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Never Read Passively

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The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann, Leonard Peikoff
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
David Mitchell
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon, Daniel J. Boorstin, Gian Battista Piranesi, Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Perfect Wrong Note - Learning to Trust Your Musical Self
William Westney
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Varieties of Religious Experience
William James
Twenty Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
G. Lee Bowie, Robert C. Solomon

Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment

Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment - Tal Ben-Shahar If you're disillusioned with self-help in general, but would like to feel happier (and who wouldn't?), I highly recommend looking into positive psychology. This book is a decent place to start. Happier is a good overview of practical positive psychology. It's written a style similar to many self-help books, it has practical suggestions and exercises, but it generally sticks closer to the more scientific approach of positive psychology that the author teaches in his extremely popular Harvard course. If you're interested in some of the more philosophic or academic ideas in positive psychology, try Jonathan Haidt's Happiness Hypothesis or anything by Martin Seligman. Ben Shahar's style is much more practical for actually helping you lead a happier life than either of theirs, but at the same time, it's less intellectual. Either way though, if you're unfamiliar with positive psychology, it's worth your time to check it out.