“A mind needs books like as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
– George R.R. Martin A Song Of Ice And Fire
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Real books disgust the totalitarian mind because they generate uncontrollable mental growth – and it cannot be monitored.”
– John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 82.
Education is the most vital component of an individual’s repertoire. Without it, the individual is like a ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly amidst the seas of life
For that reason it is imperative to make sure individuals continue to educate themselves, no matter what stage of life they are in. This is why the following list has been composed.
Each of the books reviewed below offer abundant wisdom from which to learn from. Considering we are in an age where public schooling is about conformity, division, dumbing people down, and more, it would be wise for individuals to take their own education into their hands.
The books below will help individuals cement a firm foundation upon to be able to extract the most out of life and their individual journey. If you wish to read more about the books, press the link on the book titles to heads towards the reviews.
Book #1: Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D
Out of all of these 7 books, this is hands down the most demanding one. My contention though is that this book will net the most benefits because it couples into all the other subjects and areas of life, and well as each of your everyday endeavors. While the other books below might be useful to you throughout your life, the lessons of this book will be useful every single day. This is because logic is employed in everyday life, even if we sometimes do it automatically.
Although requiring considerable effort, the book is a much easier read than Aristotle’s Organnon, while still covering the core dynamics. I would suggest still reading that one proceeding this one to make sure you have a firm grasp of logic.
Book #2: The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar, Logic & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
Historically, the Trivium was taught as part of classical education. That is no longer the case, however. Because of that, it is imperative that books discussing classical education as The Trivium be ruminated upon since the trivium is one of the leading reasons why education decades and centuries ago was vastly superior than it is now.
The Trivium encompasses all aspects of grammar, logic and rhetoric. This book is a thorough presentation on general grammar, fallacies, syllogisms, a solid logic introduction, enthymemes, poetics, figurative language , all with a hefty dose of examples from which to learn from.
Just as a house cannot be complete without a foundation, an individual’s education, no matter the age, cannot be complete without knowledge of the Trivium.
Book #3: How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
The title says it all. If you want to extract the most out of all types of books, this book is a must read. In fact, it would be a mistake not to have it because not following many of these tenets would mean only fractional understanding of certain subjects. The book really is phenomenal and highly recommended. It’s been popular for decades, and with good reason.
Book #4: Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
If you want an easy-to-follow introduction to philosophy, that is accessible to lay people but also stimulating enough to get your brain cells churning, ponder this book. It’s a very unique way of looking at philosophy.
Book #5: The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston
This book hones your critical thinking skills better than any critical thinking class in high school does, seeing as there are no critical thinking courses in high school, and few in college. This is ironic, because for a public school system that continues to fail, one would figure critical thinking would be at the top of agenda to implement within public schooling. The book is affordable, has ample exercises, uses a reasonable approach that builds on itself and is easy to follow. It’s complex enough, but not overly so. It’s a book that’s referenced often and highly valuable.
Book #6: The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi
Now, this piece by Cioffi brings outside-of-the-box thinking to argumentation to boot. The author takes a rather unique approach I’ve never seen before, and one I wished was available in public schooling, but of course isn’t. The book covers everything from essays, thesis, creative writing, paragraph design, audience considerations, writing prompts, fallacies and more. If you’re a regular writer of any type, even if it’s not argumentation per se, I would still say this is a must read. Or at least consider it. As part of a homeschooling and self-directed course, this is definitely a must have though.
Book #7: Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
This one’s an outside-of-the-box suggestion, but with good reason. Sherlock Holmes hands down is the best book from which to learn critical thinking in fiction form. If you have any suggestions to add, or better, I would really like to hear them because I am always open-minded and would like to read similar books in fictional form since it allows a reader to enjoy leisure time, while also honing the mind simultaneously.
Holmes uses his usual analytical approach that’s incisive in logic and precise in detail to solve every single case. Some cases offer more for learning than others, but the book as a whole is something every person should read and is part of an individual’s robust cultural literacy as well.
What we as individuals accomplish in life, especially if you want to live life to the fullest, is directly proportional to what we know and are capable of. Without robust capabilities an individual is like a leaf in the wind, merely flowing aimlessly in the wind without chosen direction.
This is why it’s crucial to make sure your education stands on firm ground. Without it, we’re only merely ghosts of ourselves, carrying out only a fraction of what would be possible within our lives.
It’s never too late to get educated.
Seek to better yourself, every single day.
Seek to learn every day, from every person, in every instance.
Not only will that help solidify your intellectual faculties in an ironclad manner, but it will also imbue your life with more meaning than you could ever imagine.
After all, if we don’t continue our education, we surrender ourselves to self-chosen ignorance.
And who wants to do that?
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
About The Author:
Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.
His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.
Suggested resources reviewed below for those seeking ideas to self-teach and become autodidacts:
7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschoolers, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi
Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
The following books reviewed below cover the disturbing issues within the public schooling system:
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors