From my readers and my archives I have selected the following books you might enjoy this Autumn and into the Winter. Some are light reading and others are thick, heavy makes-you-look-smart books. I hope at least one stands out as a cool addition to your Kindle or book shelf! All of the links are affiliate links which means if a bunch of you all click them, you buy me part of a tank of gas. If you don't like affiliate links on principle, feel free to look them up in Amazon in a different window. No hard feelings.
Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) Most folks either love it or hate it. Ayn Rand, an unabashed atheist and capitalist, paints a gloomy picture of what the world looks like as collectivism takes over. The fans of the book appreciate the emphasis on individualism, pride in one's own work and the virtue of trading with our fellow men over use of force or emotional manipulation. Like it or hate it, it is a thought provoking book. She also wrote the Fountainhead. Same story on a smaller scale. If you read only one, make it Atlas Shrugged.
Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith) A surprisingly approachable and often funny explanation of the modern economy of trade and division of labor. Sort of a capitalist primer. Again, whether you love it or loathe it, it has shaped the world we live in and is worth a read for that reason alone.
The Art of War (Sun Tzu) A Chinese military strategist lays out principles for victory in warfare. If you can look at the lessons abstractly, you can apply it to your own mindset and to the power struggles that we face every day. With much power comes much responsibility. So, don't go invading Canada after you finish reading it just because you could.
Moby Dick (Herman Melville) A classic novel of man-versus-himself and man-versus-nature. It has earned its "classic" status for good reason. The writing is vivid and the narrative speaks to the emotions and hubris we all face and must (or should) overcome.
Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson) Kind of like the movie Princess Bride or Toy Story, this is one of those books that has broad appeal to young and old. If you are looking for an old-timey adventure--look no further.
Gospel of John (J.C. Ryle edition) Regardless of your religious or philosophical views, the life of Jesus made a huge dent on the world (even our calendar). Of the four accounts of the time Jesus spent on Earth in the Bible, John's is widely considered the most approachable and warm.
Principa Mathmatica (I. Bernard Cohen) I have no idea what this book is about but it would make me look so smart if I were reading it under a tree while smoking my Meerschaum pipe...
Thus Spake Zarathustra (Friedrich Nietzsche) Well, we've had an atheist and a Christian on the list--why not throw in a nihilist? Not that it matters.
Space, Time and Spacetime (Lawrence Sklar) Something, something, philosophy and physics. Sounds intriguing. Where and when and wherewhen will I read it?
The Golden Baugh (James George Frazer) So, we used to be primitive. We had sex and did weird things. Now, we are civilized and have sex and do weird things. Read about it here.
Celestial Navigation: A Practical Guide (Arthur E. Davies) As distinct from all of those esoteric celestial navigation books, this book shows you how to navigate using the sun, in a practical way.
The Ashley Book of Knots (Clifford W. Ashley) This book goes into great detail about 4,000 knots. That is 3,997 more than I know. (shoe laces, half-Windsor, full-Windsor).
The Goal (Eliyahu M. Goldratt) What do you get when you combine an Israeli physicist with manufacturing process improvement theories in the form of an awkwardly written novel? One hell of a good book, actually. It is weird, but really good if you are able to apply the principles contained within, in your own life.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey) So, now we have an atheist, a Christian, a nihilist and a Mormon. I feel we are pretty even handed around these parts. This book is filled with wisdom and will fill in a lot of the cracks that you may have from life knocking you around or what you didn't learn from your dad or grandpa. I have read it multiple times and always become a better man with each reading. Very solid book. Not one of those cheesy self-help books at all.
The Rise to the Top (Zig Ziglar) Zig Ziglar and Mr. Rogers are like the world's two grandpas. Nothing you read in this book will be something you haven't heard or thought before, but the way Mr. Ziglar lays it out makes it so encouraging and feasible. A wonderful book for any guy you know that could use a little encouragement.
A Year with C.S. Lewis (C.S. Lewis) Better known for the Chronicles of Narnia, he was also an Oxford professor and atheist that converted to Christianity. He also hung out with J. R. R. Tolkien who wrote Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Smart guy, pretty open about his struggles and also very bright. Makes you think a lot, even if you disagree with some of what he says.