barn owl books

Here at Barn Owl Books, our mission is to ensure that readers of all backgrounds have access to books that offer a fresh, unique and useful perspective on life.  Our authors do not delve into matters in a simple and ubiquitous manner; they are pioneers who set themselves apart from their contemporaries, men and women with a unique take on life.  By publishing such authors, Barn Owl Books provides readers with the tools to gain deeper satisfaction in life.

Working by Studs Terkels Find meaning and happiness in your work! Step into the real-life world of Studs Terkel’s critically acclaimed book Working, which tells the stories of workers of all different backgrounds and careers as they discuss what their work means to them, how they find meaning in their careers, and how this translates to overall happiness in their lives. Surveys show that over half of employed workers in the United States report some level of dissatisfaction with their jobs. As worker Barbara Terwilliger says in the book, “One should find joy in one’s occupation.” By following the positive experiences of workers like bakery director Kay Stepkins, the trials of people like farm worker Robert Acuna, and the unique experiences of people like renowned football coach George Allen, readers can gain a much more expansive outlook on what their work may or may not mean to them and on how they can gain satisfaction out of their jobs. Most books offer a direct and limited set of advice that can only be utilized by workers with a specific background or experience. Working does not offer advice in this conventional manner; instead, it offers a variety of experiences, of workers ranging from paper boys to telephone psychics to business executives, for the reader to interpret personally as he or she will. “Working was my motivation for creating Humans of New York. When I read Working I realized that something as simple as the story of a common man has the ability to move hearts and affect souls, so I decided to continue Terkel’s storytelling tradition with HONY knowing that somewhere, someone is waiting for a story they can relate to.” - Brandon Stanton, creator of the blog Humans of New York
The Nature of Things by Lucretius Learn how to achieve true happiness in life by banishing your worries and fears of death, superstition, and divine wrath! The Nature of Things, written by ancient scientist and philosopher Lucretius, combines science with beautiful poetry to instruct you on how to dispel your unfounded fears in life and achieve a state of ataraxia—happiness through pursuit of pleasures and freedom from worries. Studies show that 15 million Americans suffer from depression. To these Americans and all other people to whom “life is one long struggle in the dark,” Lucretius offers a practical guide to conquering their fears through Epicurean philosophy and becoming self-sufficient entities. To show readers how to do so, he explains how: - Atoms compose everything and everyone: people, gods, and the universe. - Gods are just like you and I, and they do not control the universe nor do they have interest in our affairs. - Science can explain all phenomena in nature that we fearfully ascribe to superstition and divine reasons. - Fear of death is unfounded, as when we die we will not exist and thus will not feel miserable, and fear of death will only make us miserable while we do exist in life. - Attachment to one person is futile: you should masturbate or make love to as many people as you can to satisfy your pleasures without being destroyed by passion for “a single lover who monopolizes you.” Unlike other hedonistic books, Lucretius offers solutions not by persuading readers to go out and seek only pleasures: instead, he shows how living without worries is the key to being your own god and attaining true pleasure. “This book was my inspiration to becoming the rap god I am today. In fact, it inspired me to write the lyrics: ‘I am a god, hurry up with my damn massage.’” – Kanye West
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels A spectre is haunting you—and that spectre is your miserable existence as a laborer! “Workers of all countries, unite” and read this revolutionary book by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to learn how to revolt against capitalism to lead a happier life! “The history of all hitherto society is the history of class struggles,” and the struggle of you the working class, or proletariat, against the exploitative capitalist bourgeoisie who own the means of production is addressed in this book. In American capitalist society the top 1% owns as much wealth as the remaining 90%! This highlights a huge inequality present in our society, a class inequality problem that is addressed in the book. As technology advances, the bourgeoisie leads an increasingly unstable system and the proletariat becomes more connected and powerful, and today we are approaching an inevitable revolution in which the working class, with nothing to lose, will revolt and destroy the current system to introduce a classless and equal society. Unlike other books offering solutions through socialism, the Communist Manifesto shows how communism is unique in its recognition of the necessity of a revolutionary proletariat as opposed to simple reformism. By reading this book, you’ll learn how to recognize your common struggle as the proletariat, recognize the problems in the system in place, overthrow the system in place, and replace it with Communism for a more satisfactory life. “After reading this book, my Marxism took root and became purified. It is because of this book that I believed in armed struggle as the only solution for an oppressed people searching for freedom. It is what motivated me to launch my guerilla warfare campaign against the oppressive Batista regime during the Cuban Revolution.” – Che Guevara
Oration on the Dignity of Man by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola Allay your self-esteem problems now and forever! Join Italian Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola in his Oration on the Dignity of Man as he beautifully expounds upon the greatness of mankind, and presents his reasoning as to why “man is rightfully named a magnificent miracle and a wondrous creature.” Lack of self-esteem is a common problem in America, with 42% of men and 56% of women over the age of 18 reporting that they suffer from some level of lack of self-esteem. Unlike other books, which simply provide look-in-the-mirror-and-love-yourself advice, this book provides a solution to that lack of self-esteem by deeply analyzing exactly what makes each and every one of us amazing as human beings. Mirandola shows how God created man as a “creature to think on the plan of his great work,” as a being outside of the ladder of creation that could climb up or down the ladder as he wishes and even climb above the ladder to bask in the glory of God. Man through the gift of free will has the potential to become anything; by showing this Mirandola provides the reader with a sense of self-worth and hope. “Before I read this book I was a man. After reading it I realized I had the free will to become whatever I wanted to be, so I became a woman. Without this book I would have never found the courage to realize what I wanted.” – Caitlyn Jenner
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan Housewives of America, do you feel a “sense of dissatisfaction” or incompleteness that you can’t quite explain? If so, The Feminine Mystique will help you put a name and an end to your “problem that has no name.” Critics acclaim Betty Friedan’s exploration of the identity and struggle of the American housewife in an era in which the suburban housewife—“beautiful, educated, concerned only about her husband, her children, her home”—is maintained as an ideal. Recent studies show that the incidence of emotional breakdown and suicide among housewives in their twenties and thirties has increased by 30% in the last decade. This development indicates that there is a societal issue at play here, one that Friedan explores in depth in her book. Unlike other self-help books for married women, The Feminine Mystique actually puts a name to the problem—the “mystique of feminine fulfillment”—and offers a comprehensive analysis of causes, such as media portrayals of ideals, as well as solutions, such as pursuing education and meaningful careers, for women suffering from the same disillusionment. By reading this book, the American housewife can free herself from her struggle and become a self-actualized American woman. “When I was young I always dreamed of becoming the perfect wife. After reading this book in high school, I realized that my dream was all wrong, and I decided I wouldn’t let anything hold me back from becoming the woman I have the potential of becoming. When I married Barack, I was already a successful and independent woman. Now I’m the First Lady of the United States!” - Michelle Obama
The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli Aspiring politicians and bosses, learn to become the perfect leader! In The Prince, Machiavelli offers simple and practical advice for potential leaders on how to effectively and efficiently rule. Especially notable is the advice he gives concerning fortune and human precaution. Surveys show that 76% of politicians believe that fortune is avertable through precautionary legal measures. Machiavelli shows in this book how such a mindset is a recipe for disaster: “I hold it to be true that Fortune is the arbiter of one-half of our actions, but that she leaves us to direct the other half, or perhaps a little less.” Precaution and human action must align with fortune for rulers to undergo good times; when fortune turns, a ruler is left devastated if he is not flexible in his rule. Unlike most other books on political philosophy, which tell rulers to become either righteous or downright terrible, The Prince offers a balanced recipe for a ruler who is efficient, one who can win over the people and deceive them as well. “I became the successful businessman and politician I am today because I followed the ideologies I read in this book. People say I’m a radical, racist, bigot. They don’t understand, I only reached the point I’m at today because I pushed boundaries and did what was necessary as a leader.” – Donald Trump, renowned bigot and Presidential candidate
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