we started documenting, writing, and recording history and perhaps even as far as we existed. To understand the part that religion played in our history and how it had and still could have a significant effect on how we perceive the world and reality in general, it may be crucial to understand the history of religions and how they originated. Raza Aslan gives a wonderful presentation on that in this book. 

By Reza Aslan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Timely, riveting, enlightening and necessary." (Huffington Post)

In God, Reza Aslan sheds new light on mankind's relationship with the divine and challenges our perspective on faith and the birth of religion.

From the origins of spiritual thought to the concept of an active, engaged, divine presence that underlies all creation, Aslan examines how the idea of god arose in human evolution, was gradually personalized, endowed with human traits and emotions, and eventually transformed into a single Divine Personality: the God known today by such names as Yahweh, Father, and Allah.

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, God…


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