Some EA groups like to hold book clubs. These are usually held over several weeks, with one or two chapters of a book discussed each week. Book clubs can:
Eencourage 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.
Some organisers decide on which books to read by asking group members for suggestions and then voting among the suggestions. You can also suggest a book you would like to organize a book club on for your group.
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 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.
Popular EA Books for Book Clubs
Doing Good Better by William MacAskill
EA Estonia’s book group guide has sample questions
The Precipice by Toby Ord
EA Virtual Programs has a curriculum with sample questions for this
What We Owe The Future by William MacAskill
This is a guide for a 6-week reading group on the book by Aris Richardson from EA UC Berkeley
The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t by Julia Galef
The 80,000 Hours book by Benjamin Todd (or their more updated key ideas guide - both are free to download)
Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock
Rationality: From AI to Zombies (also known as The Sequences) by Eliezer Yudkowsky (free to download)
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky (available online for free)
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (Note: Some findings from studies in this book have not held up in replication studies)
Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help by Larissa MacFaquhar
Moral Uncertainty by William MacAskill, Krister Bykvist, Toby Ord (more technical, free pdf here)
Ethics into Action by Peter Singer
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom (More technical)
The Alignment Problem: How Can Machines Learn Human Values? by Brian Christian
Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell
The AI Does Not Hate You by Tom Chivers (good intro to AI safety culture)
Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark
The Age of Em by Robin Hanson
Soonish by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith
Global Health and Development
How to Launch a High-Impact Nonprofit (The Charity Entrepreneurship Handbook) by Joey Savoie, Patrick Stadler, and Antonia Shann
This book teaches concepts and skills that are useful for starting or working in a high-impact nonprofit (including those outside global health and development).
The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer (free to download)
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
How to Create a Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach by Tobias Leenaert
The End of Factory Farming by Jacy Reese
Compassion, by the Pound by F. Bailey Norwood and Jayson L. Lusk
Meathooked by Martha Zaraska
Risto Uuk from EA Estonia's Reading Group Guide for EA Groups
Tessa Alexanian's How to Run a High-Energy Reading Group