What books can you recommend that will teach me about NAVIGATING THE HARSH REALITY of life.?

Please, not a philosophy book...not a motivational book...a book for those of us who didn't get the lessons we should have when we were kids.

Answer:
..My favorite book on that topic is The Art of Living Consciously, by Nathaniel Branden. Neither a philosophy or motivational book, it's a self-help book.
http://www.amazon.com/art-living-conscio...

I also liked Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter, by Hal Urban
http://www.amazon.com/lifes-greatest-les...
I read a lot of fiction...that looks rather silly on its face, doesn't it? But reading a book like Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" or Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" or Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" or modern fantasy fiction (list below) does two things: it gives you a bit of escape and distance from real life, if you're feeling crowded and overwhelmed, and the work of great writers reflects the real world. If you identify with Eliza, Crusoe, Gulliver, Jo March, or other troubled characters, you're not alone any longer. You learn from their experience as you learn from your own.

Fiction...all stories...are meant as guides to life. That is how humans preserve their wisdom and hand it along to later generations. We use storytelling as a tool: engage and entertain and sneak the lesson in with the entertainment.

Other, modern fiction helpful in life (these are all series of books): Tad Williams' "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" and "Otherland," Frank Herbert's "Dune," Melanie Rawn's "Dragon Prince" and "Dragon Star," Michelle West's "Sunsword," Terry Goodkind's "The Sword of Truth."
Seriously, one of the best books out there is called "Revolutionary Psychology" by Samael Aun Weor.

In this book, Samael Aun Weor goes beyond the definitions of conventional modern psychology and talks clearly about the human psyche as it is, and how to transform it.

Once the human psyche is understood, why we do things and act the way we do, we are better able to understand not only our own feelings and motivations, desires etc but also those of other people too.

This isn't a very long book and is written very well. You can purchase it at any good bookstore or better yet is available for free as a PDF all over the internet. I would recommend this link http://www.gnosticweb.com/documents/en_r...

It is a safe site without pop ups and the such. This site also has a number of his other books available for free download as well as a whole bunch of other useful information to help one "navigate the harsh reality of life".

Good luck
The" God Father" by "Mario Puzo" was a good book for me to read when I was younger( you should really read the book) other works by Puzo were helpful in understanding how the world works.."Catcher In The Rye" by "Salinger" I think, I can not remember.I read this book when I was a child and it had a profound effect on me.The "Grapes of Wrath", I forget who wrote it,was also a book that left an impression and of course " Of mice and Men" can't remember who wrote that? Not much help I guess ... really need to get away from this computer.

SHAWN
look,
buddhism is not a filosophy, motivational? I do not know...
I know only that is really a lesson on practical ways to navigate the harsh reality of life, in my experience of 10 years I promise that it help so much!
now that meditation helps even kids with attention deficency as it is prooved and documented on newspaper this teachings should be really given to kids so to grow up ready. Give it a try and do not believe those who think it is a religion because it is not, it is a science of the mind
The first teaching of the Buddha (4 Noble Truths) was: Sufference, the second was Cause of Soffering, the trhird How to get free from Suffering (the path, the teachings), the fourth End of Suffering
It works 100%
The two books that seemed to have made the most impact on my life are "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, and "The Stranger" by Albert Camus. Catcher in the Rye is about a Adolescent who is naive and begins to learn that life isn't the way he thought it would be. "The Stranger" is an existential book. The main character, Mersault, basically struggles with the point of life, and if it has any meaning. It is strange, but good.

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