Book list for my daughter – round 2

I posted a few weeks ago an initial draft of a ten book reading list that I am going to ask my 14 year old daughter to read through before she turns 16 / gets a car. The goal is to add a few ideas to her mental tool box, specifically things she is not likely to get as part of her regular schooling or teenage interest. I generally stuck with the rule of only adding things that I’ve read, but there are a few I haven’t. In either case, I will be reading along with her so we can discuss what she’s reading. I got lots of great feedback and suggestions and made a few changes to the list.
So here are the books still on the list from the first pass:
7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens – ok, I didn’t read this one exacty, but the “oldie” equivalent. I had 3 different time / life management books in the original list and needed to make some room for some great suggestions on other topics. This was the one that made the cut.
The Prince – No one wants to be called “Machiavellian”, but the guy did have some insight about the way people work when put into political organizations (i.e. whenever there are more than 3 people working together). This one would have to come with careful discussion about not emulating the bahvior, but rather understanding that it is real – people do act in the way that Machiavelli describes.
Rubicon – the fall of the Roman Empire has so may lessons in it, even at the personal level, that its the one history book that made my list.
The Screwtape Letters – a little theology can go a long way and this is one of my favorites. A few of the books on this list I pickup and read a bit over and over again – this is one of them.
The Art of War – no, I don’t expect her to become some great general. But b-schools all over the country aren’t churning out warriors either. They teach this book because its great strategy, pure and simple.
Learning PHP, MySQL, Javascript and CSS – being able to code will be is as important as being able to read, write and do arithmetic. I’m. to sure this is the best book, but I didn’t get any other suggestions, so it stays.
And now the books that got added:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Miantenance – it’s been a long time since I’ve read this book, but I was recently reminded of it in a chance conversation. It’s generally considered more of a “guys” book, but I think she’ll get something out of it.
Anatomy of the State – I don’t care if she believes any of what Murray Rothbard has to say about the state in this rather short deconstruction of many of the modern myths about government. I just want her to know about the ideas he presents to see that there are different ways to look at things than what the mainstream narrative gives you. It’s worth it to look at them all – even if you decide to discount them.
Economics in One Lesson – this one I do care if she believes, because it’s a description of the way things actually work. I think she’ll get more out of this one if she reads Rhetoric first since she’ll be able to appreciate the elegant logic of Hazlitt’s simple explanation of Austrian economics.
Rhetoric – I had a more modern rhetoric book on the earlier list, but decided to go straight to the source and have her read Aristotle’s original work on the topic. The study of the basics of grammar, logic and rhetoric was already long gone from school by the time that even I went through school and it’s been similarly absent from my daughter’s educational experience thus far. I was a late comer to this basic method of how to think and I still have a long way to go before it becomes an automatic “background process” in my mind. My hope is that by giving this approach to my daughter earlier she’ll have a much better chance of automating it. Plus I think she’s likely to want to become a lawyer if she reads the original.
I get back from Vegas on Saturday, so I’ll probably sit down with her on Sunday, look at the list and let her decide what she wants to read first.






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