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12 Best Existentialism Books

Looking for thought-provoking reads? Explore our collection of existentialism books that delve into the meaning of life and human existence.



by Marcus Aurelius

4.8 (14667 reviews)

What is Meditations about?

"Meditations" is a philosophical collection of thoughts and reflections written by a prominent Roman emperor. In this timeless book, the author explores various aspects of life, offering profound insights on topics such as self-improvement, resilience, and the pursuit of inner peace. Through his introspective musings, he encourages readers to embrace the present moment, confront challenges with stoicism, and cultivate a virtuous existence. This profound work serves as a guide to navigating the complexities of life and finding tranquility amidst chaos.

Who should read Meditations

  • Philosophy enthusiasts seeking ancient wisdom and stoic teachings.

  • Individuals looking for practical guidance on living a virtuous life.

  • Those interested in exploring the thoughts of a Roman emperor.


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

by Caitlin Doughty

4.8 (8111 reviews)

What is Smoke Gets in Your Eyes about?

In this thought-provoking memoir, the author takes readers on a captivating journey into the world of death and dying. Through her experiences working in a crematory, Caitlin Doughty explores the taboo subject of death with humor, honesty, and compassion. From the practicalities of cremation to the cultural rituals surrounding death, this book offers a unique perspective on mortality, challenging societal norms and encouraging readers to confront their own mortality.

Who should read Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

  • Those curious about the inner workings of a crematory.

  • Individuals seeking a unique perspective on death and dying.

  • Funeral industry professionals looking for insights and reflections.


The Gift of Therapy

by Irvin D. Yalom

4.8 (2567 reviews)

What is The Gift of Therapy about?

"The Gift of Therapy" is a heartfelt and insightful letter from a seasoned therapist to a new generation of therapists and their patients. In this book, the author shares his wisdom and experiences, offering guidance on the art of therapy and the importance of genuine human connection. With compassion and authenticity, he explores various therapeutic techniques and encourages therapists to embrace their own vulnerabilities. This book is a valuable resource for both therapists and those seeking therapy.

Who should read The Gift of Therapy

  • Aspiring therapists seeking guidance and insights into the field.

  • Patients looking for a deeper understanding of therapy and its benefits.

  • Mental health professionals interested in a fresh perspective on therapy.


Man’s Search for Meaning

by Viktor E. Frankl

4.7 (62234 reviews)

What is Man’s Search for Meaning about?

In this profound and thought-provoking book, a renowned psychiatrist shares his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Through his harrowing journey, he explores the depths of human suffering and resilience, ultimately revealing the importance of finding meaning in life even in the most challenging circumstances. With profound insights and a powerful message, this book offers a unique perspective on the human condition and the pursuit of happiness.

Who should read Man’s Search for Meaning

  • Individuals seeking to find purpose and meaning in their lives.

  • Psychologists and mental health professionals interested in existential therapy.

  • Anyone looking for inspiration and insight into the human condition.


When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi, M.D.

4.7 (45508 reviews)

What is When Breath Becomes Air about?

"When Breath Becomes Air" is a poignant memoir that delves into the life of a brilliant neurosurgeon facing his own mortality. Written by a talented doctor, the book explores the profound questions of life, death, and the meaning of existence. With raw honesty and introspection, the author shares his journey from doctor to patient, offering a profound reflection on the fragility of life and the pursuit of purpose in the face of inevitable death.

Who should read When Breath Becomes Air

  • Medical professionals seeking insights into life and death.

  • Individuals facing their own mortality and seeking perspective.

  • Readers interested in poignant memoirs about the human experience.


Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

by Neil deGrasse Tyson

4.7 (22812 reviews)

What is Astrophysics for People in a Hurry about?

In this concise and accessible book, a renowned astrophysicist takes readers on a captivating journey through the cosmos. Exploring the fundamental concepts of astrophysics, Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down complex theories and discoveries into bite-sized explanations. From the Big Bang to black holes, dark matter to the search for extraterrestrial life, this book offers a quick and enlightening exploration of the wonders of the universe, perfect for those with limited time but a burning curiosity about the cosmos.

Who should read Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

  • Science enthusiasts seeking a concise overview of astrophysics concepts.

  • Busy individuals looking for a quick and accessible introduction to astrophysics.

  • Curious minds eager to explore the wonders of the universe.


Everything Is F*cked

by Mark Manson

4.6 (9840 reviews)

What is Everything Is F*cked about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author delves into the concept of hope and its significance in our lives. With his signature blend of humor and brutal honesty, he explores how our modern world is plagued by a crisis of hope and offers insightful perspectives on how to navigate through it. Through engaging anecdotes and philosophical insights, this book challenges readers to question their beliefs and find a renewed sense of purpose in a seemingly chaotic world.

Who should read Everything Is F*cked

  • Individuals seeking a fresh perspective on finding hope in a chaotic world.

  • Readers interested in exploring the intersection of philosophy and self-improvement.

  • Anyone looking for a thought-provoking and humorous take on life's challenges.


Until The End of Time

by Brian Greene

4.6 (2668 reviews)

What is Until The End of Time about?

In this thought-provoking exploration, a renowned physicist delves into the deepest questions of existence. Brian Greene takes readers on a captivating journey through the realms of science, philosophy, and spirituality, unraveling the mysteries of the universe and our place within it. From the origins of the cosmos to the complexities of consciousness, "Until The End of Time" offers a profound reflection on the nature of reality, the human experience, and the eternal quest for meaning.

Who should read Until The End of Time

  • Science enthusiasts seeking a deep exploration of the universe's mysteries.

  • Philosophers and thinkers pondering the nature of existence and purpose.

  • Curious individuals eager to understand the interconnectedness of mind and matter.


Escape From Freedom

by Erich Fromm

4.6 (700 reviews)

What is Escape From Freedom about?

"Escape From Freedom" explores the psychological and social factors that drive individuals to seek escape from the burdens of freedom. Erich Fromm delves into the human desire for security and conformity, analyzing the impact of societal structures on personal identity and the consequences of relinquishing individual autonomy. Fromm's thought-provoking analysis sheds light on the complexities of human nature and the struggle between the yearning for freedom and the allure of conformity.

Who should read Escape From Freedom

  • Individuals seeking to understand the psychological roots of authoritarianism.

  • Psychologists and social scientists interested in studying human behavior.

  • Those interested in exploring the impact of societal pressures on personal freedom.


The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

by Haruki Murakami

4.5 (5945 reviews)

What is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle about?

"The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami is a mesmerizing and surreal tale that follows the life of a man named Toru Okada. After his cat goes missing, Toru embarks on a strange and mysterious journey that takes him deep into the realms of his own subconscious. As he delves into his past and encounters a cast of eccentric characters, Toru must confront his deepest fears and unravel the enigmatic connections between dreams, reality, and the human psyche.

Who should read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

  • Fans of surreal and thought-provoking literature.

  • Readers interested in exploring themes of identity and self-discovery.

  • Those who enjoy immersive and intricate storytelling.


A Brief History of Everything

by Ken Wilber

4.5 (464 reviews)

What is A Brief History of Everything about?

"A Brief History of Everything" is a comprehensive exploration of the evolution of human consciousness and the interconnectedness of all aspects of existence. Ken Wilber delves into various disciplines, including science, philosophy, psychology, and spirituality, to present a unified framework that encompasses the physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions of reality. This thought-provoking book offers a profound understanding of the universe, our place in it, and the potential for personal and collective transformation.

Who should read A Brief History of Everything

  • Philosophy enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive understanding of the universe.

  • Students of spirituality and consciousness exploring the interconnectedness of existence.

  • Individuals curious about the evolution of human thought and culture.


How to Live

by Derek Sivers

4.5 (180 reviews)

What is How to Live about?

In this thought-provoking book, Derek Sivers explores the complex question of how to live a fulfilling life by presenting 27 conflicting answers from various perspectives. Through personal anecdotes, philosophical insights, and practical advice, Sivers challenges conventional wisdom and encourages readers to question their own beliefs. Ultimately, he arrives at a surprising and unconventional conclusion that will leave readers pondering the true meaning of a well-lived life.

Who should read How to Live

  • Individuals seeking diverse perspectives on the meaning of life.

  • Philosophical thinkers looking for unconventional insights on existence.

  • Those interested in exploring contradictory viewpoints on living purposefully.