Personal Development

Between education, entrepreneurship, communication skills and other such important topics, personal development forms a key component of one’s path to personal freedom. No human is perfect and while we ought to balance the recognition of this fact with self-esteem and acceptance of our nature, there is room for improvement in us all (and if nothing else, there is room for us to at least maintain our level of awesomeness).

I’ve included books covering important components of personal development and tools to increase your efficiency. These include productivity and time management methodologies (such as the highly recommended Getting Things Done or GTD), leadership skills, creativity, resilience, organizational skills and many more, all of which require the formation of great habits, self-discipline and willpower. Other intriguing topics like stoicism and minimalism are covered too.

Topics related with personal development include physical and mental wellbeing as well as psychology, which I will cover in my next post.

I know I keep saying that each group of topics is crucial. Indeed if it’s not, why include it in my site? But mastering some of these techniques, creating the right habits, prioritizing your work, etc. have a significant and lasting impact on the rest of your path to self-education and personal freedom.

These books are not necessarily written by people who share all the same views that are common to many guests of Books of Liberty. So please join the conversation and provide other members your comments, reviews and unique insights as to how you applied these concepts to your lives. And as always, thank you for reading!

Communication Skills

If there is one thing that I’m willing to bet on, it’s that there are topics within the pages of Books of Liberty for which you are very passionate. And wouldn’t it be great if you could convince just a few more people to see things the way you do on these subjects? If there is one tool in your tool-belt that you need in order to achieve this aim, it’s improved communication skills.

With techniques such as nonviolent communication, or NVC (for which we have many books and study guides), or other means of empathic connection you can reach a meeting of the minds on almost anything. In addition to convincing an “opponent” in a debate, this may significantly improve interpersonal relations, parenting, help with conflict resolution and is an important social skill to have.

In fact, good communication skills of this sort are so vital, they affect everything from a chat at the water cooler, to negotiating a hostage crisis (because you never know when you might find yourself in that situation).

In order to strengthen your arguments, you will utilize critical thinking and problem solving techniques to help frame your ideas, apply logic consistently and remove cognitive biases, and you will learn to identify others’ use of logical fallacies or fear and manipulation.

Then, with the power of empathic connection you will use your rhetoric to its full potential, whether through writing, debating, negotiation, public speaking or other forms of communication.

Now you just have to promise to use your superior communication skills for good and not for evil… And as always, thank you for reading!

For Parents

The “for parents” topic is a very important component of Book of Liberty. After all, for those who have kids, if you would like to affect change in the world one of the most important roles you have in this context is being a responsible steward of your children. Raising a strong, moral, peaceful individual can have tremendous positive impact.

The non-aggression principle is best displayed through its application in interpersonal relations, of which peaceful parenting is one such strategy. Like many other topics covered by books on this site, this too can be controversial and in no way am I prescribing behavior or applying judgment.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but I do encourage the same rigor and logical consistency to be applied to your relationships with others in your life as we apply to the relationship between the individual and the State.

Topics such as homeschooling, Montessori, or other forms of unschooling can be found when browsing the “for parents” topic, as well as books for young readers. If you have a young reader at home, consider browsing this section for inspiration on books for them to read.

As a parent myself, I know how hard it is. There is definitely not a strict right and wrong (in many cases) and it’s even harder to implement in practice what you think in theory that you should be doing.

I, for one, would love to see the comments, insights and experiences of other parents in the books’ discussion threads in our members-only private Facebook group and hope to see you there too. And as always, thank you for reading!

Recommended Starting Points

With the world at your fingertips, where do you start?

I’ve often found myself contemplating what book I should read next. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve read through all my books at home. Yet sometimes what you have just isn’t what you’re in the mood for. Worse still, sometimes you don’t even know what you are in the mood for.

I’ve decided to create a series of posts over the next couple of months, in which I will highlight some interesting topics that can point you in the direction of a captivating journey. Most blog posts thereafter will be about books and topics, but this series is focused on the more fundamental starting points.

Edit: This series of posts has proven so useful, I’ve decided to copy them into the main site, providing recommended starting points at Books of Liberty. Moreover, depending on the topic tags associated with the books, the relevant starting points are also copied into each book page to help you find similar books to the one you’re looking at. So if you’re reading this after May 2017 and the contents look familiar, you’ll know why.

But before we get started, a note on the default order of the topics on our main page. Books of Liberty does not categorize books within a rigid hierarchy. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I designed it such that you can choose any number of topics (regardless of whether they relate to one another) and discover books where those topics intersect.

However, much like in Animal Farm, while all topics are equal, some topics are more equal than others. After analyzing the interrelationship between the topics and books, I’ve identified the top 100 that seem to correlate with the widest range of topics (surprisingly, these aren’t the 100 most popular topics). But there is not a single book in our records or a single other topic that is not connected to one of these 100 topics. So if you sort by top 100 and scroll through them you’re bound to find an interesting starting point.

Otherwise, you can sort the list of topics by popularity to find the topics that are represented in the largest number of books. Furthermore, you can sort the topics alphabetically or simply type in the topic search bar a topic of interest. The search bar has an autocomplete function, so as you start typing you will be shown a hint of which topics are available from which you can choose.

If I had to narrow down the almost 800 topics or even the ‘Top 100’ to the ones that provide the best starting points, these would be the ones with which I would start and the ones on which I will focus in this upcoming series:

Over the next 17 blog posts I will cover each of the above bullet points in more detail. Within each blog I will further link to more topics associated with the main topic, so explore each link that tickles your fancy? And as always, thank you for reading!