I have been asked in the past to list ten books that have “inspired, moved, and enlightened” me. Here’s my list:
by Jorge Luis Borges
An inspiration that never runs out of batteries for me. Shines a new light on everything; Borges follows no one’s rules but his own.
by William Faulkner
I bought this for 50 cents at a garage sale when I was 17. The combination of story-telling and facility with the language blew my socks off. I immediately became an English major.
The Most Human Human
by Brian Christian
A book about the wild frontiers of chatbots reveals more than expected about what it means to be made of flesh and blood.
by Cormac McCarthy
Who would have thought the Pulitzer Prize committee would fall in love with a post-apocalyptic tale with almost no dialogue? It’s clear why they did. Haunting for all the right reasons.
by Italo Calvino
Mother’s milk for my own writing career. It’s a series of very short stories that are all about the same thing.
Plagues and Peoples
by William McNeill
An early book that unmasked the deep influence of the invisibly small on the very large.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
by Michael Chabon
A rare combination of perfect wordsmithery and limitless imagination.
What books would you put on your list? Which books made a difference for you?
"[A] neuroscientist and polymath."
- Wall Street Journal
"David Eagleman may be the best combination of scientist and fiction-writer alive."
- Stewart Brand
"Eagleman has a talent for testing the untestable, for taking seemingly sophomoric notions and using them to nail down the slippery stuff of consciousness."
- The New Yorker
"A popularizer of impressive gusto...[Eagleman] aims, grandly, to do for the study of the mind what Copernicus did for the study of the stars."
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"David Eagleman is the kind of guy who really does make being a neuroscientist look like fun."
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"David Eagleman offers startling lessons.... His method in both Sum and his new book, Incognito, is to ask us to cast off our lazy, commonplace assumptions."
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"What Eagleman seems to be calling for is a new Enlightenment."
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