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Anthony Campbell's Book Reviews - Personal Choice About the Reviews | New Reviews | Titles | Authors | Subjects

Personal Choice

Revised 30-07-2019

How I made this list

I listed some books here a few years ago because they seemed important but now I've revised my selection on a rather different basis. To explain what I've done I'll describe how I made the new list.

There are over 600 book reviews on this site. To make my selection I looked through the lists in the various subject categories and picked out those that seemed to have a personal resonance for me.

Why these books and not others? Difficult to say. I suppose that most of them have changed how I think in one way or another (a few are there simply because I enjoy them). One criterion is that I should have reread them at leat once. So it's a very personal list, and no doubt says more about me than it does about the books.

It's quite a short list (though I shall add to it from time to time) but that's how it came out and I didn't want to inflate it artificially. I was going to include short notes about each entry but then I decided there was no point in adding to what's already in the reviews.

The books are divided into fiction and nonfiction but are otherwise listed in no particular order.

The Books

Fiction

At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman, by Flann O'Brien..
The Dead, by James Joyce.
Replay, by Ken Grimwood.
The Medusa Frequency, by Russell Hoban.

Nonfiction

The End of Time, by Julian Barbour.
Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Abducted by Aliens, by Susan A. Clancy.
Religion and the Decline of Magic, by Keith Thomas.
Ecstasy: A Study of Some Secular and Religious Experiences, by Marghanita Laski.
The Illusion of Conscious Will, by Daniel M. Wegner.
Freedom and Belief, by Galen Strawson.
The Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds in a Material World, by Colin McGinn.
Reasons and Persons, by Derek Parfit.
Nothing to Be Frightened Of, by Julian Barnes.
Confessions of a Philosopher: A Journey Through Western Philosophy, by Bryan Magee.
Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy, by Mel Greaves.
Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life, by Nick Lane.
The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Human Brain, by Terrence Deacon.
The Mind Is Flat: The Illusion of Mental Depth, by Nick Chater.
Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, by Bart D. Ehrman.
The Ghost in the Universe, by Taner Edis.
Feet of Clay: A Study of Gurus, by Anthony Storr.

† See the list of authors for other books on similar themes by these authors.
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