The simple act of reading may help you become smarter, but if you really want to learn to use the old noggin you will want to read the following 10 books that will make you smarter. The following literary works are filled with thought provoking prose that will make you think, analyze, question and laugh. They range from timeless classics to modern day masterpieces. Let’s take a look:
The Stranger – Albert Camus
The Stranger is a novel by famed author Albert Camus. It was published in 1942. The book explores several philosophical schools of thought including determinism and naturalism. The book centers on a murder committed by an Algerian man named Meursault. It is divided into two parts and includes Meursault’s narrative pre and post-murder.
East of Eden – John Steinbeck
Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck referred to this as his greatest novel. The book’s inspiration comes from Genesis Chapter 4 in the bible which tells the story of Cain and Able. The book explores themes of love, acceptance, self-destruction and guilt.
The Trial – Franz Kafka
The Trial by Franz Kafka tells the tale of a man arrested and prosecuted by a mysterious authority for an unknown crime. The book was published in 1925, one year after Kafka’s death. The book’s main character, Josef K., is arrested for an unidentified crime by an unidentified authority.
Ulysses – James Joyce
This James Joyce masterpiece has been dubbed one of the most important works of modern literature. The book chronicles the life of Leopold Bloom and parallels many events and character in Homer’s Odyssey. The book is over 265,000 words.
Paradise Lost – John Milton
Paradise lost is an epic poem originally published in 1667 in ten separate books. The poem is about the fall of man, the temptation of Adam and Eve and their subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The book attempts to justify the ways of God to men.
Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
In Rand’s fourth and last novel, also considered by many her magnum opus, the themes of objectivism, ethical egoism and rational selfishness are put on full display. The characters live out her philosophy on rationality, honesty, freedom and productivity. The book was blasted by critics and politicians yet remains widely popular to this day.
I, Lucifer: Finally the Other Side of the Story – Glen Duncan
I, Lucifer is a 2003 novel written by Glen Duncan. In the book, God presents Satan with a chance at redemption and offers him a month long trial, but Satan instead uses it as a vacation in the body of struggling, suicidal writer Declan Gunn.
Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think – George lakoff
This book delves into the two distinct worldviews held by conservatives and liberals that shape their belief systems. Lakoff argues that conservatives see the world as strict fathers where hard work and discipline make up one’s value while liberals see people as needing care and assistance.
Metaphors We Live By – George Lakoff
This book is based on the cognitive linguistic research by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. The book discusses how conceptual metaphors are used in everyday language to shape communication and to understand theories and models.
Amusing Ourselves to Death Neil Postman
Postman’s novel discusses how mass media, including television, has deemphasized quality information for quantity.
Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations for us? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!