The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Philosophy.
I took a Philosophies of Modernity class in my final year of University. It was a poor decision: I didn’t enjoy any of it. I took it because I really enjoyed modernity from a sociological perspective, and this was the only course left that fit my timetable. I also thought, that because I really kind of hated philosophy so much, that this course might help me change my mind.
I bought the book to help give myself an overview of philosophy and perhaps make the course easier. It didn’t. But at least now I understand philosophy. I still think it’s a load of bollocks: there is nothing I hate more than people standing around musing to each other about how mysterious the universe is. I hate that they’re always asking questions and never bothering to find answers. The answers are out there: maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they are out there.
However, instead of hating philosophy so much that I simply shut down at the mere mention of the word, I now can listen to and understand people when they start farting on about it. I still don’t enjoy it and I certainly don’t understand it, but at least now I won’t stay utterly silent and let people who think they’re smarter than me get away with random and vague assertions trying to show how deep and knowledgeable they are when they’re really just as confused as I am.