15 Controversial, Difficult but Important Books

A selection of controversial/challenging but important books to broaden your horizons and create a more complete picture of the world around you.

Broadening the Horizon

We all have a more or less fixed worldview, certain political and perhaps religious views.

However, if we want to grow, we need to look at life from different perspectives, to understand and think about different points of view.

In this selection, I have gathered a very diverse range of books that will probably make you look at some areas of our lives from a new perspective. Maybe you will disagree with something, or maybe something will open your eyes.

Some of these books may seem complicated – that’s okay. To make it easier, I recommend that you read them in the order in which they are arranged – from top to bottom.

15 Controversial but Important Books

The Mysterious Stranger

Mark Twain

eBook Print | Audiobook

Letters from the Earth

Mark Twain

eBook Print | Audiobook

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Carl Sagan

eBook Print | Audiobook

Profiles Of The Future

Arthur C. Clarke

eBook | Print 

The Rebel Sell

Joseph Heath


War is a Racket

Smedley Butler

eBook | Print | Audiobook

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Jon Ronson

eBook Print | Audiobook

Language in Action: A Guide to Accurate Thinking, Reading and Writing

S. I. Hayakawa


The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies

Michael Shermer

eBook | PrintAudiobook

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

John Perkins

eBook | PrintAudiobook

Beyond Freedom and Dignity

B. F. Skinner

eBook | Print

The Theory of the Leisure Class

Thorstein Veblen

eBook | PrintAudiobook

The Rich and the Super-Rich

Ferdinand Lundberg

eBook | Print 

The Golden Bough

James George Frazer

eBook | PrintAudiobook

A People’s History of the United States

Howard Zinn

eBook | PrintAudiobook

«A book is a gift you can open again and again»

— Garrison Keillor


Here are some recommendations to help you be more productive, be happier, make more money, and learn faster.


Breakthrough Rapid Reading. Peter Kump

How to Read a Book. Mortimer J. Adler

Speed Reading. Kam Knight

Articles & Posts

Speed Reading: How to Read Faster and Understand More

Maximize Productivity: 5 Powerful Time Management Principles

Useful Tools

EarthFM - High-quality nature sounds that can be turned on while you work to help increase your focus and concentration.

Pomofocus - Simple Pomodoro timer for focused work.

Book Summaries

The Productivity Project

Deep Work

In Search of Excellence

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