BOOK: Sophie's World: A Novel About The History of Philosophy
AUTHOR: Jostein Gaarder
Giving a complete and comprehensive history of the field of philosophy while simultaneously incorporating a page turning mystery would be a daunting feat for anyone. Yet, Jostein Gaarder manages to do so superbly. The intermingling of history and fiction was awe inspiring for me; and I would be willing to bet it has the same effect on you.
Sophie's World covers the history of philosophy from the very beginning - with an explanation into what philosophy is exactly - right up to the current day thinkers. Gaarder frames this exploration as a correspondence course study with 12year old Sophie Amundsen; starting with her receiving a mysterious letter asking only two questions: "Who are you?: and "Where does the world come from?" The next 400pages chronicle her philosophical learnings and investigation into who is sending these letters that change her life - and who is this strange girl whose mail keeps showing up in her world.
The mystery keeps you alert and eager, while the philosophy lessons keep you thinking long after the last page. My only warning would be that you very well may lose sleep trying to finish the book - which is an excellent warning to be able to give.
A must read for anyone - but especially for anyone interested in life's existential questions. You will not be disappointed.