The best worldview books

3 authors have picked their favorite books about worldviews and why they recommend each book.

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Kafka

By Franz Kafka, Nahum N.Glatzer (editor),

Book cover of Kafka: I Am a Memory Come Alive: Autobiographical Writings

This book, unique in its construction, gave me a deeper insight into this leading author of the 20th century. We all know and may use the term “Kafkaesque” we don’t necessarily know from whence the term and its experience comes. This biography, drawing from Kafka’s own writings, documents his life in his own words. Glatzer has masterfully edited excerpts from the writer’s diaries, letters, and published works to create an autobiography that Kafka “contemplated but never wrote.” Kafka’s world view, the Kafkaesque, is vividly evoked.


Who am I?

I am an art historian and was professor of art history at MIT, Tufts, Harvard, and elsewhere. As an undergraduate I studied Jewish history and philosophy and subsequently was assistant editor at Schocken Books focusing on art history and history of ideas. My graduate work was in art history, first in medieval manuscripts and then 19th century French art. I’ve written four books, edited four others, and made 30 documentaries, mostly on art. The French government knighted me “Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres.”


I co-edited...

The Memoirs of Nahum N. Glatzer

By Michael Fishbane (editor), Judith Glatzer Wechsler (editor),

Book cover of The Memoirs of Nahum N. Glatzer

What is my book about?

This book has particular meaning and importance to me. Drawn from the diaries of my father, they reveal a more intimate look of this renowned scholar at a time of political upheaval and exile. The memoirs trace Nahum Glatzer’s life from childhood in Lemberg (Lviv) in Austro-Hungary, through adolescence in Silesia and onto Frankfort and his encounters with Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig. A life of scholarship and deep humanity, as chief editor of Schocken Books, he, along with Hannah Arendt, brought much of the writings of Franz Kafka to an English reading audience. The Memoirs of Nahum N. Glatzer evokes a life in exile, transmitting and sustaining the German-Jewish tradition through his many publications and teaching over generations.  

Genesis

By Eduardo Galeano,

Book cover of Genesis: Memory of Fire, Volume 1, 1

The most ambitious counter-history of Latin America! A brilliant way of storytelling. Short historical scenes romp through 400 years. This epic trilogy is a heart-stopping narrative. Galeano begins with the indigenous spirit world that explodes into conflict with the first arrival of Columbus and his mercenaries. In one or two-page vignettes, readers are guided through hearts of darkness and bold resistance. This groundbreaking work stands as an anti-colonial masterpiece. The grand tragedy unfolds with pain and suffering, incredible heroism and hope, irony and outrage. It will mark you…

Who am I?

The excitement of new visions! Ever since growing up surrounded by Arabian deserts and then Iran’s mountains, I’ve been fascinated with diverse cultures. My path led me to Cairo and Berkeley for university and then onto Greece, Indonesia, and Italy. Today’s dominant world histories remain rooted in Anglo-American narratives. Only by challenging enshrined status quos, can we capture the truth, often long hidden. Now, an interest for critical storytelling may capture a fuller picture. History needs to be told not only from the point-of-view of the victors, but also the vanquished. Counter histories create bridges of dialogue, where there were none. This is what inspires me.


I wrote...

Searching for Hassan: A Journey to the Heart of Iran

By Terence Ward,

Book cover of Searching for Hassan: A Journey to the Heart of Iran

What is my book about?

Growing up in Tehran in the 1960s, my brothers and I were watched over by Hassan, our cook, housekeeper, and cultural guide. After an absence of thirty years and much turmoil in Iran, we all returned on a quixotic odyssey in search of our lost friend. However, as we set out on this improbable quest we had no address or phone number. Our only hope of finding Hassan rested in a small black and white photograph taken by our mother decades before.  
Reaching beyond politics, this true adventure plunges the reader deep into the rich Persian culture, past and present, showing the hidden human face of today’s demonized Iran. The New Yorker called our journey "a miraculous, harrowing pilgrimage."  Noted Iranian-American author, Reza Aslan, recently described it: “A beautiful, heartwarming tale about a friendship that transcends cultural divides. This is precisely the story we need right now!”

In Other Words

By Goenawan Mohamad, Jennifer Lindsay (translator),

Book cover of In Other Words: 40 Years of Writing on Indonesia

Open this treasure chest! A perceptive, elegant collection by SE Asia’s leading journalist, public intellectual, and poet. His magnus opus represents 40 years of essays from 1968 – 2014 and each of his 100 brief passages can stand alone as sledgehammers of provocative thought. Often called the Borges of Asia, Goenawan’s dexterous mind tackles issues of identity, literature, nationalism, culture, colonial crimes, terrorism, Islam, mythologies, historicity, and destiny. As he grapples with universal themes, his deep wisdom offers fascinating insights and compassion into questions that concern us all.

Who am I?

The excitement of new visions! Ever since growing up surrounded by Arabian deserts and then Iran’s mountains, I’ve been fascinated with diverse cultures. My path led me to Cairo and Berkeley for university and then onto Greece, Indonesia, and Italy. Today’s dominant world histories remain rooted in Anglo-American narratives. Only by challenging enshrined status quos, can we capture the truth, often long hidden. Now, an interest for critical storytelling may capture a fuller picture. History needs to be told not only from the point-of-view of the victors, but also the vanquished. Counter histories create bridges of dialogue, where there were none. This is what inspires me.


I wrote...

Searching for Hassan: A Journey to the Heart of Iran

By Terence Ward,

Book cover of Searching for Hassan: A Journey to the Heart of Iran

What is my book about?

Growing up in Tehran in the 1960s, my brothers and I were watched over by Hassan, our cook, housekeeper, and cultural guide. After an absence of thirty years and much turmoil in Iran, we all returned on a quixotic odyssey in search of our lost friend. However, as we set out on this improbable quest we had no address or phone number. Our only hope of finding Hassan rested in a small black and white photograph taken by our mother decades before.  
Reaching beyond politics, this true adventure plunges the reader deep into the rich Persian culture, past and present, showing the hidden human face of today’s demonized Iran. The New Yorker called our journey "a miraculous, harrowing pilgrimage."  Noted Iranian-American author, Reza Aslan, recently described it: “A beautiful, heartwarming tale about a friendship that transcends cultural divides. This is precisely the story we need right now!”

The Crusades Through Arab Eyes

By Amin Maalouf,

Book cover of The Crusades Through Arab Eyes

This Paris-based Lebanese author may soon be awarded the Nobel Prize! His first book is a classic that forces readers into a completely different perspective. Maalouf offers in his own vivacious style, a vivid portrait of a society torn by internal conflicts and shaken by a traumatic encounter with an alien culture of invaders. His fascinating insights delve deeply into the Arab and Islamic consciousness today. All Maalouf’s books should be read! Each opens unexpected, illuminated windows on the Middle East with compassion, wisdom, and drama.

Who am I?

The excitement of new visions! Ever since growing up surrounded by Arabian deserts and then Iran’s mountains, I’ve been fascinated with diverse cultures. My path led me to Cairo and Berkeley for university and then onto Greece, Indonesia, and Italy. Today’s dominant world histories remain rooted in Anglo-American narratives. Only by challenging enshrined status quos, can we capture the truth, often long hidden. Now, an interest for critical storytelling may capture a fuller picture. History needs to be told not only from the point-of-view of the victors, but also the vanquished. Counter histories create bridges of dialogue, where there were none. This is what inspires me.


I wrote...

Searching for Hassan: A Journey to the Heart of Iran

By Terence Ward,

Book cover of Searching for Hassan: A Journey to the Heart of Iran

What is my book about?

Growing up in Tehran in the 1960s, my brothers and I were watched over by Hassan, our cook, housekeeper, and cultural guide. After an absence of thirty years and much turmoil in Iran, we all returned on a quixotic odyssey in search of our lost friend. However, as we set out on this improbable quest we had no address or phone number. Our only hope of finding Hassan rested in a small black and white photograph taken by our mother decades before.  
Reaching beyond politics, this true adventure plunges the reader deep into the rich Persian culture, past and present, showing the hidden human face of today’s demonized Iran. The New Yorker called our journey "a miraculous, harrowing pilgrimage."  Noted Iranian-American author, Reza Aslan, recently described it: “A beautiful, heartwarming tale about a friendship that transcends cultural divides. This is precisely the story we need right now!”

The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

By Charles Eisenstein,

Book cover of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

If you haven’t yet read Eisenstein, then I promise you you are intellectually and emotionally impoverished by that lack. Charles Eisenstein has such an extraordinary deep insight into the human condition and interconnectedness, coupled with an astounding level of humility in the wonder of what he doesn’t yet know, that he will leave you feeling at once masterful in your own destiny and humbled by the world and the great possibilities that lie tantalisingly close if we are just a shade braver and reach for it.


Who am I?

Being a musician does funny things to you. It leads you to look for patterns in the beautiful – and not-so-beautiful. To my mind, music is art and logic perfectly combined. I believe this unique combination offers musicians extra insights into the world around us. My desire to discover patterns in the world around me, fused with an underlying sense of injustice, has helped shape the opinions and ideas for a better social model that I write about today. I've founded several online initiatives, written extensively, and given talks around the concept of a post-money, open access economy. I believe this will ultimately prove to be the only viable path for humanity over the next century.


I wrote...

F-Day: The Second Dawn Of Man

By Colin R. Turner,

Book cover of F-Day: The Second Dawn Of Man

What is my book about?

F-Day is the story of a society coming of age. Where one man’s refusal to accept modern life as the best humanity has to offer starts a countdown clock, counting down to a better, post-money world, then embarks on a quest for knowledge, a journey across four continents, against the mighty machine of politics, media, and dark forces to found a society that has superseded money in the unlikeliest of places: Iceland.

After facing down an economic cataclysm, Iceland struggles in its new, fragile post-money prototype, inadvertently becoming the focus of political leaders across the world, deadly curious, daring it to fail. But to everyone’s amazement, Iceland slowly steadies itself and begins to blossom...

Edge of Oblivion

By Joshua A. Johnston,

Book cover of Edge of Oblivion: Chronicles of Sarco Series (Book 1)

I was intrigued by this storyline that despite the futuristic setting, the sacredness of the old still remained. It goes to show that truth is timeless and can withstand the test and challenges of time. In addition, I like the premise that no matter how one looks on the outside, we are pretty much the same on the inside and there is an unseen force that can unite beings at an intangible level.


Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by science fiction and by Biblical Scripture. That may seem dichotomous to some, but not to me. I have a passion for science and for Scripture because both bring understanding about our world from the microcosm to the macrocosm. My writings are a mixture of science and mystery with a science fiction feel and a Christian perspective. I like stories that show how truth arises even from the dark, confusing, and ambiguity of life to help one discover something about God they may not have considered before, and at the same time enjoy a fun, fast-paced, and exciting journey as they read.


I wrote...

Myeem: Book One of the Erabon Prophecy Trilogy

By Randy C. Dockens,

Book cover of Myeem: Book One of the Erabon Prophecy Trilogy

What is my book about?

Nuke got his nickname from his best friend who called him nuclear because of the increased electrical conductance in his skin when they both joined the Interstellar Exploration Federation and became stationed on Neptune’s moon Triton where they are charged to assemble an interstellar gate so mankind can explore farther into the universe.

Because of a gate accident, Nuke is thrown so far into the universe he does not know where he is or how to get home. Yet, he discovers a planet made almost entirely of water where the humanoids are physically very different from him. The things he can do due to his skin’s electrical current help them to think he may be the forerunner to the return of their deity, Erabon.

Tales of Power

By Carlos Castaneda,

Book cover of Tales of Power

For me, this book is the bible. Reading it in the early ’70s, I had never before felt the excitement of exploring a worldview as different from that which I inherited from my culture as it could be. As I read, I experienced a powerful calling to question every aspect of my worldview and every belief I had considered to be just the way things are. I believe it was that calling that allowed me to open my mind and my heart to a more loving and satisfying understanding of myself and of human beings in general. Of all the spiritual teachings I have encountered, none has been more profound in making me a better human being than those in this book.


Who am I?

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.


I wrote...

Hoodwinked: Uncovering Our Fundamental Superstitions

By Larry Gottlieb,

Book cover of Hoodwinked: Uncovering Our Fundamental Superstitions

What is my book about?

One day in 1974, I had an experience that forever changed the way I look at life. And now that I have gone through that door, I find I can never go back.

Join me on my search for a deeper understanding of what it is to be a human being, the truth about our belief systems, the stories we’ve been hoodwinked into believing, and how, by uncovering our fundamental superstitions we can all, ultimately, open that door too.

Thr3e

By Ted Dekker,

Book cover of Thr3e

This suspenseful thriller keeps you absolutely guessing with all the twists and turns. For a “Christian’ book, it definitely has some elements that might raise some eyebrows and is totally unexpected in its outcome. I honestly didn’t see the ending coming. Three is an exemplary example of out-of-the-box storytelling with an edge. 


Who am I?

I love books and movies that contain paranormal, supernatural, or Sci-fi elements. I also enjoy a good romance, especially when it contains “forbidden” elements or some major obstacles. However, I don’t always appreciate work that is too graphic. As a person of Christian faith, I have often found it challenging to find books and movies that pique my interests but that aren’t preachy or full of pat answers, especially if they come from a Christian worldview. I’ve listed some of my absolute favorites that meet all the criteria: suspense, thrills, a bit of edgy content without being too graphic, and a touch of the unexpected.


I wrote...

Conspiracy of Bones: And the Beat Goes On

By Tracy Krauss,

Book cover of Conspiracy of Bones: And the Beat Goes On

What is my book about?

Canadian-born archaeologist Mark Graham unearths a remarkable discovery while at a dig in the mountains of Zimbabwe – pterodactyl remains and giant human bones buried together. Speculation leads to the possible existence of a mythical race known as ‘Nephilim’, a pre-flood people alleged to have descended from both gods and men. But skepticism and sabotage delay Mark and his team as the dig site is compromised, putting their discovery – as well as Mark’s very life – in grave danger. Deceived and framed by trusted friends and colleagues, Mark struggles to safeguard his findings and protect his reputation in order to unearth the mystery behind the bones. 

The Red Feather

By April W Gardner,

Book cover of The Red Feather

The Indigenous male protagonist is portrayed in a way that elevates him beyond what is commonly seen in a historical romance of this era and locale. Set in the southern USA, it is full of historical details and descriptions while celebrating a mixed-race relationship in a time period when such a thing was shunned. It comes from a Christian worldview but is still very respectful of his Indigenous culture and beliefs. We see him for the man he is and without judgment - not just wrapped in a cultural shroud. 


Who am I?

I love books and movies that contain paranormal, supernatural, or Sci-fi elements. I also enjoy a good romance, especially when it contains “forbidden” elements or some major obstacles. However, I don’t always appreciate work that is too graphic. As a person of Christian faith, I have often found it challenging to find books and movies that pique my interests but that aren’t preachy or full of pat answers, especially if they come from a Christian worldview. I’ve listed some of my absolute favorites that meet all the criteria: suspense, thrills, a bit of edgy content without being too graphic, and a touch of the unexpected.


I wrote...

Conspiracy of Bones: And the Beat Goes On

By Tracy Krauss,

Book cover of Conspiracy of Bones: And the Beat Goes On

What is my book about?

Canadian-born archaeologist Mark Graham unearths a remarkable discovery while at a dig in the mountains of Zimbabwe – pterodactyl remains and giant human bones buried together. Speculation leads to the possible existence of a mythical race known as ‘Nephilim’, a pre-flood people alleged to have descended from both gods and men. But skepticism and sabotage delay Mark and his team as the dig site is compromised, putting their discovery – as well as Mark’s very life – in grave danger. Deceived and framed by trusted friends and colleagues, Mark struggles to safeguard his findings and protect his reputation in order to unearth the mystery behind the bones. 

Flight of Shadows

By Sigmund Brouwer,

Book cover of Flight of Shadows

In this sequel to Broken Angel, the main character has been genetically altered (spoiler) and must now live a life of secrecy and shame. As the story unfolds we see the darkness behind the circumstances of her birth. There is hope at the end of the book, though not necessarily what one would expect. It is a book that keeps you thinking long after you finish, almost haunting in its effects. It is beautifully written and I would read it many times over. 


Who am I?

I love books and movies that contain paranormal, supernatural, or Sci-fi elements. I also enjoy a good romance, especially when it contains “forbidden” elements or some major obstacles. However, I don’t always appreciate work that is too graphic. As a person of Christian faith, I have often found it challenging to find books and movies that pique my interests but that aren’t preachy or full of pat answers, especially if they come from a Christian worldview. I’ve listed some of my absolute favorites that meet all the criteria: suspense, thrills, a bit of edgy content without being too graphic, and a touch of the unexpected.


I wrote...

Conspiracy of Bones: And the Beat Goes On

By Tracy Krauss,

Book cover of Conspiracy of Bones: And the Beat Goes On

What is my book about?

Canadian-born archaeologist Mark Graham unearths a remarkable discovery while at a dig in the mountains of Zimbabwe – pterodactyl remains and giant human bones buried together. Speculation leads to the possible existence of a mythical race known as ‘Nephilim’, a pre-flood people alleged to have descended from both gods and men. But skepticism and sabotage delay Mark and his team as the dig site is compromised, putting their discovery – as well as Mark’s very life – in grave danger. Deceived and framed by trusted friends and colleagues, Mark struggles to safeguard his findings and protect his reputation in order to unearth the mystery behind the bones. 

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