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Alexan­der is a recent addi­tion to Kards Unlim­it­ed, but we’re super glad to have his tal­ents on our team. His resume includes Pro-Shark wrestling and a brief stint as a nin­ja, and you know, those are super help­ful skills here at this par­tic­u­lar book/gift/card store.
Alexander’s list is pret­ty intense, I’m not going to lie. But if you read all of the­se books this sum­mer you’ll prob­a­bly end up feel­ing like you could be a nin­ja too.

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Food of the Gods by Ter­ence McKen­na
For seri­ous seek­ers only. McKenna’s rad­i­cal hypoth­e­sis on the ori­gins of human con­scious­ness is the only Cre­ation Myth that has ever made any sense to me, and has the unig­nor­able char­ac­ter­is­tic of being con­cur­rent with both sci­en­tific data and per­son­al expe­ri­ence. If any ele­ment of it approach­es the truth, the ram­i­fi­ca­tions are as daming as they are poten­tial­ly salv­i­fic.

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The Ulti­mate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Dou­glas Adams
I’ve read a lot of holy books, but this absurdist’s bible is unde­ni­ably my favorite and has guid­ed my life more than any oth­er. When­ev­er I find myself tak­ing life too seri­ous­ly (my car­di­nal sin), I know that it is time to reread the Guide, laugh at life, and thumb my way into a new adven­ture.

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Civ­i­liza­tion and Its Dis­con­tents by Sig­mund Freud
If you find your­self ques­tion­ing the ther­a­peu­tic valid­i­ty of your psy­ch meds and sus­pect that your ther­a­pist may sim­ply be adjust­ing you to a deeply patho­log­i­cal cul­ture instead of help­ing heal you, this book, from the Father of Psy­cho­analy­sis him­self, may fuel your para­noia and cat­alyze a self-real­iza­tion-or-bust jour­ney of trans­for­ma­tion. At least, it did for me.

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The Pow­er of Myth by Joseph Camp­bell
This book is an intro­duc­tion to that lost con­ti­nent in the West­ern psy­che, the world of mythos. If you’re look­ing for some­thing to help you pass the time while you wait to die, this isn’t it. But if you’re hun­gry for a life of adven­ture imbued with self-gen­er­at­ed mean­ing, this is a good place to start.

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Demon Haunt­ed World: Sci­ence as a Can­dle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
A whet­stone for the intel­lect. Inter­nal­iz­ing the log­i­cal razors Sagan presents in this field guide to truth-seek­ing has been of incal­cu­la­ble ben­e­fit to me in my life for avoid­ing a whole lot of bull­shit while inves­ti­gat­ing the lunatic fringe and the vari­eties of weird expe­ri­ences. I reread it every so often to keep my wits sharp.

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Brave New World by Aldous Hux­ley
For all that I knew about psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tion­ing and the mas­sive social engi­neer­ing projects under­tak­en in the 20th cen­tu­ry, this book was the boot in the ass that I need­ed to rip myself out of my cul­ture and begin the painful process of unlearn­ing the insan­i­ty that I had assim­i­lat­ed to. Noth­ing like a good sto­ry to ren­der a body of facts into impe­tus for action.

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The Moon is a Harsh Mis­tress by Robert Hein­lein
Inspire your inner rev­o­lu­tion­ary with this under­dog tale of Lib­er­tar­i­an rebel­lion on the Moon. Fea­tur­ing my favorite weapon in all of sci­ence fic­tion for its engi­neer­ing sim­plic­i­ty and my favorite famil­ial social orga­ni­za­tion for its com­mu­nal strength.

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Par­adise Lost by John Mil­ton
No oth­er intel­lec­tu­al endeav­or has car­ried out so thor­ough a med­i­ta­tion on Evil over the cen­turies as Chris­tian­i­ty has. Par­adise Lost is the crown­ing jew­el of that inves­ti­ga­tion into the per­son­al­i­ty of Evil. It has helped me under­stand the path that peo­ple like Eric Har­ris to Adolph Hitler have walked down, and helped me avoid that path myself.

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Val­is and Lat­er Nov­els by Philip K. Dick
All of Dicks’ works ren­der opaque the dubi­ous wall of sep­a­ra­tion between fact and fic­tion, real­i­ty and delu­sion, and your life and the character’s, but the VALIS series is a mind ben­der for mind-ben­ders on a ben­der. His­to­ri­ans should keep tabs on this book, because it will like­ly become incor­po­rat­ed into some future religion’s canon of rev­e­la­to­ry lit­er­a­ture.

 

Here are three more books to try as well!

 

So, what do you think?