Lori's Book Nook

University of Life curriculum

Posted on: August 25, 2006

I stole this post from my other blog, Celebrating the Absurd. (Wasn’t too terribly absurd, and writing this post is what inspired me to begin this blog…)

If I had lots and lots of money, I would buy multiple copies of 4 books, and give them to everyone.

In no particular order, they are:

  1. The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to quit school and get a real life and education by Grace Llewellyn. More than a polemic on/defence of home schooling, it celebrates an attitude about education that I wish I’d been exposed to when I was in school.
  2. The Tyranny of Niceness: Unmasking the Need for Approval by Evelyn Sommers. A new classic that should be read by anyone who has ever doubted her/his need to express a true opinion or desire. That it is written by a Canadian is just too apt.
  3. Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (often referred to as the guy-with-the-unpronounceable-name), a psychologist who studies creativity and ‘Optimal Experience’. This book is more the ‘how to’ version of his more academic tome, Flow. In it, he breaks down that state one gets into when working/playing at peak efficiency…breaks it down, describes it, and challenges each one of us to try to attain that high level of experience more often.
  4. Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton. “Keeping up with the Joneses” described, explained, and…forgiven. But the message is clear that your life will be better if you can rise above it, and de Botton’s easy philosophical prose inspires you to re-evaluate your beliefs and values. Paradigm shifting, if you’ll excuse the cliche…

Here’s the challenge: What books would you add to the curriculum at the University of Life? What book has inspired you? Changed you?

3 Responses to "University of Life curriculum"

Wishcraft — How To Get What You Really Want, by Barbara Sher. First published in 1986, re-released in 2003. Totally changed my life.

Cool. I’ve definitely heard good things about that one!

[…] This brings to mind Alain de Botton’s book, Status Anxiety, which is on my ‘everyone must read’ list. […]

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Here on the Book Nook you can discuss: The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, as well as the next two books in the Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore and World of Wonders, and if that's not enough for you, see what's up on the forums at BookTalk.org!
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