Criteria for Recommended Serious E-Books: Benjamin-Newton United

Network First Things

Fighting and Making Fun of Ambiguity

Network Summary

  • BEN-NEW's Network
  • BENjamin-NEWton Challenging Projects Network
  • by Ben Huot
  • Academic Non-Fiction E-Books & More Free Stuff

This is an Old School Informational website

General Book Statistics

  • 2,686 pages of unique text written over 20 years
  • average of 1 essay or poem written every week for over 20 years
  • average of 134 pages written every year for over 20 years

Quick Facts About the Author and Designer

I am all of the following

I am from and live in Eugene, Oregon (America)

Network Ownership

"Think Critically" with BENjamin-NEWton's Network © Ben Huot 1998-Present.

Website designs and all content not marked with a specific license copyrighted, from 1998-Present. I am the webmaster of this network, which includes a half dozen different, but related websites.

These websites all serve different purposes or audiences, but all share one thing in common: they are all created by me and are about me and my mission/ministry. I am the webmaster, so that I not only create everything on these websites, but also have designed and done all the technical things, to make this site work well, on a wide range of the most popular devices.

I have worked on all this for 20 years now, while understanding that I would never make any money off of it, as my niche is too small.


Welcome, visting human, pet, toy, or automated software

My stuffed toy bear Fred says I don't have Schizophrenia, but he does


This website adheres to the following

No Money

Entire E-Book Downloads, in Multiple Popular Formats

  • No Cost
  • No Ads
  • No DRM

Privacy Respected

  • No Tracking
  • No Ads
  • No Personal Information

No Bugging You

  • No Selling
  • No App
  • No Newsletters

No Subtle Ads/Selling

  • No Memberships
  • No Sponsored Articles
  • No Donations Accepted

Nothing In Your Way

  • No Signups
  • No Password or Email Asked For
  • No User Agreements

No Tracking

  • No Cookies
  • No Analytics
  • No 3rd Party Code

No Permissions Asked For

  • No Geolocation
  • No Microphone or Camera Access
  • No Contact or Photos Access

None of the More Risky New Technologies

  • No AR or VR
  • No 3D
  • No 3rd Party Domains or CDNs

None of the Slower Things

  • No Background Videos
  • No Giant Photos
  • No Social Media Share Buttons

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Number of Pages for Books

Color Coding Legend of Book List

  • Purple Book Listing: 900 pages or more
  • Gold Book Listing: 600-899 pages
  • Red Book Listing: 400-599 pages
  • Blue Book Listing: 250-399 pages
  • Green Book Listing: Removed from Online Bookstore

Color Coding Legend of Book List (Weighted List for East Asia)

A lower number of pages in e-books in the East Asia section gets marked the same as a higher number of pages in e-books in the other regional sections. Basically, most of the East Asian books are much shorter than the other regional ones. Part of this is just the length of books available on the Apple iBookstore and the relative cost of them, but also East Asian literature is traditionally very concise, compared to other regional literature.

  • Purple Book Listing (weighted) : 600 pages or more
  • Gold Book Listing (weighted) : 500-599 pages
  • Red Book Listing (weighted) : 300-499 pages
  • Blue Book Listing (weighted) : 200-299 pages
  • Green Book Listing: Removed from Online Bookstore

Minimum Number of Pages Per Book

  • Europe - 500 pages
  • Asia - 450 pages
  • Africa - 450 pages

from Apple iBookstore (I bought and kept all of the following, on my iPad)

Apple iBookstore and iBooks

I have bought several hundred books (below), from Apple and their selection is quite good now (below). Yes, Apple sells books online. Apple may seem to have an oversimplified program for managing books, but I have used a Kindle 3 and the Kindle app on the iPad and Apple's iBooks app is so much easier to use, more adjustable, and powerful, as well as, being easier to manage through iTunes and more reliable. It is also much easier to read on the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini, because of the higher resolution and quality screen of the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini. Download iBooks and search within iBooks or within iTunes on your PC or Mac.

iBooks now comes with Mac OS X Mavericks (OS 10.9, released in October 2013), which is a free upgrade, for at least as far back as Mac OS X Lion (OS 10.7, released in July 2011), through the Mac App Store. All new Macs bought after July 2011 come with Mac OS X Lion or higher and the Mac App Store. OS X Mavericks is only for Macs. It will not run on PCs, iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads, iPad Airs, or iPad Minis. It is widely reported that it makes older Macs run faster.

Criteria for Inclusion

Topical Criteria

Major Topical Focus

  1. This list is focused on world history for Asia, Africa, and Europe, with a major emphasis on Asia and a very small amount of focus, on Western Europe.
  2. There is also a secondary focus, on major world belief systems, so that the perspective is varied as well.
  3. Time period focus is the Premodern to Early Modern Period, which includes Asian Golden Age, Medieval Europe, and Pre-Colonial Africa (about 300 AD - 1800 AD). I have studied the history and writings produced during that 1,500 year period across most of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
  4. I also have tried to include books, that show a different perspective, than people typically study and try to correct things that most people, who study history, learn wrong, for a variety of reasons.

Most Important Books

  1. The important books sub list is the Serious Books Main List, which includes about 550 e-books.
  2. The most important books are organized, by religion, then country and then major historical time periods.
  3. The important books sub list is the Serious Books Geographic List, which includes about 150 e-books.
  4. The most important books are region and/or country, then by major historical time periods.
  5. Country for classical written work or biography is determined using the American tradition. People are listed under country, by the one they lived in when they wrote their books or lived in during their main career. This is different than the old world tradition, which determines nationality by where they were born.

World Regions

Favorite Regions

  1. Central Asia/Iran, Southeast Asia/India/Indian Ocean, Central/Eastern and Southeastern/Balkans Europe, and East Africa
  2. Regions in between and connecting Major Countries / Regional Cultures

Detailed Criteria

Specific Criteria Just for this List

  1. Apple e-Books: All books lists in this section include just books e-Books on Apple's iBookstore, accessed through the iTunes application for Windows and Mac OS X and the iBooks application on iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini)
  2. Only Books I Like: The big difference between my previous regular book list and my e-book list is that the e-books only contain religious and philosophical texts that I agree with or partially agree with, plus some history. The previous regular books list contained some religious and philosophical books I totally or mostly disagreed with. I have also omitted books in this new e-books list, which I already read and understood well enough, that I do not wish to complete reading or re-read.

Major Characteristics of Books Required

  1. Only Well Written Books: If you see a book that you think should be on the list but is not, likely I have already read it and didn't include it because it was too hard for others to read or it was poorly written including being too repetitive or not being clear and concise.
  2. Christian Friendly: This is also a great list for Christians who want to study world religions and philosophies without studying the occult.
  3. Non-White Authors: I have also particularly focused on Asian and classical texts, and have especially tried to limit the Greek, Roman, white American and English writing to as few works as possible, because I think those areas are over read and I have little interest in them after having to read so many of them in high school. I have focused on other often ignored areas of history and religion including:

Criteria for Book Perspectives

  1. A Slightly Different View: I also have usually only included one book by each author and not necessarily the most famous, but rather the most useful one.
  2. Repetitive Topics: I generally avoid American, English, and Jewish history, as they are over covered.
  3. Cliches and Urban Legends: I generally avoid often repeated but ridiculously uncritical and politically correct views on things like European History, Middle East, Colonialism, Christianity, and Islam.
  4. Gender Issues: I generally avoid topics, like gender and same sex relations, because they are not issues that was significant enough interest, at the time, to record them. I also avoid topics covering women, who are only famous, because they are women. I think it does a dis-service to feminism, to make it appear that women were treated equally, before the last few decades (in America and Europe).

Technical Criteria

  1. Reasonably Priced: Another consideration is the cost and availability of the works. All these works should be available on Apple's iBookstore in iTunes for use on iPads, iPad Airs, iPad Minis, and other Apple devices besides Macs like iPhones and iPod Touches, as I have bought all of them there and have them on my iPad. Books should be no more than $10 for each hundred pages in length. Some books are free and some are as high as $40.
  2. Book Length: Books are about 300 pages and up.
  3. Time Covered in Book: Books need to cover a time period between 300-1800 AD and in the Old World (Not Americas or Australia).
  4. I am Bad at Languages: The Qu'ran (Koran) is not listed as it must be read in Arabic.

Book Restrictions

  1. Many people seem to think that an ebook is just an ebook, but it is not. The file formats can be converted to and from fairly easily (except most PDFs), but the real incompatibility comes from a anti-feature called DRM. DRM is a set of software based restrictions that, make it harder to copy books, for people who want to do so legally and easily, who don't know much about computers.
  2. Copyright and technical restrictions on copying apply to e-books, but not regular books, because people usually don't photocopy real books and then sell them, as it requires a lot of work and offers little profit. On the computer, whenever you upload a file, you are actually uploading a copy of that file and whenever anyone downloads it, they are downloading a copy of that.
  3. You have never owned all the rights, to any intellectual property, unless you pay for all rights and hand over something like a million dollars per song. Another term for this is called piracy or what every major belief system and government would call stealing. What you own is a license for 1 copy.
  4. The reality is that anything, that can be seen on a computer, can be copied, despite any software restrictions. The big deal comes with the electronic distribution of books and the same applied to movies and music (although they never meant for it to be so easy to copy music from audio CDs, and each new format is more restricted), so there is a legal quagmire about converting DVDs to iTunes compatible formats and Blue Ray is many times harder to convert.
  5. The real unintended effect of DRM is that e-books cannot be seen in iBooks and Apple e-books cannot be seen on a Kindle. Ironically, Apple allows its competitors and Barnes and Noble to put their e-reader apps on their (Apple's) online store, but Apple is not allowed the same on their ( and Barnes and Noble) online stores. Apple still does not even advertise its own e-book store and only just starting with iOS version 8, do they bundle their e-book reading and buying app with new iPads and iPhones.
  6. Books have been disappearing from the Apple iBookstore and Kindle store, as well, with no explanation. It is bizarre that this is happening, but I know that many publishers are upset with sets the prices, not the author or publisher and they set them so low, that authors can no longer afford to write them, which will eventually destroy the book industry.
  7. has a lot of rules that are very cumbersome like requiring the author to pay the bandwidth fees and only updating the listings every 6 months, even when Amazon made the error. I wouldn't be surprised if is requiring exclusivity, in its war against publishers and authors. The other thing that can happen is that the people who put in on the store do not have the legal rights to do so. Either way, I recommend just buying another related book instead and just stop recommending them to others.

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Website Card Data

20 Years of Critical Thinking
Creativity in Philosophy, Not Theology

Website Description

I am a researcher, writer, and designer for consumer, citizen, and seeker advocacy. I can improve your life, by giving you better advice.

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