Sue Blackmore is a freelance writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth. She has a degree in psychology and physiology from Oxford University (1973) an MSc and a PhD in parapsychology from the University of Surrey (1980). She no longer works on the paranormal. Her research interests include memes, evolutionary theory, consciousness, and meditation.

The Selfish Gene

Richard Dawkins

“This is still a book I recommend everyone to read even though it’s so old. It flips around your ideas of life, the universe and everything so that you never think the same way again about design and creativity. And it introduces memes!”

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Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

“The unforgettable Elizabeth Bennet stands for all women everywhere whose strength is not bound by their particular time and culture (and of course she falls deeply in love with the enigmatic and gorgeous Mr Darcy).”

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Consciousness Explained

Daniel Dennett

“Consciousness is not just ‘explained away’ as Dennett’s critics like to joke. Rather, Dennett undermines all our habitual illusions and leaves us frighteningly open to the real mystery of how and why we seem to be conscious beings.”

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The Principles of Psychology

William James

“Of all the books I own this is my most heavily annotated and most treasured. More than a century ago, James explored questions of mind, self and perception with such deep insight that I still understand something new every time I open it.”

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Gaia

James Lovelock

“Some of Lovelock’s ideas are wildly fanciful. Yet this book changed the way we think about our home planet, and urged us to care for her, long before we had any idea of the harm we are doing through plundering Gaia’s resources.”

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The Three Pillars of Zen

Roshi Philip Kapleau

“Still one of the clearest and most inspiring books about Zen, especially for its many accounts of the enlightenment experiences of ordinary people.”

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A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini

“An unforgettably horrific book about women’s lives in Afghanistan, revealing how religion can exploit the worst and cruellest sides of human nature while claiming to do good.”

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