Here's my current mental diet, most of which is serious. I also love cat videos and cuddling in the late afternoon sun, but that's a different list for a different time.
What's also notable is what's not here: Daily news, magazines, and other forms of information junk food.
Sharing these ideas makes my brain feel naked in public. Some of the ideas may offend you. Maybe at least try considering the idea? You don't have to agree. I don't agree with plenty of the ideas I've found here. A good starting point is an essay on exactly this topic: What You Can't Say:
... because it's good for the brain. To do good work you need a brain that can go anywhere. And you especially need a brain that's in the habit of going where it's not supposed to.
(you can read later with: Kindle, Pocket, Readability, Instapaper, etc.)
- Entertaining difficult ideas: What you can't say
- Honesty makes everyone stronger: The economics of social status
- Choosing your thoughts: This is water
- How to have impact: Why Good Intentions Aren't Good Enough: A Primer on Systems & Leverage Points
- Why taste matters: Taste for makers
- There are more men on bottom than on top: Is there anything good about men?
- Greatness requires lots of work: What you'll wish you'd known
- How our brains fail: You Are Not So Smart
- Ideas from a smart eccentric: Scott Adams' blog
- Bits of broken beauty: A Softer World
- Doing science to dating: OK Trends
- Wavers between brilliant and bullshit: The Last Psychiatrist
- Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder
- The Rational Optimist
- Poor Charlie's Almanack
- Economics in One Lesson
- The Way to Wealth
- The Origins of Virtue
- The Salmon of Doubt
- Six Easy Pieces
- The Big Short
- Black Swan
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman
I generally have a hard time with "self-help", but these were pretty good:
Credit to Startup Boy for several of the books on this list.