Humanities Books

The selection of humanities books takes a unique path from the other four main groups of topics on Direct Knowledge. Whereas applied, formal, natural, and social sciences all involve science, humanities (typically) does not. That’s not to say it can’t involve scientific methods and practices. But, many of the topics have no need for it. They aren’t trying to prove theories or solve problems. Rather, they often focus on exploring human nature and skills. This is why the humanities books in this section often aim to introduce the reader to new subjects and activities through guidance and a generally informative approach.

Humanities Books - Brain doodle illustration with textures

Humanities Books Categories

Within the collection of humanities books found here are four categories: journalism, library science, philosophy, and visual arts. Many of them delve into general areas starting from the very basics. Some look at broad topics as a whole, while others narrow in on specifics.


In this category, you’ll find humanities books that open the door to many useful skills for journalists. Of course, one of the fundamental basics for any journalist is writing. Books such as The Simple Math of Writing Well address this topic in a straightforward manner. Anyone can improve their writing abilities, from those just trying it out to those who are already professionals in a writing field.

The books in this area take into account the effects of the modern world. For example, writing in the digital age is of great importance, but the manner in which we do it varies greatly from a few decades ago. Email, instant messaging, fast news, and social media have a different feel and different rules. Adapting to changes through time requires flexibility in writing skills, and these humanities books can help you gain such flexibility.

Similarly, books like The Data Journalism Handbook really take reporting to a modern level. The power of data is increasingly important in a world of abundant but often misleading information. Students and professionals should take notes on backing up their claims in a reliable manner.

Library Science

Speaking of modern developments, humanities books on library science will show you how this field has stood its ground over time. This interesting niche is about more than just libraries. Rather, it encompasses the essence of learning and making knowledge accessible to all. Thus, as times change, so do the methods of libraries and librarians.

Libraries adapt to digital resources, embracing the accessibility they provide. Librarians don’t judge the new information age, but do their best to keep up with the waves of new material so that they can help spread it to pupils. Books such as The Information Literacy User’s Guide show students how to use all of the available modern tools without getting overwhelmed. Gathering, analyzing, and presenting findings from any topic becomes a breeze with a step-by-step guide on doing research.

Educators and professionals, on the other hand, will find books like A Field Guide for Academic Librarians to be helpful for creating their own open educational projects. The idea of library science books is that price and other restrictions shouldn’t keep students from learning in any field.


Humanities books on the topic of philosophy take a deeper look at learning some more abstract concepts. Many of the subjects in philosophy can’t be properly explored through other methods like science. Rather, they involve deep thought and the use of logic and reason.

Books like Fundamental Methods of Logic can provide a basis for understanding and mastering this use of logic. Because logic is like a string connecting points together, it is the basis for arguments that end in reasonable conclusions and answers. This book can aid students in introductory logic and critical reasoning classes, or anyone wishing to understand abstract topics or even improve debate skills.

Other books such as Metaethics from a First Person Standpoint give fresh perspectives of certain difficult topics. This particular book approaches the subject as a story based on the inner dialogue of the narrator. It uses clear and plain language to help make some very complicated questions a bit easier to grasp.

Some additional popular topics include epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and metaphysics. The words might be a bit intimidating, but really they are just the study of ideas such as knowledge, right and wrong, reasoning, art, and reality in general. Now is an interesting time in the field, so reading up on the humanities books here can help you get involved in areas that past philosophers may never have dreamed of.

Visual Arts

Certain aspects of visual arts can be tough to teach through books. For instance, most of the skills you gain in painting or sculpting will come with practice. However, other parts of the field require a good amount of reading and introspective thought. And introductory subjects in particular can contain a lot of technical information that needs to be absorbed before students can really get hands-on.

For example, working in a theater can mean doing much more than putting on costumes and acting in front of an audience. Behind the scenes of theater production, things can get pretty complicated. An Introduction to Technical Theater goes into the nitty gritty of logistics, sound, lighting, equipment, and other parts of production.

Another practical resource in this category of humanities books is Exploring Movie Construction and Production. It focuses on movies and how they’re made, giving the perfect resource for film students or curious readers. From script to screen you’ll learn about the details that make a truly great movie. Those students in film criticism, acting, directing, and script writing will also find it useful to apply to their work.

Expanding Your Horizons

These humanities books all contain thoughtful structures meant to guide students and curious minds from start to finish. Many of them provide diagrams and visualizations to demonstrate their points. Some even contain examples or ways to practice the ideas. Struggling students can use these books to engage their curiosity and open up their minds to new ways of thinking. And pairing them with online articles and even courses can make a huge difference in class or work performance.



Showing all 8 results