Book clubs are becoming very popular EA group activities. These are usually held over several weeks, with one or two chapters discussed each week. Book clubs can:
Encourage group members to read books they might want to read, but otherwise wouldn’t get around to.
Help group members get a deeper understanding than they would by reading alone.
Provide a space for group members to delve deeply into a topic.
Often have more consistent attendance than a similar number of one-off discussion events.
This post on "How to run a high-energy reading group" has some suggested formats for reading groups. Other formats are mentioned on our discussion groups page, and discussion facilitation tips are available on our facilitation guide.
CEA is able to provide funding for books. Check out our guide on Getting Books for Members for more information.
Many organisers decide on which books to read by asking group members for suggestions, and then voting among the suggestions.
Before choosing a book, check out a review or two and scan through the book to gauge the level, then advertise your book club accordingly.
Below is a list of other books that may be relevant to your group, sorted by subject area. You can also look at the Effective Altruism books list on Goodreads for more ideas.
Most Popular Books for Book Clubs
Doing Good Better by William MacAskill
EA Estonia’s book group guide has sample questions
The Precipice by Toby Ord (more longtermist focused)
Meta EA and Rationality
Ethics into Action by Peter Singer
Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help by Larissa MacFaquhar
Stubborn Attachments by Tyler Cowen
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (Note: Some findings from studies in this book have not held up in replication studies)
Moral Uncertainty by William MacAskill, Krister Bykvist, Toby Ord (more technical)
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky (available online for free)
The AI Does Not Hate You by Tom Chivers (good intro to AI safety culture)
The Alignment Problem: How Can Machines Learn Human Values? by Brian Christian
Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell
Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark
The Age of Em by Robin Hanson
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom (More technical)
Soonish by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith
Compassion, by the Pound by F. Bailey Norwood and Jayson L. Lusk
How to Create a Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach by Tobias Leenaert
The End of Factory Farming by Jacy Reese
Meathooked by Martha Zaraska
Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo