Book List - February
Updated: Jul 31
Over the last 365 days, I read 40+ books. Among them, some are selected as recommended book list to help people who are keen in learning about philosophy or sociology. Let's find out!
Recommendation level: 4/5
This book focused on the psychological studies in human behaviors when people are involved in a larger social group or simply just a group of anonymous people.
The Interpretation of Dreams
Happiness (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series)
Recommendation level: 3/5
This book helps me to realize and understand what happiness can do with my life. There are 7 chapters written by 7 different psychologists and social science researchers in this book, each with their own unique studies about happiness. For example, chapter 1-5 focus on the positive influence that happiness brings us, such as resilience, purpose, high efficiency at work, etc. With these characters and emotions, one can appreciate happiness more easily as well. Chapter 6-7 is more interesting, as they stated too much happiness can later cause harm/low productivity in life, such as toxic positivity.
1984 & Animal Farm
Recommendation level: 5/5
George Orwell's two most famous books, which depict the pictures of an imagined future ruled under Russia's and China's totalitarian ideology. Giving the readers a thorough understanding into George Orwell's mind, a democratic socialist's view of the other political ideologies, such as consequentialism, communism, and massive fake propaganda.
Being and Nothingness
Recommendation level: 4.5/5
A 1943 book by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. In the book, the philosopher develops a philosophical account in support of his existentialism, dealing with topics such as consciousness, social philosophy, and the question of free will.
Sartre's existentialism shares its philosophical starting point. The first thing we can be aware of is our existence, even when we doubt everything else. In Nausea, the main character's feeling of dizziness towards his own existence is induced by things, not thinking. This dizziness occurs "in the face of one's freedom and responsibility for giving a meaning to reality". Sartre rejects the primacy of knowledge and offers a different conception of knowledge and consciousness.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Recommendation level: 3.5/5
The story takes place in Prague in the between late 1960s to early 1970s. It explores the artistic and intellectual life of Czech society from the Prague Spring of 1968 to the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union and three other Warsaw Pact countries and its aftermath. The most intriguing part about this book is the philosophical argument the book tried to present to us. The comparison between the heavy burden each person carries in their heart, consisted of their lives, friends, dreams, and each person's role in the historical moment, magnifies the lightness of a person to the rest of the world.