Below you’ll find a spattering of books that I’d call favorites or thought forming for me. No book here dictates my politics, world views, or religion, they’re all simply sources of information I use to form my own thoughts. Pairing Darwin and Dawkins with ‘Knowing God’, and C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Great Divorce’, makes for interesting thought and introspection.
The phrase ‘knowledge is power’ gets thrown around so often that it loses it’s meaning. That is sad. The power of a book is that unlike video it forces your imagination to draw the pictures, to formulate the ideas, to work. The beauty of a book is that it offers thoughts, ideas, and information that you may freely accept, or leave right on the pages where you found it.
The following are either books I’ve read or purchased and are simply waiting to be devoured. Define the Cloud is an Amazon affiliate, so purchasing using these links supports the site.
Science and Math
You probably talk about evolution, maybe even use the word with your buzzwords. Have you actually read the book?
‘On the Origin of the Species’ – Charles Darwin
‘Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray’ – Sabine Hossenfelder
‘The Future of Life’ – Edward O. Wilson
‘The Gene: An Intimate History’ – Siddhartha Mukherjee
‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’ – Yuval Noah Harari
Religion has always been an interest and passion of mine. I’m drawn to both the differences, and infinite parallels between major religions. Most of my study has been with ‘Western Religions’, and I’m now beginning to dive into the ‘east’.
‘Knowing God’ – J. I. Packer
‘The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design’ – Richard Dawkins
I chose the following edition from the various options for its accuracy and readability. In my research it appears to be the closest English version of the original Greek intent. This is of course very arguable.
‘New American Standard Bible’
No study of Christianity is complete without a look at ‘The Old Testament.’ Combine these books with the Jewish Torah to get a few different perspectives and solid background.
‘The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament’ https://amzn.to/2DtiKn9
‘The Old Testament’ https://amzn.to/2DKiiSr
While I’ve read the Torah, I’ve yet to study with a Jewish practitioner who speaks Hebrew. I feel that is a necessity for any real understanding, and its on my to-do list.
‘The Torah’ https://amzn.to/2Dq2lQg
The following is my choice for an English version of the Qur’an. Again, this is a subjective decision. What I’ve found when studying Islam is that it’s best to study alongside a practicing Muslim, and native Arabic speaker.
My study started with a friend and co-worker when I was 16. His father was the caretaker for one of the largest Mosques on the east coast. We would sit in the library of the Mosque and study various religions from the vast variety of books housed there.
‘The Holy Qur’an: Explanatory English Translation’
How the Mind Works
The mind is an interesting place. Much of the way we assume we work is far from the truth. These books have given me a better understanding of just how odd our big brains are.
‘Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies’ – Nick Bostrom
‘The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry’ – Lance Dodes
Business and Leadership
If you choose to lead or run a business, you must never stop learning. Any information is good information, it’s your choice how you use it. I’ve found that reading a single book and following it whole-heartedly is a path to failure. Rare is the advice that has universal applicability.
It doesn’t matter what you do, selling is key to the success of it. Selling ideas, companies, products, or yourself (as in promotion/salary conversations.)
‘Sell or be Sold’ – Grant Cardone
‘The Closer’s Survival Guide’ – Grant Cardone
A fantastic look at how companies and leaders inspire.
‘Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action’ – Simon Sinek
I formerly worked at World Wide Technology, WWT. It was by far the best company I’ve ever worked for. It’s founder Dave Steward wrote this book, I attribute much of WWT’s fantastic culture to it.
‘Doing Business by the Good book: Fifty-Two Lessons on Success Straight from the Bible’ – Dave Steward
‘Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most’ – Douglas Stone
‘Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In’ – Roger Fisher
‘Digital Vortex’ – Jeff Loucks
‘The Innovators Dilemma’ – Clayton M. Christensen
History and Law
The US Declaration of Independence, stop quoting it and go read it.
The 10X Rule -Grant Cardone
A great quick read. Take in the four agreements and simply work to incorporate them daily. The 4th agreement is the key to success with the first three.
The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
‘Be Obsessed or be Average’ – Grant Cardone
I spent many years considering fiction to be a waste of my time. I’ve come to understand that thought was a partial waste of those years. Fiction sparks new thought, teaches lessons in story form, and draws you away from the daily grind giving your mind space to imagine.
One of my favorite humans and authors is Dr. Seuss. His whimsical stories, and beautifully silly artwork told an underlying story of conservation that was way ahead of its time. Pick up any of his books, but start here.
‘The Lorax’ – Dr. Seuss
One of my favorites from childhood. A series I read again as an adult and loved as much or more than the first time.
‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ – C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles led me to another book by C.S. Lewis that is on my to read list.
‘The Great Divorce’ – C.S. Lewis
‘The Book of Lost Things; – John Connolly
‘Dune’ – Frank Herbert
‘Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell’ – Susanna Clarke
‘Bleak House’ – Charles Dickens