Some direction for my reading

I have gotten a little help with my reading from, of all people, Neil deGrasse Tyson.  No, he didn’t really say, “Hey, Nancy, I think  you should read these books.”  But he answered a question: “Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on the planet?”  I figure his thoughts on this topic are probably something I should consider.  When I read the list, posted on Open Culture,   I decided I would include these eight in my 2012 reading.  The 8 books, along with Open Culture‘s links to where to get them for free and Dr. Tyson’s teasers about why they are important, are:

1.) The Bible (eBook) – “to learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself.”

2.) The System of the World by Isaac Newton (eBook) – “to learn that the universe is a knowable place.”

3.) On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (eBookAudio Book) – “to learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth.”

4.) Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (eBookAudio Book) – “to learn, among other satirical lessons, that most of the time humans are Yahoos.”

5.) The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (eBookAudio Book) – “to learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world.”

6.) The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (eBookAudio Book) – “to learn that capitalism is an economy of greed, a force of nature unto itself.”

7.) The Art of War by Sun Tsu (eBookAudio Book) – “to learn that the act of killing fellow humans can be raised to an art.”

8.) The Prince by Machiavelli (eBookAudio Book) – “to learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it.”

While I do not expect these 8 books will take me all year to read, I want to include them in my reading in 2012.

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