Ever since I read “Ishmael” by Dan Quinn (and his other books, of course) I haven’t bothered with much other literature; this book has changed my life and the way I view our culture, and even more importantly, the human place in the community of life.
Throughout my life I have been in and out of various religions and philosophies so I can safely claim I’ve stood on “each side of the fence”. Taoism, Zen, Bhuddism, Atheism up to born-again Christian (“hah”, I can hear you say, “you weren’t truely born again if you went back from that!” ;-), I’ve had it all.
The notion conveyed in Quinn’s books is closest to a very early Taoism in my opinion which might be due to the fact that Taoism itself is very very old, just like man, so is probably not as “tainted” in its concepts as most other taker religions like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and what not.
This does not imply that Dan’s books are about religion; only marginally in fact. If you’re interested of a first glimpse into his ideas I’d recommend you check the website at Ishmael.org or this document.
On the “meaning of life”
- “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn
- “The selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins
- “The Story of B” by Daniel Quinn
- “My Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn
- “Beyond Civilization” by Daniel Quinn
- “Cryptonomicon” and most other stuff written by Neal Stephenson (such as “Snow Crash” and “The Diamond Age”)
- Anything by Niven and Pournelle (too bad the latter is such an ignorant windows head, but he used to write excellent novels 😉
- The “Rama” series by Arthur C. Clarke
- “Dune” by Frank Herbert (of course)
Science (not Fiction)
- The Feynman Lectures on Physics
- “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan (also an excellent TV series)
- “Choosing and using a 20CM SCT” by Rob Molise
- “Die schönsten Himmelsobjekte” by Hans Vehrenberg
- “Life in the pit Lane” by Steve Matchett
- “Going faster” by Paul Lopez
- “Drive to win” by Carol Smith
- “Grand Prix” by Rainer Schlegelmilch
- “Lord of the Rings” by Tolkien (in fact, anything by Tolkien 😉
History / General Interest
- “Constantinople” by Roger Crowley
- “Empires of the Sea” by Roger Crowley