12 books everyone should read to make them smarter, according to a neuroscientist

Picture: Luoman/Getty
Picture: Luoman/Getty

Everyone – from the voracious reader and the seeker of knowledge to the average Joe – can find something of interest in between the pages of a book.

With that in mind, neuroscientist Sam Harris – the contoversial atheist known for several clashes with author and fellow public intellectual Reza Aslan – compiled a list of eight books he thinks people should read.

Writer Maria Popova noticed , however, that all the writers on the list – for all their knowledge – were written by men. She contacted Harris, who was more than happy to provide an updated list.

Here are the 12 books according to Harris, that everyone should read:

1. The history of Western philosophy by Bertrand Russell (1945)

2. Reasons and persons by Derek Parfit (1984)

3. The Last Word by Thomas Nagal (1997)

4. The Holy Koran

5. Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom (2014)

6. Humiliation: And Other Essays on Honour, Social Discomfort and Violence by William Ian Miller (1995)

7. The Flight of the Garuda: The Dzogchen Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism by Keith Dowman (2003)

8. I am that by Nisargadatta Maharaj (1973)

9. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (2006)

10. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005)

11. The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcom (1990)

12. Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak by Jean Hatzfeld (2003)

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