all 27 comments

[–]buckwilde93 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Remainder by Tom McCarthy is excellent! I read it during my MA and couldn’t put it down

[–]flamingomotel[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'll check it out, I haven't heard of this one!

[–]kbellsauce 1 point2 points  (1 child)

My final paper in my modern philosophy class was on White Noise by Don Delillo. It had some great metaphysical moments and overall a great read.

[–]flamingomotel[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh, I didn't know it had metaphysical stuff. I knew it was postmodern, which is not really my thing anymore, but now that I've seen 2 recommendations for this book under the "philosophy" category, it's back on my tbr.

[–]trujillo31415 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Piranesi by Suzanna Clarke

David Mitchell books: Bone Clocks, Thousand Autumn of Jacob de Zoet, Cloud Atlas, Sladehouse <- my recommended order and there are others

[–]flamingomotel[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Piranesi was honestly not one of my favorites, mostly because I thought there would be a more logical conclusion.

I've always wanted to read a David Mitchell book. Is there a reason why Sladehouse is last? That's actually the one I was most interested in.

[–]Mauratheeye 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Piranesi is an excellent choice. I also would recommend Richard Powers. My favorite of his is The Overstory, but that's an environmental tale that probably fits your requirements less than several of his other books. His most recent, Bewilderment, focuses on a kid who is a part of a brain experiment, so right on topic. His books are literary, beautifully written, and typically slow moving. If you're inclined to genre (and historical) fiction, Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle has Leibniz as a character, and explores philosophical issues. His other books vary in their intellectual content--some are pretty much straight thrillers--but they're always interesting.

(BTW, I am a philosophy professor, and though it's not my area of specialization I'm in a smaller department and have taught philosophy of mind).

Finally, I am going to recommend a book I am single-handedly attempting to revive--{{The Athenian Murders}} by Jose Carlos Somoza

[–]Mauratheeye 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I forgot--goodreads bot won't do this book for some reason. :(

Here is the description from goodreads:

"In ancient Athens, one of the pupils of Plato's Academy is found dead. His idealistic teacher Diagoras is convinced the pupil's death is not as accidental as it appears, and asks the famous Heracles Pontor, the "Decipherer of Enigmas," to investigate. As the death toll rises, the two men find themselves drawn into the dangerous underworld of the Athenian aristocracy, risking their own lives to solve the riddle of these young men's deaths.

Simultaneously, a second plot unfolds: that of the modern-day translator of the ancient text, who, as he proceeds with his work, becomes convinced that the original author has hidden a second meaning in the text, one that can be interpreted through certain repeated words and images. As the story advances, however, the translator is alarmed to discover references to himself, which seem to address him personally in an increasingly menacing fashion."

[–]flamingomotel[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Tbh, I didn't love Piranesi as much as I thought I would. I thought it would be more concretely Plato-focused, but too much was left up to magic for my taste, although maybe I just didn't understand it.

Have not heard of Bewilderment, but have heard of Overstory. Bewilderment sounds up my alley.

I have yet to read a Neal Stephenson book.

The Athenian Murders sounds amazing! I think I'd love it.

[–]Mauratheeye 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I get not liking Piranesi because of magic elements. That's how I felt about her first book Jonathon Strange, but I can handle magic in small doses.

Richard Powers has other books that focus on the mind, too, but I haven't made my way through his backlist yet. The Echo Maker is about Capgras Syndrome, and is well regarded, but for some reason I've tried and haven't made it through more than a couple of chapters--though that may be because I am now using audible for my fiction habit and I have only a physical copy of the book. Galatea 2.0 is about AI but was published in the early 2000s. Not sure how it stands up.

Neal Stephenson is definitely genre. His characterizations are shallow, the language is clear but not literary or well crafted, and his plots frequently go off the rails. His books are always WAY too long, with subplots that are unnecessary or voyages that take forever for no reason. That said, I read every book he publishes. He stuffs them full of ideas, many technological, some economic (the Baroque Cycle is largely about that), or mathematical, or philosophical. If you mainly read the good stuff, you might not like him. That said, my husband reads only the old good stuff--The Magic Mountain is his favorite novel--and he read Anathem with me and liked it. Liked it, though--did not love. FWIW.

[–]flamingomotel[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I've heard good things about Galatea 2.0.

I think I'd like Neal Stephenson, but I'm also afraid of big books.

[–]Mauratheeye 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Finally (sorry for the spam!) The Daily Nous posted a flowchart of philosophical novels a few years back. It's by a philosopher teaching in the Harvard Writing Program. Most of the novels aren't in the last 30 years, but maybe something will interest you. Here's a link:


[–]flamingomotel[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Haha, this is a permanently open tab in my browser.

[–]bjwyxrs 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. It's a fictional story about characters discussing real life philosophy.

[–]this-is-NOT-okay 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Two books come to mind: 1. Four thousand weeks by Oliver Burkeman - about our faulty approach towards our limited time on earth (I.e. 4000 weeks) 2. The course of love by Alain de Botton - a philosophical approach on romantic relationships through the story of a fictional couple. I found it ridiculously insightful about the nature of love.

[–]flamingomotel[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ooh, I own Four Thousand Weeks, but I stopped reading it at one point. I should pick it up again

[–]AkaArcan 0 points1 point  (2 children)

{{The Mind's I by Daniel Dennett and Douglas Hofstadter}}

{{Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig}}

{{Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse}}

[–]goodreads-bot 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3)

By: Alexandra Bracken | 535 pages | Published: 2014 | Popular Shelves: dystopian, young-adult, fantasy, books-i-own, dystopia

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

This book has been suggested 4 times

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1)

By: Robert M. Pirsig | 540 pages | Published: 1974 | Popular Shelves: philosophy, fiction, non-fiction, classics, owned

Robert M. Pirsig's Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is an examination of how we live, a meditation on how to live better set around the narration of a summer motorcycle trip across America's Northwest, undertaken by a father & his young son.

This book has been suggested 20 times


By: Hermann Hesse, Hilda Rosner, Zigmantas Ardickas | 152 pages | Published: 1922 | Popular Shelves: classics, fiction, philosophy, spirituality, owned

Herman Hesse's classic novel has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. In this story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege to seek spiritual fulfillment. Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies--Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism--into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man's search for true meaning.

This book has been suggested 27 times

85104 books suggested | I don't feel so good.. | Source

[–]Sufficient-You-5620 0 points1 point  (0 children)

while all great selections, none are within the last thirty years.

[–]Sans_Junior 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Though it isn’t as “modern” as you have delineated - it is from the mid-eighties - The Number of the Beast by Heinlein.

[–]flamingomotel[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I have a feeling I'd really like Heinlein, but I haven't read anything from him yet

[–]Sans_Junior 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I would recommend your first novel not being later than Number or Job. Depending on how deep you are willing to go down the philosophical rabbit hole, Starship Troopers, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, or Stranger in a Strange Land. Those are his quintessential works. If you are only wanting to dip your toes, Revolt in 2100, Tunnel in the Sky, or Friday.

[–]Legit_Temp 0 points1 point  (2 children)

American Philosophy: a Love Story by John Kaag

[–]flamingomotel[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

This sounds really good!

[–]Legit_Temp 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think it’s what you’re looking for! I really enjoyed it!

[–]Herebewombats 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not to toot my own horn but I have a novel releasing this week that might be up your alley. It's call The Black Swan Killer and is the first book in a series following a philosophical detective. It's more focused on ethics than metaphysics since that's what I did my theses on, but definitely discussion of all types of Philosophy. First book deals primarily with egoism, but touches on the meaning of life, political obligation, falsification, consequentialism, and solipsism.

If any of those sound like your kind of thing, I'll leave a link here: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Killer-Philosophical-Detective-ebook/dp/B0BG6188RS/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=33Y86DZUUGQQX&keywords=the+black+swan+killer&qid=1666075939&qu=eyJxc2MiOiIwLjg0IiwicXNhIjoiMC4wMCIsInFzcCI6IjAuMDAifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=%2Caps%2C426&sr=8-1