Carlo Rovelli is an Italian theoretical physicist. He is Professor of Physics at Aix-Marseille University, in the Centre de Physique Théorique, in Marseille, France, and member of the Intitut Universitaire de France. His work is mainly in the field of quantum gravity, where he is among the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory.

The Odyssey

The Odyssey

Homer

“This is a story that has hit me in young age and to which I have gone back repeatedly all my life. Homers’ Ulysses has been the ideal of my life and my secret idol forever. There are pages in the book, verses, images, that come back to me in innumerable experiences in life, continuously.”

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Ethics

Ethics

Baruch Spinoza

“I have read this late in life (it is not an easy book) and it has been a revelation. The deepness of Spinoza intelligence is astonishing. His clarity about Nature, about human emotions, about life, is like a wise guide. My present atheism is serene and is grounded on this book.”

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The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise

The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise

R. D. Laing

“In the middle of a tempestuous adolescence, this book has been for me a lighthouse. It is thanks to this book that I have accepted my non acceptance of the world, I have accepted by rebellion, and that I have become what I am.”

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The Poems of Sappho

The Poems of Sappho

Sappho

“It is not just Sappho: all the ancient Greek lyrics have had a strong effect on me. They have opened my heart to the complexity and the fury of the emotions. Sappho above all.”

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Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity

Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity

Roy A. Rappaport

“This is a book of Anthropology. It has changed completely my understanding about what is religion, the function it has in society, and how it was born. I read it not long ago, and since then I view religion a bit less as a totally incomprehensible behavior of my fellow human beings.”

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The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition

The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition

Theodore Roszak

“Another book read in my adolescence. It has had a strong impact on me because it connected my solitary and individual rebellion to the rest of my generation. It opened for me Marcuse, and the hippy world. After reading it, I left for traveling the world and meet the others that like me were dreaming of changing this world in depth and make it a more gentle place. Too bad we failed, but life goes on.”

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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoevsky

“It is the first Dostoyeswky novel I read and it was a total shock. I was a University student. I spent three days locked home just reading and then for a month I could talk about nothing else than what Ivan Karamazov had said that day or the other. A dive into human soul as no other. An openness to the complexities of the ideas and the variety of humanity. It has opened my eyes as little else has.”

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The Forgotten Revolution: How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why it Had to Be Reborn

The Forgotten Revolution: How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why it Had to Be Reborn

Lucio Russo

“I am a scientist, and this is a book about ancient science completely changed my view about science, its history and its nature. A little-known jewel.”

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The Mahabharata

The Mahabharata

Anonymous

“This is the immense Indian epic. Life, love, war, all emotions, all souls, destiny. Ancient, but still a comprehensive lecture about was is to be humans. And truly immense.”

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De Rerum Natura (The Way Things Are)

De Rerum Natura (The Way Things Are)

Lucretius

“Lucretius, the ancient roman poet that put into verses the ideas of Democritus, saving them from being lost during the dark centuries when religion was completely obscuring the light of reason. A beautiful, soft, enchanted chant about nature, of which we are intimately part. The sense of wonder that is the source of the science I do. This is a book that has influence the renaissance profoundly, has influenced all those who have restarted science, like Galileo and Newton, and conserves today intact his powerful message against fear, and for reason. A book full of nature and full of light.”

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