This should be a mandatory read for every adult living in the 21st century! Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now makes the gripping case for progressive, modernist values in the age of an increasingly globalized world. While news headlines in the age of click-bait media might have you thinking our world is only getting worse each year, Pinker presents extensive data outlining how we have never lived in a better time for the flourishing of human well-being. Pinker makes an eloquent case that it is Enlightenment values and scientific progress that have been the primary engines responsible for this flourishing. A titan of non-fiction writing, Pinker's style is at once accessible and illuminating.
The Art Instinct
What is art? And how did we evolve into the creative creatures who produce it? The Art Instinct by Denis Dutton provides a thorough investigation into our ancient past in order to decode a Darwinian understanding of where our instinct for communication through art comes from.
Thomas E. Ricks
Jordan B. Peterson
Why Buddhism is True
Robert Wright's Why Buddhism is True is is a wonderful exploration into the practices of modern Buddhism. Wright departs from much of the mysticism and myth of Buddhism and focuses on a secular, science-friendly interpretation of the ancient buddhist wisdom. A great read for anyone interested in spirituality, meditation and applying a modern framework to eastern religious practice.
God: A Human History
Reza Aslan's God: A Human History is an excellent introduction into the development and evolution of one of humankind's deepest and oldest subjects: God. Aslan's analysis and deconstruction of humanity's continuing reinvention of the idea of God is at once accessible and illuminating. I highly recommend this short read (and this author) to anyone interested in the mythical origins and evolution of God which have resulted in the vast array of contemporary interpretations we find today.
Alain de Botton
Religion for Atheists