General Question

silverfly's avatar

I think I'm getting dumber. What are some good books to read?

Asked by silverfly (4045points) April 13th, 2010

I wasn’t pushed very hard to read as a child, and I’m paying the price. I think my mind is slipping from monotony. I’d like to try and start a book per month program. What are some good books that I can read that will be challenging, interesting, and enjoyable? I’m looking for books that are easier to read than Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the US” and more difficult than Harry Potter.

Subjects I like: philosophy, technology, nature, science fiction, fiction, fantasy, etc. But I’m open to anything.

Any suggestions?

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25 Answers

jfos's avatar

“The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

jfos's avatar

“Candide” by Voltaire.

john65pennington's avatar

I love to locate and read The Guinness Book Of World Record. most of the older books are at Goodwill stores and cost $3–4 dollars. the books are interesting and informative. each page is different and contains different information of records held around the world.

No sense of being dull here. each page holds your interest and keeps those brain cells alive.

Also, try playing bingo. its good for your brain and eye to arm and hand contact.

Vunessuh's avatar

My favorite book is The Painted Bird.

Lve's avatar

The Dune series by Frank Herbert. It touches upon all the subjects mentioned in your question.

Cartman's avatar

Long and good: The Lord of the Rings
Short and good: Anything by Terry Pratchett

ambos's avatar

Margaret Atwood is awesome. Her books aren’t too taxing and they’re incredibly good.

unique's avatar

sounds like we enjoy the same topics; i like science writing and you might too…the collector and ravens in winter were pretty awesome.

Seek's avatar

“Fingerprints of the Gods” by Graham Hancock
“God and the New Physics” Paul Davies
“The Foundation Trilogy” Isaac Asimov
“The Prophet” Kahlil Gibran
“Timeline” Michael Crichton

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m sorry, but I only came here to confirm your suspicion. If you ask this crew for book recommendations, and then follow up on those, then all your friends will be confirming that suspicion of yours, too.

But since I’m here…

I very much enjoyed Ghosts of Vesuvius by Charles Pellegrino. Really fascinating, and an entertaining, fast read for non-fiction (history, cosmology, geology, biology, astronomy, religion and the Titanic, all collected).

dpworkin's avatar

Dumbness for Dummies

janbb's avatar

Oh, you do make me laugh, pd!

squidcake's avatar

Anything by Ray Bradbury seems like it would suit you well according to your description.
I know he suits me well.
You could start by reading the Martian Chronicles by Bradbury. It’s like a collection of short stories but they’re all connected into one plot. It’s a great read. And his writing style is beautiful without being difficult.

PacificToast's avatar

Anything by Malcolm Gladwell will make you think. :D

Cruiser's avatar

First thing I would do is raise the bar….go for a book a week which should be doable. Secondly throw yourself at the mercy of a local librarian as they know books and they know people and could help you find a book or ten or twenty you should enjoy reading.

syzygy2600's avatar

Take some time off from the internet. Seriously. We’ve been conditioned to believe it’s enlightening, but its killing more brains than television and crack combined.

That being said, I recommend Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.

thriftymaid's avatar

Read Patricia Cornwell. You won’t be bored.

tranquilsea's avatar

Anything by Samuel Becket. I love this quote, “The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.” from, “Murphy”.

Read Lord Acton’s, The History of Freedom In Antiquity. He’s the fellow who gave us this quote, “Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Compare and contrast The Communist Manifesto with The Wealth of Nations.

Research pivotal social changers like Thomas Paine, John Cartwright, John Horne Tooke, William Godwin, and William Blake.

silverfly's avatar

Looks like I’ll be busy reading for a long time. If you don’t see me on here for a while, it’s your fault! :)

Response moderated
panic_switch's avatar

catch 22 or zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance i would also recommend.

dodobird's avatar

I LOVE to suggest things!!
***Camouflage – Joe Haldeman (If you only choose one book out of this list you should choose this one!!!)***
Animal Farm & 1984 – George Orwell
The Golden Compass Series
The House of The Scorpion by Nancy Farmer is less difficult to read but it’s VERY interesting
Lord of the Flies you probably read in school

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