What are the best existential philosophy books?

asked by Anonymous
299 contributors
21 solutions
  1. 51

    #1At The Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails

    At The Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails

    At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell is a biographical novel originally published in March 2016. This book tackles the concept of existentialism movement.


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    Jeffrey Morales
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "The best existential philosophy books is At The Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell. It is a novel that focuses on a group of post-war thinkers who became known as the Existentialists: Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus, Heidegger, and their circle. It takes a look at the social, artistic and political currents that shaped the existentialist movement-"
  2. 45

    #2Journey to the End of the Night

    Journey to the End of the Night

    Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline is a fiction novel originally published in 1932. This book entails the idiocy and hypocrisy of society through the author's point of view.


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    Anthony Snyder
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "This novel keeps getting better as you read it! The writing style can be a little off putting due to slang and excessive exaggeration but in the long run it works!"
  3. 38

    #3Les Fleurs Du Mal

    Les Fleurs Du Mal

    Les Fleurs du Mal, or The Flowers of Evil, is a collection of poems by French poet Charles Baudelaire, translated from the original French by Richard Howard. The poems in the collection are considered to be his greatest work.


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    Jason Hunt
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "I was looking for a good existential philosophy book and found Les Fleurs Du Mal. This is a french collection of poems that really make one think and add a lot of philosophy. I really enjoyed this collection and found the poems very intriguing. I highly recommend this collection to anyone interested in this topic. "
  1. 28



    Poetics is a book written by Aristotle examining the Greek theater of his time, particularly the tragedies written by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. It is translated by Joe Sachs and printed by Penguin Classics.


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    Judith Hamilton
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "Aristotle wrote this book, do i need to say anymore. He was one great philosopher. The book poetics covers dramatic elements such as, plot, character, language, and how it creates fear in an audience and how we get pleasure from this. "
  2. 24

    #5The Soft Machine (The Nova Trilogy)

    The Soft Machine (The Nova Trilogy)
    The Soft Machine is the first book in The Nova trilogy written by William S. Burroughs. This book is about a place where taboo is nothing and has surreal space odyssey. 

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    Juan Nguyen
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "The Soft Machine really made me think about my life. Burroughs wrote a masterpiece with this one."
  3. 24

    #6The Time Machine

    The Time Machine

    Time Machine is a science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells. First published in 1895 and written as a frame narrative, it centers on an inventor identified as the Time Traveller. This novel popularized the concept of time travel.


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    Mark Wagner
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "The Time Machine (Chump Change Edition) is a book by HG Wells. It is available from Amazon for $2.59 for a paperback. It is a true science fiction classic. It is the books that made speculation about time travel popular. It also delves into social theory. It fits the topic very well."
  4. 18

    #7The Hero with a Thousand Faces

    The Hero with a Thousand Faces
    The Hero with a Thousand Faces is the seventeenth (17th) installment in the Bollingen Series written by Joseph Campbell. This book is a psychoanalysis of mythology and culture. Published in 1972 by Princeton University Press.

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    Eduardo Campos
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This book seems to be a very important series in philosophy studies.  it had some of the first ideas that created modern philosophy call Indy and was widely acclaimed for years even to this day."
  5. 14

    #8The Diaries of Franz Kafka

    The Diaries of Franz Kafka

    Written between 1910 and 1923, this book contains observations, ideas and stories written by Franz Kafka. This way, every reader will be able to know more about Kafka's thoughts and feelings right before his death, as he stopped writing just one year before he died due to tuberculosis. 


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    Howard Hunter
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Are Kafka's thoughts and feeling before death interesting?"
  6. 11

    #9The Fire Next Time

    The Fire Next Time
    The Fire Next Time is James Baldwin's book depicting the racial injustice he suffered in his childhood in Harlem, and through parts of the book, he made a call to the American people to end racism.

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    Doris Hopkins
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "The Fire Next Time is a must-read for all Black Americans, and in fact for all Americans, Firmly in the tradition of Black Existentialism created by DuBois, the two essays in this book examine the nature of racism in America, and its effect on the people subjected to it. Baldwin was ahead of his time when it came to the idea of default whiteness, and its effect on the consciousness of Black folk. The insights in this book are as true now as the were when it was written in 1963."
  7. 9

    #10Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    The most accessible and influential work of Nietzsche, the most influencer philosopher of the 19th and 20th century. In this book, Nietzsche explains the basis of provocative and utterance 'God is dead'.


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    Judith Douglas
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "This book is considered a classic, and after reading it I understand why. It's a book with incredible ideas that make you think and leave you pondering for a long time. It's a book I recommend if you are open minded and don't mind criticism of other religions, mainly christian and jewish. When I started reading it I didn't know what to expect but I enjoyed it very much. "
  8. 6

    #11Meditation - Deep and Blissful

    Meditation - Deep and Blissful
    Meditation - Deep and Blissful is a non-fiction self-help book written by Sharon Rose Summers first published in 2013 by Austin & Goldenlight Publishing. 

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    Elizabeth Herrera
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I'll admit it. I was having a rough year last year, and needed some sort of guidance. I was browsing through Amazon, thinking to find books on philosophy - preferably ones that confirmed, or reinforced my choices (I think they call that existential philosophy?) but somehow I found this book on meditation. Or, rather, how to meditate. It's specifically designed for beginners. Since I know lots of people who brag on the practice of meditation, I decided to give it a try. Seemed a lot easier to digest than the other philosophy books I had looked at. When I got this book, I thumbed through it before actually trying anything - there was nothing about philosophy in here at all. Well, maybe the forward on how meditation can help you, but that was it. Still, once I actually started following the book and getting into the practice, I felt my problems starting to fade away - It didn't happen overnight! But somehow it did help me to affirm my beliefs in myself. So, really, a meditation book, not a philosophy book, helped me get back on track!"
  9. 5

    #12The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

    The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
    Albert Camus wrote The Myth of Sisyphus becoming one of the most influential philosophical works of the 20th Century. Under the influence of Don Juan and Kafka's works, this book is a meditation on suicide and living or not living. 


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    Kathryn Hanson
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "I was having a bit of a midlife crisis, and I wanted to read some books about existential philosophy. this book scratched that itch well, and I feel much better now."
  10. 3

    #13Notes From Underground

    Notes From Underground
    In Notes from the Underground, Fyodor Dostoyevsky tells the story of an unnamed narrator who retreated underground, fully isolating himself from society. It exhibits Dostoyevsky's thoughts on society and the human condition.

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    Eugene Ellis
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "I love the book Notes From Underground. I think it's one of the best existential philosophy books of all time. It is a perfect classic that keeps you perfectly entertained and causes you to really think. "
  11. 2

    #14The Philosophy Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)

    The Philosophy Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)

    The History Book by Will Buckingham is a philosophical novel originally published in 2011. This book belongs to the Big Ideas Simply Explained series published by the Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff.


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    Jennifer Clark
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "Way too simplified. If you're into philosophy, start with the Greeks and not this garbage. Only of value if you're under the age of 10."
  12. 0

    #15Of Time and the River

    Of Time and the River

    Of Time and the River: A Legend of Man's Hunger in His Youth is an existential philosophy book written by Thomas Wolfe. It was released in 1999 and is treated as a sequel to his debut novel, Look Homeward Angel.


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    Anna Feng
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "The author's facility with words is absolutely extraordinary. There was a lyricism to his writing that was truly a joy to read, especially as someone who enjoys high literature. Wolfe's storytelling abilities are simply nonpareil, and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the intricate complexities of language and wants to challenge and sharpen their mind. Wolfe's ability to plumb the depths of human emotion is exquisite, and you will almost assuredly be a smarter person for having read this book."
  13. 0

    #16Deep Gyn-Ecology Trusts In The Earth

    Deep Gyn-Ecology Trusts In The Earth

    Deep Gyn-Ecology Trusts In The Earth: Poetry for the Planet is a book by Carrie Ann Thunell. It was released in August 2014. It is about a journey to find the meaning of life on earth. 


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    Crystal Gray
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "The poetry in this book has lots of meaning to me about our life on this earth. It helped me relate to how I fit into the big picture. The book is very different from anything I have read before and I like that."
  14. 0

    #17The Gateless Barrier: The Wu-Men Kuan (Mumonkan)

    The Gateless Barrier: The Wu-Men Kuan (Mumonkan)

    The Gateless Barrier: The Wu-Men Kuan (Mumonkan) is a nonfiction philosophical book about Zen Buddhism written by Robert Aitken. This nonfiction philosophical book about Zen Buddhism was published by North Point Press.


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    Joel Campos
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "For those looking to get into or for those looking to hone their practice of Zen Buddhism will find great solace in this book. It is very enlightening, does an excellent job at both intro and progress, and will give you a deeper understanding."
  15. 0

    #18The Sorrow's Garden

    The Sorrow's Garden

    The Sorrow's Garden is an existential and a moral novel for young adults written by Anthony Carinhas. It was first published in 2012. It is set in 1938 and is about a hypocritical writer who downs others.


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    Jose Baker
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "I was tired of straight philosophy books so I decided to find a fictional book that examines a person's psyche. I couldn't put the book down once I started. I was totally mesmerized by Klara and Radulf's interactions. If you love dark stories and unsettling characters I definitely think you should pick up a copy of this book. It is a great look into the potential evil of the human mind. "
  16. 0

    #19Rhetoric Reclaimed

    Rhetoric Reclaimed

    Rhetoric Reclaimed: Aristotle and the Liberal Arts Tradition is a study book written by Janet M. Atwill. It was released in 1998. It is a deep look into the origins of humanities.


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    Nicole Hall
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Rhetoric Reclaimed: Aristotle and the Liberal Arts Tradition from the Rhetoric & Society Series by Janet M. Atwill is a great synopsis of traditional liberal arts philosophy and how it affects our modern day world. She envisions rhetoric as the art of invention which puts a unique spin on education. This is a great read for those who are studying philosophy or for others who are up to the challenge and want to broaden their horizons."
  17. 0

    #20Chasing Mayflies

    Chasing Mayflies

    Chasing Mayflies is a deep and intricate novel written by Vincent Donovan. It was published in July 2016. It is about a man trying to fulfill his dying friend's final wish.


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    Devansh Banerjee
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I was working 8am to 7pm shifts for the past few years and I wanted to make sure I spend time in the evening with my 15 year old twin daughters. I was looking for something exciting and magical to share with them while they read to themselves at night. I found this amazing book called "Chasing Mayflies" which is a philosophical and existential exploration of a man and his friend confronting their mortality. This enchanting philosophical treatise explores a wide range of relationship issues revolve around consequences, redemption, and the transformative nature of human compassion. My daughters are absolutely enchanted and in love with this philosophical text. Thank you!"
  18. 0

    #21The Elementary Particles

    The Elementary Particles
    The Elementary Particles is a renowned novel authored by French writer Michel Houellebecq. It was released in 2001 and was translated into English by Frank Wynne. It is about brothers trying to find love in their lives.

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    Ben Li
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I needed to brush up on my philosophy because I was going back to school. I was searching what other students told me they would be studying. They said I would need The Elementary Particles. I read it and feel more prepared for classes now. The was not bad."


Best What are the best existential philosophy books
1At The Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot CocktailsBooks 51 Paid
2Journey to the End of the NightBooks 45 Paid
3Les Fleurs Du MalBooks 38 Paid
4PoeticsBooks 28 Paid
5The Soft Machine (The Nova Trilogy)Books 24 Paid
6The Time MachineBooks 24 Paid
7The Hero with a Thousand FacesBooks 18 Paid
8The Diaries of Franz KafkaBooks 14 Paid
9The Fire Next TimeBooks 11 Paid
10Thus Spoke ZarathustraBooks 9 Paid

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