The most recommended books about reality

Who picked these books? Meet our 26 experts.

26 authors created a book list connected to reality, and here are their favorite reality books.
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Book cover of Knowledge And Decisions

Caleb S. Fuller Author Of No Free Lunch: Six Economic Lies You've Been Taught And Probably Believe

From my list on the economic point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an associate professor of economics at Grove City College, where I love introducing students to the economic point of view. My first book, listed below, pursues the relentless logic of tradeoffs. My second book (co-authored with Art Carden), Mere Economics: Lessons for and from the Ordinary Business of Life, is due out in early 2025. It examines how human beings expand their options through cooperation. For me, internalizing the economic point of view is a lifelong project. I think it will become yours, too, if you try these books! 

Caleb's book list on the economic point of view

Caleb S. Fuller Why did Caleb love this book?

Thomas Sowell is underrated. How is a world-renowned thinker and commentator still underestimated? Many people think of Sowell as little more than a cultural commentator or an ideologue.

This book shatters those misconceptions by introducing you to the depth and clarity of Sowell’s thoughts. Reading and re-reading this book will impress you with the power of the economic point of view. Read it after Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson.

By Thomas Sowell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With a new preface by the author, this reissue of Thomas Sowell's classic study of decision making updates his seminal work in the context of The Vision of the Annointed , Sowell, one of America's most celebrated public intellectuals, describes in concrete detail how knowledge is shared and disseminated throughout modern society. He warns that society suffers from an ever-widening gap between firsthand knowledge and decision making,a gap that threatens not only our economic and political efficiency, but our very freedom because actual knowledge gets replaced by assumptions based on an abstract and elitist social vision f what ought to…


Book cover of I Crawl Through It

Ruth Fox Author Of New Eden

From my list on fantasy that break the pattern.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading books, and when I was around 10 years old I discovered science fiction and fantasy. What hooked me about these genres was the imagination and skill that would go into building an entire world which only exists between the covers of that book. But I also found that there was an intense enjoyment to be had from books that sat within those categories, but which were more unusual; books that push the boundaries of their genre or introduce something new.

Ruth's book list on fantasy that break the pattern

Ruth Fox Why did Ruth love this book?

This is the story of four teenagers and their journey to cope with the anxieties of being a teenager, mixed with recovering from traumatic events. 

It is such an unusual book that it defies explanation. The best thing to do is to pick it up and read it for yourself. I found it confusing in a delightful way – the mixture of reality and dreamscape is captivating and leaves you wondering what is real and what is imaginary.

This book is chaotic and intense and left me feeling a bit dizzy, but I think if I had read it when I was a teenager it would have accurately reflected how I felt and dealt with the world!

By A.S. King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Crawl Through It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Four talented teenagers are traumatized--coping with grief, surviving date rape, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults--and they'll do anything to escape the pressure. They'll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them...until they learn the only way to escape reality is to face it head-on.


Book cover of Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy

Matt Zandstra Author Of PHP 8 Objects, Patterns, and Practice: Mastering OO Enhancements, Design Patterns, and Essential Development Tools

From my list on non-fiction that turn their topics upside down.

Why am I passionate about this?

Software developers love to question the assumptions that underpin their practice. Some of the most exciting phases of my career have come about as a result of such questions. Often they are revolutionary in the literal sense that they ask you to turn your thinking upside down – to design systems from the bottom up rather than the top down, for example, or to write your tests before your components. I may not adopt every practice, but each challenge enriches the conceptual world in which I work. Over the years, I have come to look for similar shifts and inversions across other subject areas. Here are some recommendations from my reading.

Matt's book list on non-fiction that turn their topics upside down

Matt Zandstra Why did Matt love this book?

In between other projects, I have been conducting research for a non-fiction book about the particular kinds of parallel universe that every story world creates. And that's how I came across Reality+.

The question as to whether we are living in a simulation is beloved of moviegoers, stoners, and undergraduates (quite a large intersection in that Venn diagram). It's also worthy of serious philosophical and scientific inquiry. David J Chalmers is a philosopher, and his book treats the question with entertaining rigour.

The book goes beyond the simulation hypothesis, though, to examine the philosophical implications of our inevitable colonisation of the virtual realm. At the heart of Chalmers' argument is a rejection of the opposition between the real and the simulated.

Lived experience, Chalmers claims, is real experience, as freighted with value and possibility in the virtual world as it is out here in the probably real, possibly simulated universe.

By David J. Chalmers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Virtual reality is genuine reality; that's the central thesis of Reality+. In a highly original work of "technophilosophy," David J. Chalmers gives a compelling analysis of our technological future. He argues that virtual worlds are not second-class worlds, and that we can live a meaningful life in virtual reality. We may even be in a virtual world already.

Along the way, Chalmers conducts a grand tour of big ideas in philosophy and science. He uses virtual reality technology to offer a new perspective on long-established philosophical questions. How do we know that there's an external world? Is there a god?…


Book cover of How Real is Real?: Confusion, Disinformation, Communication

Ted Schick Author Of How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age

From my list on evaluating claims of the paranormal.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in philosophy ever since I heard the album Poitier Meets Plato, a product of the 60’s coffee house culture, in which Sidney Poitier reads Plato to jazz music. As a professional philosopher, I investigate the nature of knowledge and reality, and if paranormal claims turn out to be true, many of our beliefs about knowledge and reality may turn out to be false. In an attempt to distinguish the justified from the unjustified—the believable from the unbelievable—I’ve tried to identify the principles of good thinking and sound reasoning that can be used to help us make those distinctions.

Ted's book list on evaluating claims of the paranormal

Ted Schick Why did Ted love this book?

The book introduced me to time travel, hyperspace, superstitious rats, psychic horses, conspiracy theories, and UFOs. Watzlawick, a psychologist by trade, explores the many facets of communication: how it occurs, how it fails, and how we can be misled by it.

One of the first people to explore the psychology of conspiracy theories and disinformation, he alerts us to the perils and pitfalls of all sorts of communication—both verbal and nonverbal-- through amusing anecdotes and erudite examples.

By Paul Watzlawick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Real is Real? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The connection between communication and reality is a relatively new idea. It is only in recent decades that the confusions, disorientations and very different world views that arise as a result of communication have become an independent field of research. One of the experts who has been working in this field is Dr. Paul Watzlawick, and he here presents, in a series of arresting and sometimes very funny examples, some of the findings.


Book cover of Deep Secret

Sally Odgers Author Of Elysian Dawn

From my list on set on distant worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Tasmanian. I’ve loved books set in other worlds since I encountered Robert Heinlein’s juveniles in my teens. I often find books set in the mundane world of here-and-now implausible or dull, because the adventures seem contrived or else result from characters doing something stupid or bad. If characters venture to other worlds, or other planets though—that’s a different ballgame! I read a great deal of fantasy and sci-fi, and when I was fourteen, I started writing my own. I enjoy a wide variety of genres, but my favourite stories are those where I can follow relatable characters through wild adventures and believe every line.  

Sally's book list on set on distant worlds

Sally Odgers Why did Sally love this book?

Deep Secret is one of my all-time favourite books; one I reread often. There are no spaceships here, (though there is a Land Rover that isn’t!) but much of the action takes place on distant worlds; chiefly Thule and the Koryfonic Empire. Rupert Venables, the youngest Magid, faces not only the fall of the Koryfonic Empire and his task of finding the hidden heir, but also the need to choose a successor for his dead mentor, Stan. There’s so much to love about this chaotic, tangled, wonderful book; not least the combative but ultimately loving relationship between Rupert and Maree, the least likely of the candidates on Rupert’s list.

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Chaos threatens the Earth when one of the powerful magicians assigned to balance good and evil in that corner of the universe dies and a junior magician must lead the search among the planet's denizens for an appropriate successor to the sorcerer's throne.


Book cover of You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters

Larry Gottlieb Author Of Hoodwinked: Uncovering Our Fundamental Superstitions

From my list on to help us understand human being.

Why am I passionate about this?

As long as I can remember, I have wanted to understand how the universe works. I studied physics with a firm belief in scientific materialism, the belief that all things can or will be explained by science, including consciousness. However, after earning an advanced degree I found myself no closer to a satisfying answer to my inquiry into the relationship between consciousness and the physical world. Then, a personal experience of unembodied consciousness convinced me that my answers would have to come from a reexamination of all that I had believed, an internal journey over decades that has borne fruit in unexpected and magical ways.

Larry's book list on to help us understand human being

Larry Gottlieb Why did Larry love this book?

Deepak Chopra has been exploring the relationship between spirituality and science for many decades, and Menas Kafatos’s peer-reviewed research on cosmology and astrophysics, among other topics, is well documented. Their work in this book makes it clear that instead of living in a material, unknowing and uncaring universe, we instead live in what they call a human universe, one that is living, conscious, and evolving. This book makes the case convincingly that we create our own reality in a conscious universe that responds to the beliefs and thoughts that reside in our minds. I have watched Mr. Chopra speak numerous times, and I appreciate his loving and gentle delivery. This book gave me a condensed and satisfying explanation of his worldview.

By Deepak Chopra, Menas C. Kafatos,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked You Are the Universe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Deepak Chopra joins forces with leading physicist Menas Kafatos to explore some of the most important and baffling questions about our place in the world. 

"A riveting and absolutely fascinating adventure that will blow your mind wide open!" —Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi
 
What happens when modern science reaches a crucial turning point that challenges everything we know about reality? In this brilliant, timely, and practical work, Chopra and Kafatos tell us that we've reached just such a point. In the coming era, the universe will be completely redefined as a "human universe" radically unlike the…


Book cover of A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands

Keefe R.D. Author Of Royal Arcanum

From my list on veracious fantasy and strange reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Indonesian writer who loves the idea of supernatural fantasy. I’ve always liked daydreaming. It started when a story suddenly kept playing inside my head like a movie. And that story now became my first fantasy book, Royal Arcanum. Never I imagined I’ll be a full-time writer now. I feel blessed that my family supported my writing career.

Keefe's book list on veracious fantasy and strange reality

Keefe R.D. Why did Keefe love this book?

This book is very unique. Written through the psychic medium named Farnese in 1896. The spirit named Franchezzo told his experience in the afterlife. There is a fantasy and reality here. Even though we haven’t experienced death and don’t know how’s life in the afterlife, but I feel a strong connection with this book. I feel like I can believe everything this book depicted about the world on the other side.

By Franchezzo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A supposed real life channeling about a slightly bad man who died, and starting his journey in the lower spirit realms, advancing his way into the higher. Once in the higher realms he joins a brotherhood who go deep into hell rescueing others who have changed and praying for rescue. This book gives a detailed glimpse into hell, what its like and its many levels. An entry level book for those who want to to know more of the spiritland structure.


Book cover of The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book

Barbara Wainwright Author Of The Power of Life Coaching Volume 3: Manifesting Transformation in Financial, Professional, Emotional, Spiritual, Wellness and Relationship Aspects

From my list on your journey to spiritual enlightenment.

Why am I passionate about this?

Certified Master Life Coach and CEO of Wainwright Global, Barbara Wainwright is known as the most sought-after teacher in the coaching industry. She is famous for training and certifying over 6,500 professional coaches worldwide since 2006 and for empowering individuals to actualize their life purpose, live inspired lives, and connect with their true passion. Barbara is an international speaker, author, and educator with 3 books available on Amazon.com. I have been seeking spiritual enlightenment and personal growth all of my adult life. Now I am sharing some of my strengths through my podcast and video series Show Up For God and God Will Show Up For You in Miraculous Ways.

Barbara's book list on your journey to spiritual enlightenment

Barbara Wainwright Why did Barbara love this book?

This book was the beginning of my spiritual journey. 

Accepting that we are responsible for every aspect of our lives was a hard pill to swallow. Life happens for us, not to us. What is the purpose? The purpose (I believe) is to learn unconditional love and acceptance. 

Does that mean we have to be around people that hurt us? No. It means to accept people for who they are and move on.  

This book challenged me and my way of thinking. “Your thoughts create your reality” is explained in detail in this book. I’m grateful that this book was written.

By Jane Roberts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nature of Personal Reality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Late in 1963, Jane Roberts and her husband were experimenting with a Ouija board when a personality calling himself 'Seth' began forming messages. Soon, Miss Roberts began passing easily into trance - her gestures, her eyes, her voice 'borrowed' by Seth himself. Now for those who want to put his theories to use, Seth has dictated this new book, The Nature of Personal Reality explains how unquestioned belief structure your experience - and how simply listing them can help remove barriers you have uknowingly thrown in your way. Along with other specific exercises for transforming your personal reality, Seth spells…


Book cover of Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality

Sallie Tisdale Author Of The Lie about the Truck: Survivor, Reality TV, and the Endless Gaze

From Sallie's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Zen teacher Avid reader Wingspan addict Baker

Sallie's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Sallie Tisdale Why did Sallie love this book?

Understand quantum mechanics? Dark matter? The malleable nature of space-time? Neither do I, exactly. But I am considerably less confused after reading this.

Wilczek is a Nobel laureate, but here, he is a nerd on fire with his love of the universe. Chapter titles include things like “There’s Plenty of Space” and “There are Very Few Ingredients.”

He writes with great clarity and even joy about the grand mystery in which we have so briefly appeared. 

By Frank Wilczek,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Fundamentals might be the perfect book for the winter of this plague year. . . . Wilczek writes with breathtaking economy and clarity, and his pleasure in his subject is palpable.” —The New York Times Book Review

One of our great contemporary scientists reveals the ten profound insights that illuminate what everyone should know about the physical world

In Fundamentals, Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek offers the reader a simple yet profound exploration of reality based on the deep revelations of modern science. With clarity and an infectious sense of joy, he guides us through the essential concepts that form our…