top of page
  • Writer's pictureNovel Nest

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

Hope for the future of humanity

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

The world is on the brink of destruction.

Or so we have been told. By the news. By the scientists. And by the activists.

But is it really so? Are we going to be extinct soon? Are we hurting people more than we are helping them?

The following books recommended by Jordan B Peterson use facts and data. They put to test the oft-exaggerated apocalyptic claims.

That is why these books should be read by all, at least once.

Let’s go through a short summary of each!

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

Foreign aid is harmful.

Overall, the world has seen great strides in terms of poverty elimination, improved life expectancy, better access to resources, and more.

But, inequality exists. In the United States, and globally. For example, in Sierra Leone, the health standards are worse than they were in the United States in 1910.

This book discusses how this inequality came about and what we can do to overcome it.

“If poverty is not a result of lack of resources or opportunities, but of poor institutions, poor government, and toxic politics, giving money to poor countries — particularly giving money to the governments of poor countries — is likely to perpetuate and prolong poverty, not eliminate it.”

The author puts forth the theory that aid from rich countries to the poor, despite popular opinion, doesn’t help. The only solution is lasting economic improvement.

Deaton also discusses the limitations of GDP in measuring progress.

“The effects of migration on poverty reduction dwarf those of free trade.”

This book is an enlightening read. It lifts the curtain on the inequality of health and wealth and provides solutions to combat it.

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

A refreshing perspective of our future.

We have all heard the doom-and-gloom predictions for the Earth. They are nothing new. Pessimists have been making these claims for the last 200 years.

According to this book, the reality contradicts these claims.

“It is my proposition that the human race has become a collective problem-solving machine and it solves problems by changing its ways.”

Trade has allowed the exchange of goods and human talent. It has led to unprecedented growth and progress in human society. It has helped humans dominate the Earth and create large empires.

The mutual cooperation of humans provides us with hope.

“The generation that has experienced more peace, freedom, leisure time, education, medicine, travel, movies, mobile phones and massages than any generation in history is lapping up gloom at every opportunity.”

The author brings into question those who use climate change to spread hopelessness and question the benefits of free markets.

This book will show all that humans have done right and continue to do so.

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

The world is better but humans don’t see that.

The author gets angry when someone calls him an optimist. I am not naive, he says. He calls himself a ‘possibilist’.

Rosling says that he doesn’t hope without reason and doesn’t fear without reason. His aim is to resist the overdramatic worldview. He calls his worldview ‘constructive’ and ‘useful.’

“People often call me an optimist, because I show them the enormous progress they didn’t know about.”

When people are presented with a questionnaire about global trends. Their guesses are so wrong that even chimpanzees choosing answers at random do better.


Because the human brain distorts reality. This book shows us how.

“Remember: things can be bad, and getting better.”

The human brain has 10 dramatic instincts. One of them is binary thinking. We divide things into clear and distinct groups of two with no gap in between.

“We love to dichotomize. Good versus bad. Heroes versus villains. My country versus the rest.”

But obviously, the world, nor its people are that simple.

This book will give you hope, showing you how things are getting better. It will also tell you about your biases that fool you.

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

A solution by the World’s leading economists.

This book compiles the findings of the Copenhagen Consensus 2012 project.

In the project, more than 50 economists drafted investment proposals for improving things like poverty, education, health, disaster management, and more.

“…for a relatively small amount of money — less than $700 million annually — it would be possible to eliminate vitamin A deficiencies in preschool-age children, eliminate iodine deficiency globally, and dramatically reduce maternal anemia during pregnancy.”

In May 2012, these proposals were put to a panel of experts, including Nobel prize winners.

The findings of the project revealed that increasing $75 billion in aid spending (only a 15% increase from the current spending) will go a long way in solving many issues faced by the world.

“Chronic undernutrition has significant neurological consequences that can damage spatial navigation and memory formation, leading to loss of cognitive abilities and, in time, lower incomes.”

The top priorities are:

  1. Bundled intervention to prevent undernutrition in kids

  2. Subsidies for the Malaria combination treatment

  3. Childhood immunization

  4. Deworming of school-age children

This book will provide an interesting picture of what needs focus and how it can be focused on.

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

What are we missing about human progress?

Steven Pinker makes a case for the importance of enlightenment values. They are:

  1. Reason

  2. Science

  3. Humanism

These values have improved everything globally.

“The standard explanation of the madness of crowds is ignorance: a mediocre education system has left the populace scientifically illiterate, at the mercy of their cognitive biases…”

The author believes that the widespread ignorance is due to the shortcomings of the education system. This leaves the population relying on ‘airhead celebrities’ and ‘cable-news gladiators’.

The world is becoming more equal. And poverty isn’t a predictor of unhappiness, the author says.

Our common fears are unfounded. Pinker shows that an American is 3,000 times more likely to die in an accident than in a terrorist attack.

“The first step toward wisdom is the realization that the laws of the universe don’t care about you. The next is the realization that this does not imply that life is meaningless, because people care about you, and vice versa.”

The author reminds us to stay grounded in rationality and science. He says that an anecdote is not a trend.

This book is a must-read if we want to see the world for what it actually is. And that picture is much better than what we see on the news.

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

Our actions will shape the future.

In this book, the author explores the field of astrobiology in detail.

He also talks about his relationship with Carl Sagan and how much he learned from him.

4.5 billion years ago, there were 4 planets with a possibility of developing life. They were Venus, Earth, Theia, and Mars.

Theia is the planet that crashed into Earth and made our moon as a result.

“It sometimes seems to rub people the wrong way to say anything sympathetic about humanity, positive about our potential influence on Earth or hopeful about our future.”

Using the history of Earth, Venus, and Mars Grinspoon compares and contrasts how the three planets advanced. He also explains how the Earth was the only one that ended up sustaining life.

The author is a NASA scientist and that can be seen through his comprehensive knowledge.

“…Lovelock’s radical idea — pay attention to the atmosphere and look for drastic departures from the expected mixture of gases — now forms the cornerstone of our life-detection strategies.”

This book reminds us that we are a planetary force. And we should do a better job at being so.

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

News is lying to us.

Johan Norberg is also the author of ‘In the Defence of Global Capitalism.’

Norberg tells us that this time in the period of human history is the best time to be alive. People are healthier, wealthier, and smarter.

He covers different topics. They are as follows:

  1. Food

  2. Sanitation

  3. life expectancy

  4. Poverty

  5. Violence

  6. Environment

  7. Literacy

  8. Freedom

  9. Equality

  10. Conditions of childhood

“Despite what we hear on the news and from many authorities, the great story of our era is that we are witnessing the greatest improvement in global living standards ever to take place.”

Using data from different aspects of life, the author makes us see the amount of progress humans have made.

Literacy is on the rise. Violence is in decline. It’s just that violent acts are reported widely through the modern media and that makes us think that things are getting worse.

“A child born today is more likely to reach retirement age than his forebears were to live to their fifth birthday.”

This book details the progress humanity has made so far and hopes for an even better future.

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

When the mind goes haywire…

Oliver Sacks is a British Neurologist.

This is his famous book from 1985. In this book, we meet many of Sack’s patients. We accompany him to his sessions with them.

He tells us about the various neurological ailments that his patients are suffering from.

Through storytelling and medical information, we learn a lot about the issues of the mind.

“Very young children love and demand stories, and can understand complex matters presented as stories, when their powers of comprehending general concepts, paradigms, are almost nonexistent.”

The name of the book comes from a patient, Mr. P, who is unable to recognize faces. He suffers from visual agnosia. During his session, he grabbed at his wife’s face, thinking it was his hat.

“…our mental processes, which constitute our being and life, are not just abstract and mechanical, but personal, as well — and, as such, involve not just classifying and categorising, but continual judging and feeling also.”

This book is not only a neurology book. It is a compelling account with insights from a psychological perspective.

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

What are we if not for our emotions?

This book is from the 1930s. It is a dystopian novel.

The year is 2540. And citizens are engineered in artificial wombs. Childhood indoctrination divides people into predetermined classes.

“I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.”

A happiness-inducing drug called Soma rules the lives of all people.

This drug reminds me of Chicken Run 2 and the chickens at the farm behind concrete walls who acted like Zombies. Side note: The movie is pretty funny and thrilling though.

I liked it.

The characters of the novel visit a reservation where they meet naturally born people and witness natural illness and death.

“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment.”

In today’s society where we have more opportunities for pleasure than pain, this novel reads like an accurate warning.

These Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson are So Good — You Have To Read Them At Least Once

Will a new belief help us cope with the reality of death?

Death is a reality. It will come to us sooner or later.

For a long time, humanity has dealt with this reality in different ways. Ernest Becker has compiled all of that for us.

“Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.”

The author tells us that humans have coped with the concept of death through belief in a higher being, afterlife, or the universe.

With the decline of religion, a void has been created.

There have been attempts to replace it through romantic love, science, etc. But none has been as successful as traditional religion.

“Guilt results from unused life, from the unlived in us.”

The author recommends the creation of a new belief system. Something that combines ritualistic practices with modern science and psychology.


If you found this article useful and want to support NovelNest, join my email list below to get notified whenever I publish something new.

If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post features Amazon affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links.


bottom of page