I wanted to do a round-up of all the books I read during 2016, because I haven’t reviewed them all. I try to review as many as I can, but I have to admit that it only feels worthwhile if I have something useful to say without giving spoilers. On the whole I have read some fantastic books lately, both fiction and non-fiction, with many of my list scoring 8 or above.
Quantum Confessions – Stephen Oram (8/10)
A well-written debut novel about a future in which objective reality, including both science and religion, is outlawed by a libertarian government with disastrous consequences. This book made quite an impact on me, and has since inspired some of my own work. See my full review here.
Raja Yoga – Swami Vivekananda (9/10)
I have been actively experimenting with Raja Yoga over the last couple of years. It is a method of observing and controlling the body and mind with the aim of tuning our own spiritual experience. It requires a lot of discipline and focus. This book is just 48 pages, but outlines very clearly the method and purpose of the practice. I’m sure I will read it again and again.
The Outsider – Albert Camus (6/10)
This is the first of four existential novels I read this year, and my least favorite though it is generally well loved. It is a short and straight forward read, and it poses some philosophical questions about the way man behaves and how he places his values. But it just didn’t make a huge impact on me. I have seen criticism of the particular translation I read, so I wonder whether that had anything to do with my experience with the book, as I had expected something greater.
The Secret Book of the Golden Flower – Richard Wilhelm/C G Jung (10/10)
This is an old text about esoteric physiology, Taoism and methods for unlocking inner spirituality through yoga and meditation. It is a treasure trove of hints, made even more poignant by the inclusion of C G Jung’s interpretation from a psychological perspective. It showed me where eastern and western philosophies meet, and gave deep insights into the Raja Yoga work I have been doing. Another book I will return to without a doubt.