I have to admit I was quite surprised at Cherry‘s question on which 3 books I thought everyone should read.
I thought: … ??? … errr … 3 … books?
In the end, I delivered my answer in 3 instalments. 🙂 Because I’m such a fast thinker, of course.
1. Erich Fromm: Escape from Freedom
2. Cordelia Fine: Delusions of Gender
3. Douglas Adams: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
(check the link for explanations). I need to check Cordelia Fine 🙂
Well, I discovered she “took Adams already” and I thought I shouldn’t mention him any more, but I still managed to decide on 3 books of my own, which I think are REALLY worth reading – though I wouldn’t want to persuade you into doing them, it’s just that they feel most important to me. So, my personal most favourite books are:
A. A. Milne: Winnie-the-Pooh – I read it as an adult and it still managed to exert a strong influence upon me. The things is, I read “Pu der Bär” first, only to find out Harry Rowohlt must have done a marvellous job translating Milne. Then I heard cassettes (!), on which Harry Rowohlt reads his own translation. Then I read some other things by Harry Rowohlt, got myself a fluffy Piglet, Tigger, Pooh and Eeyore (that is: Ferkel, Tiger, Pu and I-Ah) to put on the shelf and then, yes, only then did I read Milne’s book for the first time. I dare say it is as good as its German translation. 😆
Michael Schmidt-Salomon: Manifesto of Evolutionary Humanism: A Plea for a Contemporary Culture (Manifest des evolutionären Humanismus) – This is not a book to be read by children and adults alike, but it does provide many answers to questions one may still have, confirm some vague ideas one might have acquired coincidentally while growing up as a thinking person and is on the whole a most beautiful, readable philosophical work. Actually, I wrote about it twice here, too (in Slovenian) and I can hardly wait to re-read it.
Jonathan Safran Foer: Eating Animals – And it’s not what you think. 🙂 I haven’t eaten meat for 19 years and in the beginning, I had to bear quite some … piss others were taking out of me. No kidding. So I didn’t have time and opportunity to feel smug for not eating meat right then and afterwards, I had even less time for smugness. Before I read Foer’s book I thought I had already seen the worst things done to animals in the name of food, since I had participated in killing and cutting rituals as a child/teenager. Boy, was that naive thinking if I ever saw one! But after having read Foer’s account: the results of his research and his soul-searching, things changed for me once again. See, I really don’t like it when people treat other people like objects. And now I also hate the fact that meat is basically a suffering animal denied its right to pain alleviation and empathy, undergoing the industrial process of changing living beings into plastic-wrapped objects. As in most other cases, I do my thinking and suffering alone and don’t see any reason in trying to convince others to think the same things as I do. I still think it is our duty as human beings to at least inform ourselves about the fate of other living beings, subdued to industrial processing in order to feed us. We need to know. Vegetarians, carnivores, we all need to know.
And you? Care to share 3 books you think everyone should read?