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4 Books That Will Redefine How You See the World

Whether you prefer printed or electronic books, what you read can have a tremendous effect on how you understand everything around you. When you're ready to open yourself to challenging ideas, turn to these four books that will redefine how you see the world.

1. Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

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Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space takes a revolutionary look at what the future may hold. It isn't a science-fiction book, although some of the ideas proposed could make excellent sci-fi plots. Instead, it's a history of how outer space has inspired human civilization for thousands of years. Sagan uses this history to speculate that human beings must explore worlds outside of this solar system.

Sagan, who passed away in 1996, was one of the world's most inspirational scientists. He spent his life educating the public while conducting serious experiments about the cosmos. Pale Blue Dot offers a cosmologist's perspective into where humanity is headed.

2. 20 Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams
Unless you're finishing an online social work degree, you probably don't know much about Jan Addams. Those who study social work, sociology, and equal rights, however, know her as a monumental figure who helped transform the way society addresses issues like poverty and disenfranchisement.
Addams was a prolific writer, but 20 Years at Hull-House stands out as her seminal work, largely because it takes a personal look at the work she performed at Hull-house, an institution in one of Chicago's poorest immigrant communities. After reading it, you can't help but see all the missed opportunities that could make the world a better place.

3. The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry
This collection of essays by the popular agrarian philosopher and fiction writer Wendell Berry forces readers to reconsider some of life's most important subjects, including economics, technology, and religion. Berry sees America's dominant urban culture as a thoughtless beast that never stops to consider where it's headed. He encourages people to take a closer look at how they live and consider healthier approaches to life that promote community, family, sustainability, and happiness.

Berry isn't a pessimist. He seems to truly believe that humans can take control of how culture evolves. With The Art of the Commonplace, Berry shows where we've been and where we are while opening a path toward a better future.

4. Influence by Robert Cialdini
Robert Cialdini spent years studying psychology and marketing for his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Anyone who wants to influence people and get them to say "yes" should read this book. It will change the way you approach sales, public opinion, and personal relationships. Similarly, it's a great book for people who want to stop others from manipulating them. Once you've taken a look at how effective marketers influence opinion, you gain an informed perspective that reveals the tricks of the trade.

Whether you want to influence people or just understand human psychology better, this is a good place to start.

What books have had the greatest influence on how you perceive yourself and the world?

4 Books That Will Redefine How You See the World Reviewed by Emma Davidson on 11/21/2014 04:10:00 AM Rating: 5

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