Exploring philosophy yields countless benefits, prompting deeper and more critical thinking about the world. It broadens our understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives while enhancing self-awareness and values. Philosophy challenges our assumptions, spurring introspection and reshaping our views on society. Here, we present a curated list of the top 9 philosophy books to embark on an enlightening journey.
1. The Power of One Thought: Master Your Mind, Master Your Life by BK Shivani
Feeling overwhelmed with a million thoughts? Struggling to sit quietly for just fifteen minutes? Troubled by constant questioning? This book is your solution. In “The Power of One: Master Your Mind, Master Your Life,” renowned spiritual teacher BK Shivani shares her profound wisdom, guiding millions on transformative self-discovery. Discover the incredible impact of each thought on your feelings, actions, and destiny. Sister Shivani shows how our thoughts shape our reality, offering simple methods for effective thinking. Find perpetual happiness, strong relationships, and career success through reflection exercises, self-care, and guided meditations. Unleash your mind’s true potential with this essential read.
2. A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
In the bustling city of Tokyo, a sixteen-year-old girl named Nao seeks refuge from her loneliness and classmates’ bullying by documenting the remarkable life of her great-grandmother, a centenarian Buddhist nun. Across the Pacific, novelist Ruth discovers artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox, potentially remnants of the devastating 2011 tsunami. As Ruth unravels the mystery of these artifacts, she becomes entwined in Nao’s poignant journey and her own future, exploring the intricate relationship between writer and reader, past and present, and the eternal search for belonging. A Tale For The Time Being is a captivating and humorous exploration of our shared humanity, seamlessly blending history, myth, quantum physics, and the quest for a place to call home.
3. Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
Being and Nothingness is a profoundly influential philosophical masterpiece of the 20th century. It challenged existing assumptions about our relationship with the world and had an immediate, worldwide impact on culture and literature. Often dubbed the ‘Bible of existentialism,’ its enduring relevance continues to compel readers to grapple with fundamental dilemmas of human freedom, choice, responsibility, and action, even after 70 years since its publication.
4. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
This pocket edition presents a lucid translation of the revered Tao Teh Ching, a timeless Taoist classic, by esteemed scholar Dr. John C. H. Wu. Written over two thousand years ago, this profound work, attributed to the legendary Lao Tzu, teaches the qualities of an enlightened sage and an ideal ruler, which also reflect the virtues of a perfected individual. Dr. Wu’s translation captures the original’s depth and freshness, making it relevant for mastering leadership, finding balance, and fostering generosity in both personal and professional realms. Part of the Shambhala Pocket Library series, this book distills over 50 years of wisdom from Shambhala Publications into a collectible, reader-friendly format applicable to everyday life.
5. The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, exudes joy and encourages those around him to smile. He believes that happiness is life’s purpose and guides us in overcoming anxiety, anger, and insecurity. Collaborating with Dr. Cutler, he explores everyday challenges like relationships and loss, showing us how to find inner peace amidst life’s obstacles.
6. The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
Unveil a beautifully packaged daily devotional of Stoic wisdom, featuring new translations of celebrated Stoics, historical context, and practical tips from bestselling author Ryan Holiday. Stoic philosophy, the secret weapon of history’s greatest leaders, resonates with people from all walks of life today, offering a unique blend of practicality and wisdom for navigating daily challenges. With a page-per-day format, this resource presents fresh translations of the greatest Stoic passages, including lesser-known philosophers, accompanied by insightful commentary. Building on Ryan Holiday’s renowned book “The Obstacle is the Way,” this guide incorporates twelve monthly themes and a helpful glossary, empowering action-oriented individuals in our fast-paced world with new daily rituals and perspectives to cultivate balanced action, profound insight, effectiveness, and serenity.
7. Think Like A Monk: Train Your Mind For Peace And Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty
Jay Shetty, the social media sensation and host of the popular podcast On Purpose, distills the timeless wisdom he gained as a monk into practical daily steps for a more meaningful and anxiety-free life. Thinking like a monk means overcoming negativity, stopping overthinking, understanding that comparison hampers love, using fear constructively, realizing happiness isn’t found by seeking it externally, learning from every encounter, separating yourself from your thoughts, finding your purpose, valuing kindness for success, and more. Shetty’s unconventional journey from monastic life to becoming an influential influencer began when he coached stressed and unhappy friends from his corporate past, leading to his massive following of over 38 million on social media, 8 billion views on viral videos, and a top-ranked podcast. In his empowering book, Shetty shares how to unlock our potential, conquer negativity, and embrace inner calm and purpose. Think Like a Monk offers practical exercises for stress reduction, improved relationships, and sharing our gifts with the world, proving that anyone can adopt a monk’s mindset.
8. The Wind That Lays Waste by Selva Almada
An enchanting philosophical book that delves into the profound themes of faith and morality. Translated from its original Spanish version, The Wind That Lays Waste introduces us to a captivating ensemble of four characters, each representing a unique set of beliefs and principles. As the story unfolds, we witness a day in their lives, during which they engage in heartfelt conversations and gradually uncover the essence of one another. Reverend Pearson and his daughter, Leni, find themselves in a predicament when their car suddenly breaks down. Fate leads them to cross paths with two other intriguing personalities: Gringo Bauer, a weathered mechanic, and Tapioca, a young boy who resides with him. Together, these characters embark on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and connection.
9. I’m Waiting For You And Other Stories by Kim Bo-Young
I’m Waiting for You is a captivating anthology of speculative short stories that delves into the eternal debate of fate versus free will, while also exploring the essence of what it truly means to be human. Originally penned in Korean, this collection weaves together four interconnected narratives. The first two stories follow the journey of a couple as they strive to synchronize their individual space missions, driven by their desire to reunite on Earth and celebrate their marriage. The subsequent two stories introduce us to godlike beings, the very creators of humankind, who keenly observe Earth and its inhabitants, prompting profound philosophical musings.
Which of these philosophy books do you plan to read? Share with us in the comments below!