Hi all - I thought I’d start a new thread for book recommendations since the last one is a year old. I’ve done a lot of reading lately, so I’d love to share what I’ve picked up. Likewise, please share some books you’ve read as well!
Listed in the order I read them:
Utopia by Thomas More
This is the 16th century classic that gave us the word “utopia” and that inspired many modern, utopian concepts. Personally, I didn’t get much practical information from it, but it was interesting to see a positive perspective on socialism from a perspective so different from my own.
Paradise Now : The Story of American Utopianism by Chris Jennings
I really enjoyed this book! In it, Jennings gives an account of America’s history of communities that were founded upon communist, religious, and utopian ideals. I was surprised to learn about communities from hundreds of years ago that shared some similarities with my own ideals. One of them is even still around!
Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock by Jenny Odell
This book doesn’t directly relate to intentional communities, but it includes great insights into our relationship with time, how it’s controlled, and how it’s used to control others. It’s an aspect of society that’s dissatisfying to me, and part of my motivation for seeking an alternative lifestyle, so I’m sharing it!
Everyday Utopia: What 2,000 Years of Wild Experiments Can Teach Us About the Good Life by Kristen Ghodsee
There are a lot of great, historical examples in this book of the benefits of communal lifestyles. It’s a great read, and I really enjoyed how Ghodsee approached the subject.
Mutualism: Building the Next Economy from the Ground Up by Sara Horowitz
This book focuses on the power of mutual support and organizations rather than intentional communities. It’s not exactly what I was searching for, but it does provide practical steps to building and supporting a mutual organization - which I believe can be well applied in growing an intentional community.
American Utopias by Charles Nordhoff
Originally published in 1875 as the Communistic Societies of the United States, this is another great look at the American communities of the past that went against the mainstream and lived in a communist manner. What I really enjoyed about this book is that much of it is a first-hand account of the author’s visits to the communities. It’s a long read, but I recommend it!
I’d like to give a special mention to the following books as they stood out to me as clear evidence of the failings of the mainstream society most of us live in. They’re not about intentional communities, but definitely check them out if you can:
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
- Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond
- Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women by Elliot Liebow
That’s the end of my mega post
If you read any of it, thank you! And please share some recommendations with me!