Library of Ideas

reading listStephen King once said that the key to being a great writer is to read and lot, and this is true for being a great thinker as well. One of the realizations I’ve made as I’ve become more well-read is how often you find that someone has had the same thoughts as you and has put effort into them. This allows you to move more rapidly through terrain.

Originally, I intended for this to be a list focused on philosophy and logic, but as I was putting the list together, I found that I’d be sending you out to read increasingly minute takes on the same thing. For this reason, I decided to split the list into topics, and only post 5 books each topic. This is not exhaustive, but the goal it to maximize the breadth of a field, rather than going into detail.

Table of Contents

Political Science
Epistemology and Logic
Reading People and Persuasion
Mental fortitude
Biology and Sex
Continental European Literature
American Literature
Russian/Soviet Literature
British literature

Political Science

The Republic” by Plato

“Politics” by Aristotle

“The Great Political Theories” Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Michael Curtis

The Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill

Epistemology and Logic

Dialogues by Plato

Rhetoric by Aristotle

Categories by Aristotle

Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant

The Logic of Scientific Discovery by Karl Popper


Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals – Immanuel Kant

Utilitarianism – John Stuart Mill

Ethics – Baruch de Spinoza

Beyond Good and Evil – Friedrich Nietzsche


A History of the English Speaking Peoples by Sir. Winston Churchill

Europe: A History by Norman Davies

History: The Ancient Civilizations That Defined History by Roman Collins

A history of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell


The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Reading People and Persuasion

Covert Persuasion by Kevin Hogan

What every body is saying by Joe Navarro

Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman

Influence by Dr. Robert Caldini

Mental Fortitude

Letters by Seneca the younger

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius


The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Das Kapital by Karl Marx

The Road to Serfdom by F.A Hayek

Capitalism and freedom by Milton Friedman

The General theory of employment, interest and money by John Maynard Keynes


Competitive advantage by Michael Porter

The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning by Henry Mintzberg

The Firm, the market and the law by R.H. Coase

The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle by Joseph Schumpeter

Common stocks and uncommon profits by Philip A. Fischer

Biology and Sex

The Red Queen: Sex and the evolution of human nature by Matt Ridley

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi

The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker


Dangerous personalities by Joe Navarro

The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious by C.G. Jung

A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud

Thinking fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Snakes in Suits by Robert Hare


Continental European Literature

Faust by Goethe

The Inferno by Dante

An enemy of the people by Henrik Ibsen

All the best by Voltaire

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

American Literature

Catcher in the rye by J.D Sallinger

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Soviet and Russian Literature

A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Trial by Franz Kafka

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

British Literature

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Lord of the flies by William Golding

Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde