Gallery of Books
that Kick Ass

I've read a lot of books and these are the ones that everyone should be reading.

These books have the knowledge that you should know.

Dropping Ashes on the Buddha.  Learn about what Buddhism is all about: Oneness with the world, Oneness with all people, Oneness with all living things, Oneness with everything out there.

One can assume that, whether you're 13 or 20 or any other age, you start out by default not already knowing everything in the world about Buddhism, about how OPEC works, about a million other subjects.  So this is the book that explains Buddhism.

This is what teaches Zen.

The Story of Oil

The story of oil.

You learn about the first oil rigs.

This book serves two purposes: it talks about the witch trials of 1692, and it warns the world of the consequences of such history repeating itself in the form of the 1950's-era anti-Communist scare.

Everybody already knows the basic concepts of the witch trials.  In short, women were falsely accused of witchcraft, and executed by the state for witchcraft-related charges.  Of course, this was back in 1692, long before 1776 and the Declaration of Independence.  So, that alone shows you how complex the history of the USA really is.

Everybody already knows the basic concepts of the witch trials, but this is where you gain your education on how that subject really went.  What is interesting is that while other books cover the same subject as a nonfiction text, this is a play, more of a "story mode" that readers of fiction are used to.

What I've got a problem with in this book are a few things.  Changing Abigail's age from 11 to 17, the farmer John Proctor's age from his 60's to somewhere in his 30's, and other little alterations made to what really happened leaves a pretty confusing portrait when one is trying to read a story about how things really went.  Apparently it is just simpler to roll together numerous people into one person, but by making simple alterations to minor details you end up with a confused sense of what actually happened.

Overall, the story of the Crucible began with logic and reason.  But children were falling violently ill with no solid answer found after exhausting all the resources of available medicine and science.  Thus the reverend Samuel Parris came to the conclusion that in order to deal with these matters of invisible forces, law and religion - then not yet separated from each other - were answers that might work.

It was the false persecution of Tituba that was problematic: first sentencing her to execution for things she hadn't done, then promising her mercy if she confessed to witchcraft.  Pressuring her to name others resulted in false testimony delivered, naming two women named Sarah.  From there, Abigail concurred that the accused women were indeed witches, and guilty verdicts were found on innocent women.

A harrowing tale, but its purpose is to remind us not to make these same mistakes again.  It was meant to apply to Communism.  This is not quite mentioned in the book, but useful to know: there was no such thing as a Communist government yet in 1850, yet China and Russia went Communist in the late 1930's and late 1940's, leaving the 1950's with a terrified sense that Communism would spread.  To stop that spread, the Vietnam War happened.  Russia is now a democracy and other countries, such as China and North Korea, are not.  Overall Communism's spread has probably been stopped.  It's probably been contained.  That will come up again in "A Young People's History of War".

The point is to make sure this doesn't happen again with Communism.  But there are other areas of the world that can benefit.  The Central Park Five, who were wrongfully accused and convicted of the vicious rape of a woman jogging in Central Park, and exonerated in the 2010's after DNA testing revealed the true rapist, is another area I could imagine benefiting from these historical lessons, as if it was meant to be "the true purpose" of the Crucible by Arthur Miller.  There are probably plenty of other areas these lessons could benefit as well.

At first I was expecting something . . . I don't know how to explain it.  Commercial?  Pop-culture?  However, I definitely found that this was an interesting read.  Not quite what I was expecting it to be like, a newer product of the 2010's marketplace of organic and natural goods; not quite.  It seems to be the legitimate result of researching all the old texts and explaining many interesting facts.

There are (at least) seven chakras in your body, spinning wheels of energy.

This is easily a very important book that everyone has to drop everything to read.

Think and Grow Rich teaches you the formula for success.

Think and Grow Rich explains the connection between those who succeed and the many who are not.

Think and Grow Rich is the one that would change the course of a young man's life.

If I had to sum it up in three bullet points, I would say this book is the following.

1. Teaches you the secrets of the universe regarding financial success and prosperity, and is therefore very important to read.

2. But it's also incredibly quick and easy to read.  Somehow, even though it's "a whole 200 pages long", it is literally the quickest and easiest and FASTEST 200 pages ever.  It's much easier to gulp down a thin liquid like water than a thick liquid like soda, and it's much easier to gulp down 200+ pages of this book than even 20 pages of something thicker, like the Hobbit.

3. It also sort of breaks it down to being too simple and easy.

Then you have to wonder, is that a good thing or a bad thing?  If you're in 8th grade and they're giving you 6th grade work, it seems like an insult somehow.  But it's hella easy!  This book makes it seem like the information has been made digestible to a 6th grade reader.  But is that a bad thing?  It's so easy everyone can read this book and grasp it.

I had never imagined a middle school kid reading a book like this, but, then again: it would be really nice if all middle schoolers were required to read this book at least once.  Everyone would benefit from the knowledge in this book.  A few would find that it would change the course of their lives.

This book is about how financial success really works.  The Millionaire's Mind that you need to obtain to get there.  Then again, middle school readers would probably develop an unrealistic expectation of wealth in their twenties.  However, this book covers both aspects of it: the writer is now a billionaire, but was earlier begging people for change at a gas station to get a little bit of gasoline.  He understands both ends of the argument, the student's angle and the teacher's angle.  This book, on one hand, is basically critical knowledge that people must and should know, but on the other hand, music is cool too.

One of the most important things to take from this book is simply this:

Thinking poor and thinking rich exist in addition to being physically poor and physically rich.

At first, for a while, I figure, nahhh.  This writer is just saying his own opinion.  But after a while you begin to realize that the winning formula has been outlined in this book: he went from broke to successful with the formula of thinking rich.

People who depend on lottery tickets, figuring eventually it'll work - that's a symptom of poor thinking.

People who respond to poverty by asking how many people would want lawns mowed, leaves raked, snow shoveled - that's a symptom of rich thinking.

You begin to notice it in people around you after reading the book.  You begin to see that it's true.  That the people whose life strategy involves the weekly lottery ticket, with the intention that one day the strategy will have a solid payoff, really are thinking poor, while another broke person tries to drum up as much business as people and is thinking rich.

I at first would dismiss this book's concepts as smug or snobbish and stop reading.  Then realize that the formula is in it and I'm just not doing in life what I don't know the right formula for.  (Working full-time with steady employment only leads to low-level wages; nobody is doing "good enough" that way anywhere in the USA.)

This book will educate all readers and change the lives of a few.

This book teaches a lot about the history of war in the United States.

It seems to only deliver the anti-war angle, but nonetheless it's full of valid points: beneath the surface of war and battles lie underlying factors such as oil and other natural mineral resources.

Fear by Bob Woodward
Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault
The other oil book
Norse Tales
Other books