Big Brain Time

Due to lack of funds, I will be transferring all of this information over to my Neocities site at by January 31, 2021. The rest of this blog’s contents will also more-or-less be added to

***UPDATED 12/8/2020 More resources added, core curriculum topics of Health/PE, Science, Math, Reading/English/Writing, History/Social Studies labeled. Apologies! I could not find enough good textbooks! Working on it!***
***UPDATED 12/12/2020 beginner textbooks, subsections, and resources highlighted in green text***

Other updates listed at the bottom of the page
Bit about me: I have finished about two years of college in mostly science and math-based topics. What I’ve got the most experience in is cooking, and the sheer amount of ‘annoyance factors’ in cooking has convinced me that if you can learn how to cook, you can learn how to do anything. I am not an expert in any subject (working on it though). I think this video adequately explains how I feel about school. For the record it’s not how I feel about college. Community college can be excellent for Associates Degrees or knocking out the 101 courses, by the way, especially for the price, take a good look at the nearest one!

If you have time during this quarantine, chances are you might want to learn, especially if your school or college is suspended until further notice. Before we begin: Do you hate learning? Are you kind of tired of being forced to learn stuff? Then your first step shouldn’t be to try to cram more down your throat but to teach yourself how to actually like it, because the #1 subject that will make you successful in life is not actually a subject, but the love of learning itself. Often subjects themselves aren’t boring, but the way in which they are taught is, so students wind up thinking they hate it all: the subject, the whole category of related subjects, learning in general. So the best way to learn is to find the best sources. Also check out the in depth reasons ‘why’ to learn at the bottom of the page too. 

So here’s how this is going to work. This is a master post of textbooks and online resources for really digging into subjects and learning. I noticed that there are plenty of textbooks out there, but only some that are worth the read. Libraries don’t have these textbooks, books marketed for grade 12 and under are never used by professionals (and are totally worthless) and making a mistake buying a lousy textbook is expensive and wastes time. Not only that but some unscrupulous colleges force students to teach themselves from the required [bad] textbooks in order to get their degrees and then expect them to miraculously have knowledge above and beyond what those [bad] textbooks taught. Then they flunk out students who can’t make the cut, passing students who barely understand the material. Lately employers have been catching on to the scheme and a college degree no longer means what it used to. Said employers now usually watch new hires carefully to see that they actually know what they’re doing! Therefore, I’ve sent out for some help from my friends who have graduated college, also from some college professors I know, and asked them what the best textbooks in their careers/fields of study were. Below, you can see the results. As I find more books, I add them.

So, in no particular order, here are the books and online resources, organized by subject matter:

You’ve probably heard of Khan Academy, Udemy, and Coursera. Personally speaking I’m not at all impressed with the content and it didn’t help me one bit in college or in my daily life. YMMV.
Shaum’s Outlines series: use with another textbook to improve understanding of any field
MIT OpenCourseware
StackExchange Sites – if you have any questions, don’t post them to Reddit, Quora, or other social media, post them here and you’ll get better responses
National Science Foundation Classroom Resources – intro-level accessible resources anyone can view with an Internet connection
The Great Books of Western Philosophy series: these are very expensive and hard to find but they are the original sources most modern textbooks have taken material from
TI-84 Calculator Emulator: 6 months free subscription from Texas Instruments
Instructables for Teachers: contains resources for class demos and projects for grades K-12 and college
Skype a Scientist: You need to gather 5 people together to do this, therefore teachers using Zoom probably have the best chances of getting this to work

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” -Richard P. Feynman
“Advance, and the understanding will follow.” -Unknown – This page is full of very complicated, seemingly advanced subjects that can take years to kind of comprehend. Don’t be scared. The only way to get familiar with it is to just jump right in, and don’t worry if you don’t understand it right away. You’re not supposed to understand it all right away. You’re a beginner. Keep chipping away at the subject until things start to click. It’s perfectly normal to feel like a walking Thanksgiving turkey/dumb little critter for the first year you really learn something unfamiliar. People who claim to fully understand literally any subject are lying…
The ‘smart or stupid’ false paradigm: many folks are repeatedly told that they are either ‘smart’ or ‘dumb.’ Judging from all the stories my teacher friends told me, regardless of background or supposed ‘smarts,’ all of their students excelled when encouraged. So encourage yourself.
If you learn the following you’ll never fall for a con like ‘masks are bad’ and kill people with your ignorance:
The difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources ***This is a major reason why people believe hearsay and confuse it with fact***
Further explanation
The Scientific Method
Applying the scientific method to almost any question (skip to relevant part)
Basic introduction to deductive and inductive reasoning

A lot of other topics are kind of hard to apply to daily life. This, on the other hand, is stuff you definitely need to know. Unfortunately there is not a good way to condense this information so give yourself plenty of time to learn it. Consider this entire section ‘highlighted in green’ for beginners but I have highlighted some things green in here as starting points to streamline it as much as possible.

Red Cross swimming classes
Also check at your local pool, usually swimming classes are relatively cheap

A lifetime financial plan is something best made early. Calculate your cost of living for a year and multiply that by however many years you think you’ll be retired, adjust for inflation, and you’ll be able to save for that. Raising a child to 18 takes about $250,000. Buying a house or being sick is expensive. Etc.

Note 1: just like communicating with a business or company to provide feedback, you can email, call or write letters to the public officials who represent you, including judges, Senators, members of Congress, Governors, and of course those in the White House. I have actually seen changes happen in my life that were possibly thanks to this so don’t knock it.
Note 2: Without a sample ballot, it’s nearly impossible to figure out who will be on it without something like a week’s worth of research. They usually aren’t complete, so you have to look at multiple sample ballots unless you’re a mail-in voter and have the luxury of a few days to look at your real ballot. Find sample ballots here: here:
and here
Note 3: The Democrat and Republican internal political machinery are in charge of which candidates get the most publicity and funding. There is little to no oversight or transparency for both parties. Therefore, it is wise to do your own research about candidates instead of blindly accepting who these parties choose to endorse
How Elections Work
A comprehensive guide for how to get involved
Federal Elections Commission – candidates for public office are required by law to disclose where they get their funding, and you can find at least some of that data here
Follow The Money – a website that details where candidates get their funding. Generally more detailed than the FEC
A website that helps you register to vote
On The Issues: summarizes candidates’ viewpoints
VoteSmart: another website that attempts to summarize candidates’ viewpoints; a little clunkier and harder to use but still valuable

The Declaration of Independence
The U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution and related topics
Bill of Rights
United States Citizenship Test
FBI Tip Report
CIA Tip Report
ICE Tip Report
Reporting a crime
Reporting a scam
Dealing with robocalls
Dealing with spam text messages
Reporting healthcare fraud
Do Not Call registry to combat telemarketers & robocalls
Report a postal service related crime
CIA and FBI declassified documents – NOTE: if you are under the age of 18 I would recommend that you avoid reading this. Quite a bit of the stuff done by these agencies is disturbing.
FBI Most Wanted
Amber Alerts & Missing Children
Note: Every state and city government has a website. You can easily find these using a search engine. They have many resources, especially if you are trying to start a small business.
Another note: Every state has multiple local Department of Motor Vehicles and Vehicle Registration. Their regulations differ. If you want a driver’s license, search for your local DMV online and prepare yourself for several days of bureaucratic red tape.
Another note: To get a passport, you will need a valid form of I.D. and you will need to go to your local post office. Then, you will also enjoy several days of bureaucratic red tape.
Official website of Congress
Official website of the Senate
Call Sign: Chaos by Jim Mattis and Bing West

Court System
A-Z List of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies
Democrat vs. Republican – a small chunk of the mess, explained

Files taxes online for free
There are websites that help you file taxes online as well, for a fee, if you don’t trust the IRS. I use TaxAct.

NEW: How to choose a job that fits you – 1. Define your ideal career if you can. Depending on how viable it is as a steady lifelong source of income, define it as either a side hustle or your main job. 2. If your ideal career is steady enough to be your main job, max out your skills in that skill tree and continually improve on them to make yourself stand out, then seek out ways to make it pay. If it isn’t, then determine your ‘hard pass’ criteria and ‘absolute requirements’ criteria for the steady job you want, and don’t name it just yet. The more of these you can come up with, the easier it’ll be to narrow down what kind of work you’ll enjoy. Once you figure it out, gain the skills for that specific job, and make your ideal career your side hustle. This is especially helpful if your ideal career happens to be kind of ‘flaky’ for giving you a regular paycheck. That being said it is possible to make ‘flaky’ careers pay you regularly but that requires about five times more effort than you would expect.
Easy guide to starting a handmade small business

Start a business in the US
EIN application
To start a business in your area, check your state and county’s legal requirements first. Use a search engine to find these. Some states have excellent websites for getting started but most do not.
Copyright applications
How to apply for a patent
Introduction to trademarks
Resume creation
Job interviews
Cover letters
Sample cover letters for various professions
3 tips for job applications: 1. Keep a notebook of the places you have lived, previous work experience, previous work supervisors, and previous schooling, with addresses, phone numbers, all applicable email addresses, and start and end dates for all of the things mentioned. 2. Interview professional contacts, such as teachers or work supervisors, who are likely to be good references for you, and if they agree to it, write their phone numbers and emails in the notebook. 3. Look at everything from the employer’s point of view.
How To Form A Union
You should know that many unions, such as various teacher’s unions, succeed in creating a work environment that promotes laziness and poor quality of work. In fact, the teacher’s union in this country is so powerful that it often prevents ineffective teachers from being fired, which certainly explains a lot. Unions are a double-edged sword.

See tip 1 for job applications, but also write down the names of previous landlords and their contact information.

Miranda Rights

Don’t ever get your news from a solitary source. Compare and contrast the news from sources that tend to disagree with each other and when you see something they all say, it might be true. Take all news with a grain of salt unless you were actually there in person. In general, solitary people have less to gain from breaking a news story and are less likely to be influenced to publish something, so videos/pictures taken with cell phones and posted to social media are very valuable. You can find mainstream news sources via search engines. I posted lesser known ones here. Note: it is important to read local, state, national and international news. exists specifically to debunk false claims and may or may not be trustworthy. reports on consumer products, but requires a subscription for you to see their product reviews provides a place for people to publicly slam businesses that they claim ripped them off
Here are news sites that reported on the 2020 election with as little partisanship as I could find: 
Yeah. Really. Slim pickings.

You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren
Convict Conditioning by “Coach” Paul Wade
Callanetics by Callan Pinckney
Beginner’s Health and Fitness by Liam Rosen
Reddit’s Bodyweight Exercise forum

REI Expert Advice

Learn How To Adult
Dad, How Do I?
Mom, How Do I?
Clean My Space by Melissa Maker
This is my website. It attempts to have a ton of lifehacks in it. Let’s hope it succeeded.
EDIT 8/28/20 here are some of the more important books from the website listed here for redundancy’s sake.
*Off Grid Living*
Country Women by Jeanne Tetrault
The Indestructible Houseplant by Tovah Martin
Deep Rooted Living by Augustus Jenkins Farmer
Mini Farming by Brett Markham
The Foxfire Series edited by Eliot Wigginton
The Forgotten Arts by Richard Bacon et al.
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith
The Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
The Heirloom Life Gardener by Jere & Emily Gettle
The Cottage Garden Month by Month by Jackie Bennett
*Cleaning and Organization*
Organizing From The Inside Out for Teens by Julie Morgenstern and Jessi Morgenstern-Colon
The Zen of Organizing by Regina Leeds
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Clean Your Space by Melissa Maker
Cook Anime by Diana Ault
Good Eats series by Alton Brown
Cookin’ With Coolio by Coolio
From Crook to Cook by Snoop Dogg
The Joy of Cooking series
Alice’s Tea Cup by Lauren and Haley Fox
This Ain’t No Picnic: Your Vegan Punk Rock Cookbook by Joshua Ploeg
Lost Crafts by Una McGovern
The Forgotten Arts series by Richard Bacon
The Organic Artist by Nick Neddo
The Foxfire series, edited by Eliot Wigginton
A Handbook of Scotland’s Trees by Fy Martinoga
The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket
Celebrating Birch: The Lore, Art and Craft of an Ancient Tree by North House Folk School
*Life Hacks*
Prepper’s Survival Hacks by Jim Cobb
The Everygirl’s Guide to Life by Maria Menounos
*Camping and Outdoor Recreation*
Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills by The Mountaineers
Snow Sense by Jill Fredston et al.
Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Living by John and Geri McPherson
*Health and Herbal Medicine*
Herbs by Lesley Bremness
Feed Your Face by Jessica Wu, M.D.
The Beauty of Color by Iman
Japanese Beauty Secrets by Hisako Grace Maeda
Makeup is Not (just) Magic by Ikumi Rotta
Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin
Your Beauty Mark by Dita von Teese
Make It Up by Marie Rayma
This is Instructables. It’s got quite a lot of information on how to DIY just about anything. I recommend their classes in particular, now that you don’t have to enroll anymore. Just click through the lessons and you’re good to go.
Here is my Instructables account in which I have hoarded many collections for DIY everything, lots of which do not show up on my profile.
Off grid collection
Gardening collection
Futuristic tech collection
Eco-friendly collection
Reuse collection
Clean green energy and tech collection
Frugality collection
Survival skills collection
Recipe collection 1 – easy
Recipe collection 2 – difficult
Recipe collection 3 – miscellaneous
Vegan collection 1 – easy
Vegan collection 2 – miscellaneous
Vegetarian collection


Psych2Go (Youtube channel)
When Panic Attacks by David Burns, M.D.
Un@&*# Your Brain by Faith G. Harper (NSFW language, but that’s about all that’s NSFW about it)
How To Be You by Jeffrey Marsh
The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

If you can afford it, I recommend taking a First Aid and CPR course at the local Red Cross. They are currently doing these certification courses online via video. Last time I checked they were $70.
Most condom packages have directions for how to use them correctly on the inside of the box or on the label somewhere. Just in case you didn’t know that.
How to use an Epi-Pen
When I got my CPR training they did not teach how to use one of these, so it’s worth it to watch the 4:24 minute video. Blue to the sky, orange to the thigh.
Basic preventative health habits
Basic herbal medicine
What To Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
“Birds and bees” website

Way more involved “Birds and bees” website that actually explains things – Planned Parenthood. You should know that their status as an abortion clinic in many places makes them very controversial politically, and frankly morally questionable, but you will find accurate, free information here. Actually I couldn’t find any other place on the Internet that gave the full “talk” with all the relevant details, which weirds me out, but whatever. Their section for parents on how to give an age-appropriate version of “the talk” to kids is imho the best part of the website.
More in-depth information on sex ed: Boo! It’s Sex webcomic
Reddit’s Birth Control forum

Basic Emergency Kit

National Safety Council
Red Cross Emergency Preparation Guidance
Fire Safety Info
3 little-known fire safety tips: 1. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord, 2. Always close doors, especially if you’re going to sleep, 3. If on the second floor or higher, every room should have a rope window ladder or fire escape, and of course a window
Tornado Safety Info
Hurricane Safety Info

Reddit’s Parenting forum
What To Expect When You’re Expecting series by Heidi Murkoff et al.
Dr. Spock’s Child Care series


National Park Service
United States Forest Service
Poison Control
Supporting said libraries
Resources many people do not know are common in many US libraries nowadays: audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, copy machines, computers with internet access and printers, online access to ebooks from home, MakerSpaces, free and for-profit classes and tutorials, demonstrations, inter-library book loans (usually within a 35-mile radius, these are very handy for getting rare books; order them and they arrive in 2 weeks or so), free storytelling of children’s books, and more. I’ve seen the following things in libraries before: a seed bank, gardens, a coffee shop, a music recording studio, a teen only zone, and even a temporary job placement agency. The quality of the library depends on how much funding and support the local library gets both politically and from the local community. tl;dr visit your library often and donate your excess books to your local library especially if they would have been thrown out. Seriously please.
Food For All App: this allows restaurants to sell food they would have otherwise thrown out for under $10. Currently only in Boston and NYC, hopefully will expand nationwide.
United States Postal Service
County Agriculture Extension Offices
You can usually find police and fire department information for your local area on your town’s website.
The nearest town’s farmer’s market information is often online.
The nearest town’s tourist center is often jam packed with good resources for having fun in that area.
If you’re trying to start a business, try to find the local Chamber of Commerce online or walk in and talk to someone.



Obituary of Dr. Lawrence Awasom

Monthly star chart free pdf
Go outside and look up LOL. Also print out some star charts for tonight if you can. Flashlights with red cellophane covering the light can help you look at the star charts without killing your night vision.
On The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres by Nicolas Copernicus
Explorations of the Universe by George Abell
Textbook on Spherical Astronomy by Smart
Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics by Zeilik
Skymap Online
JPL Infographics
Bad Astronomy
Magazines for people with way too much time on their hands and way too much interest in Astronomy:

The SomethingAwful Forums. Owned by a wife beating jerk. Do not give them money. Read the threads while they’re still up and not behind the paywall, before the site goes down in flames.
Here’s where a lot of intro posts to various topics are. 

How To Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties by Carol Deppe

The Balance Small Business

Scotty Kilmer

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture by Robert Bruce Thompson

Chemistry Guide – you could get lost in this huge website.
National Science Foundation’s Chemistry resources
5maldehyde’s Chemistry Masterpost on Reddit
Chemistry Hall – a blog with interesting chemistry topics
Chemistry & Engineering News
Compound Interest – infographics that are basically just chemistry posters
Clayden’s Organic Chemistry

HTML programming:
Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach by John Hennessy and David Patterson
Intro to Quantum Computing by Nielseng & Chuang

A Handbook of Scotland’s Trees by Fy Martinoga
Peterson Field Guides, originally by Roger Tory Peterson

Rainwater Harvesting 1, 2, and 3 by Brad Lancaster
Mushroom Farming by Tradd Cotter
Miyawaki Forests
Hedgerow article

Statics by Russell Hibbeler
Dynamics by Russell Hibbeler
Mechanics of Materials by Russell Hibbeler
Solid State by Ashcroft and Mermin
Introduction to Microwave Engineering by Pozar

The Art of Electronics by Horowitz and Hill

If you have Amazon Prime or Netflix, try torturing yourself by switching your favorite TV show or movie to the foreign language of your choice and turning off the subtitles, or leave them there and attempt to pick up crumbs of language

Japanese: Genki! 1 and 2
Most foreign languages: Duolingo

Project Gutenberg – has very old, hard-to-find books that can be read online for free

Math Is Fun

The Art of Problem Solving series by Richard Rusczyk et al.
Calculus: Early Transcendentals by Jon Rogawski

Euclid’s Elements by Euclid, translated by Sir Thomas L. Heath – note: all of Euclid was written and proven without equations, so if you don’t like math but are intrigued by logic this might just be interesting to you
Mathematics in 10 Lessons by Jerry King
Differential Equations by Boyce and Diprima
Better Explained – use this as a supplementary resource, not a primary one
Real-world applications: Carpentry, landscaping, construction, Makerspace work, cooking, personal finance, mental math, machining, drawing blueprints, engineering

UK National Health Service website

Harrison’s Guide to Internal Medicine
Mosby’s Medical Dictionary
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Physician Edition
Pubmed Central

Intro/Basics (algebra based): Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt, and Problem Solving for Conceptual Physics by Hewitt and Wolf
Second Level (calculus based): University Physics with Modern Physics by Young and Freedman, ANY EDITION
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach, by Knight

Principia by Newton
Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems by Thornton
Introductory Electricity and Magnetism by Ed Taylor
Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths
Griffith’s Electricity and Magnetism
Griffith’s Quantum Mechanics
Introduction to Quantum Physics by Griffiths
Introduction to Elementary Particles by Griffiths
QED by Feynman
Quantum Mechanics: 3 volumes by Cohen – Tannoudji
Griffith’s Particle Physics
Jackson’s Advanced Electromagnetics
Taylor’s Classical Mechanics
The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein
Gravitation and Spacetime by Hans Ohanian
Encyclopedic Gravitations by Misner, Thorne & Wheeler
Taylor’s Introductory Error Analysis
The Feynman Lectures by Richard Feynman
The Feynman Lectures online from CalTech
Statistical Physics by Richard Feynman
Thermodynamics by Yunus Cengel
Thermodynamics: Thermal Physics by Kittel
Fluids by Yunus Cengel
Fluid Mechanics by Landau & Lifshitz

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, latest edition
When Panic Attacks by David Burns, M.D.[majr]+AND+adult[mh]+AND+english[la]+AND+(jsubsetk[text]+OR+review[pt]+OR+guideline[pt]+OR+clinical+trial[pt]+OR+patient+education+handout[pt]+OR+jsubsetaim[text]+OR+jsubsetn[text])+NOT+(letter[pt]+OR+editorial[pt]+OR+case+reports[pt])+AND+%22last+1+Year%22[edat]

READING – CORE CURRICULUM, English/Reading/Writing
Check out your local library’s online reading access. If you have a library card, you can read books online. In fact this often works for all libraries in your state; try your luck with a library in the biggest metropolis in the state; check out their website at least. Also see to try to read books online and for the older ones. If you have access to physical library books then take advantage of a thing called interlibrary loan. You place an order for books located at another library in your library’s “family of libraries” in-state network, wait two weeks, and then your books arrive.
If you have required reading of “classics” in school, you can often find manga or zombie versions in your library. For instance, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or Manga Classics: Jane Eyre. This can really save you if you hate reading that crap.
Cheap places to get books online: , Amazon, eBay
Goodreads – check out the lists and see if you can find something that catches your eye. Almost all books have many reviews
Books That Changed Your Life List
Required Reading in High School list
The Most Influential Books in History list

Note: You can find most religious texts in their entirety online. Try

Generally speaking it is a terrible idea to try to learn a religion without also learning about the cultural context behind it. You can only get this by talking face to face with people who are in that religion, attending their religious ceremonies, genuinely attempting to learn about them respectfully, and so on. In no way should this be construed as a comprehensive list of what is in each religion; it’s just a starting point.
Religions in a strictly oral tradition such as most Indigenous and Native American spirituality can not be learned from books or plastic shamans. They are “closed” traditions, so unless you have been invited to learn, don’t look into it or pretend that you are doing Native American spirituality if you have not been trained. You can read books about it, but I can’t personally vouch for their accuracy.
Islam: The Qur’an, the Hadith, Tafsirs
Wicca: Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham

Witchcraft (non-Wiccan): Currently impossible to define. There are no known texts that explain it properly, especially from a historic standpoint. The Grandmother of Time by Z. Budapest seems to be as close as it gets.
Christianity: The Bible

Catholicism: Catechism of the Catholic Church,
Mormon: The Book of Mormon
Hoodoo: Old Style Conjure by Starr Casas, all other books by Starr Casas
Voudun: Note: this is another closed tradition.
Judaism: The Old Testament, the Talmud, the Mishna

Hinduism: The Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Agamas, the Puranas
Buddhism: The Lotus Sutra

The Evolution of Trust: introduction to game theory

Sci News
Science Daily
Genetic Engineering News
American Chemical Society News Releases

Atlas Obscura
The Broke Backpacker
The Culture Trip
Nomadic Matt

One Good Thing By Jillee

Reddit thread of what foods are cheapest

TED talks
Reddit’s YouShouldKnow forum
Reddit’s AskReddit forum
Reddit’s Too Afraid To Ask forum
Reddit’s IAmA forum

My website’s online resource recommendations:

How to get access to these textbooks: Try,  your local library’s online access portal, and only then try online book merchants such as eBay, Alibris, Half Price Books, Barnes and Noble, Better World Books, Chegg, and of course Amazon. I’ve actually had the best experience with eBay, Amazon, and Better World Books. Alibris likes to make the shipping costs insane so watch out. Currently Audible is offering free audiobooks during this pandemic, so you could also try that, although they are not textbooks, just fiction.

This article has a theme song yay:

If you want to just learn something for the fun of learning it, then check these out.

A Brief History of Time by Steven Hawking

Back to Basics by Abigail Gehring
The Foxfire series
The Forgotten Arts series by Richard Bacon

The Dangerous Book for Boys
Basically anything by Raleigh Briggs
Tiny Houses, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts, And Whatever the Heck Else We Could Cram In Here by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader
Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness books
Plant catalogs – these are often free

Oh, Yikes! History’s Grossest Wackiest Moments by Masoff
Dave Barry Slept Here by Dave Barry

The Handy Science Answer Book

Here are some anime, internet resources, and TV shows that you can unwind with while learning a thing or two.

Cosmos with Carl Sagan
Cosmos with Neil DeGrasse Tyson
NASA Science
Good Eats with Alton Brown
The French Chef with Julia Child – I could only find a couple episodes on Youtube but at least they’re there!
The Great British Baking Show
Kitchen Nightmares (not safe for work)
Food Wars (note: NOT safe for work)
Food Wishes

Forensic Files
The Detail Geek
Our Planet – Netflix series

National Geographic
Practical Engineering
Real Engineering
Trillium Wild Edibles

Watch any kind of TV show or movie in the foreign language you are learning, with or without subtitles, and try to understand it. Do this on top of what you’re already doing to learn the language and you should progress faster
Self Sufficient Me

Big Dreams in Small Spaces with Monty Don
Crash Course
TED talks
How To Make Everything
Clint’s Reptiles
Secrets of Ancient Empires
History Channel on Youtube
Modern History TV
Tasting History – note: mostly a cooking channel

Dad, How Do I
Mom, How Do I
Legal Eagle
Law & Order

Moyashimon (Anime)

How Ridiculous
Comedic Psychosomatic Medicine (Anime)

Bill Nye the Science Guy
Michael Reeves (NSFW!)

Mark Rober
The King of Random

Primitive Technology
72 Most Dangerous Animals series

Japanese Style Originator


One useful trick I’ve found in studying any topic is to get a blank notebook or Word file and jot down any info in it that you find highly useful in your life. Put things into this notebook that you want to refer back to at a later date. For instance, if you are studying herbalism, write down formulas that worked for a sore throat, your favorite way of making a tincture, and so on. If you are studying physics or math, write down your favorite applications of a specific formula or concept. Write down how you apply the knowledge you learn in a useful manner. Only put things into this notebook that you want to keep with you for your whole life. Then one day your notebook can be a family heirloom or contribute to a scientific breakthrough. Get a notebook like this for every subject you study even if you don’t think you’ll use it. You probably will.

Another useful trick: merely reading and rote memorizing things is a sure way to learn nothing at all. So don’t just read a book and forget it a few years later. If its information is valuable then put it to use somehow in your life. Try out the things it recommends. If there are recipes, follow them. If the information opens new possibilities, experiment with them. Put the book’s ideas to the test to see if they are worth anything. If this yields fruit, consider writing it down in the notebook for that subject so you don’t forget.

If you do need to rote memorize (and you will), or cram (ditto) then give yourself incentive for why you should. When I was in school it was impossible for me to figure it out but now I can thankfully tell you why you need to know the following, with specifics:
Everything: Freedom! Power! If you like to not get stepped on in life then learning things helps. If you only knew how many crimes are committed and never found out just because the targets are uninformed. There is also a major problem in the world today: there is no pressure to continue learning anything once you graduate high school unless you enter a technical career or academia. That is why we have so many absolute morons running around convinced they know everything to know about life, but since they don’t know what they don’t know, the survival of our entire species is on the line. Why continue to learn as an adult? Money, power, freedom and success are good reasons, but the most important reason is actually to avert disaster. Plus you get the added benefit of never becoming a miserably fossilized Boomer or making 2020 repeat itself. Essentially what I’m saying is that learning until the day you die is the ultimate life hack.
Self-Care: This covers everything that parents teach their kids, street smarts, survival skills, adulting, defending personal boundaries, thinking for yourself, memorized public service announcements, and so on and so forth. Long story short if you want to survive you gotta learn this and actually do what you’ve learned (lot of people currently forgetting the latter, wow i love 2020).
Psychology and Therapy: Everything you do in life, your success, failure, enjoyment of life, choices, lifestyle, all of it – relies entirely on your mental state. Learning how your mind works gives you an incredible amount of freedom and power. Also it’s pretty important to like yourself enough to not engage in high-risk or self-destructive behavior so you don’t ruin your freaking life. Not being dogmatic here, I’ve just… ahem… made some mistakes in life myself.
Gateway drugs to enjoying learning about mental health: How To Be You by Jeffrey Marsh
Math: You’ll need geometry and algebra in order to construct your own furniture, build a garden or a house, build things that don’t fall apart in two seconds, and to engineer or build literally anything. Repairing, designing, and building cars and machinery also requires a surprising amount of math. You’ll need calculus in order to do physics, which is a scientific way of working magic really. You’ll need statistics to understand and make sense of humongous patterns that relate to medical studies, research papers, and the results of scientific experiments without either deluding yourself or winding up with garbage conclusions. And of course if you master math, you can save for retirement, buy a house younger, avoid debt, get mega rich, budget better, make better investments, and steer clear of bad loans. Math means money, self-sufficiency, and power which is probably why school tries to make you hate it. Try it for yourself by going to a Makerspace with a pencil, piece of paper, an idea and someone experienced with said Makerspace. Math is SUPER POWERFUL STUFF.
Gateway drugs to math addiction: 10 Lessons in Mathematics, Practical Engineering, Mark Rober

Physics: Do you like to understand how the world works without the new age psychobabble? Try this. Also for avoiding constructing abominations like this

Gateway drugs to physics addiction: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, Cosmos with Carl Sagan
Chemistry: Similar to physics in terms of being ‘magical.’ Also it’s like cooking but with more explosions, just ask any college Chem professor. They are all pyros, every. last. one.
Gateway drugs to chemistry addiction: Colored fire 
Pumpkano Pie
Biology: More understanding how the world works without new age psychobabble but with more disgusting creatures and substances. Also critical for learning medicine, i.e. how to heal people instead of accidentally kill them.

Computer Science: Well, you’re reading this, so it might be a wee bit important maybe.
History: Pretty much all of this crap has happened before. But do we learn from our past mistakes as a species? Noooo, because not enough of us have learned history!
Art, Music, Fiction Writing, Theater, etc: Because the other stuff helps us survive, but this helps us make life worth living. Also art often inspires scientific breakthroughs
Ecology, Geology, Meteorology and Earth Science: Do you exist on Earth? If you don’t, what the heck are you doing reading this page? Also helpful for not falling into sinkholes or lava.
Farming: Do you eat?
Medicine: Do you possess a human body? If you don’t, what the heck are you doing reading this page?
Water Treatment: Do you like to drink water? Do you like to avoid cholera?
Environmental Remediation: Do you breathe? Do you exist on Earth?
Physical Fitness: So your body doesn’t become your own portable prison and/or make your life really unpleasant.
Geography, World Cultures, and Foreign Languages: For not getting ganked on your vacation to wherever-it-is. Or lost.
Actual Out-Of-Country Travel: For not being oblivious in every way that it is possible to be oblivious. You can’t get the same perspective no matter how many books you read or classes you take. Travel. Travel. Travel.
Law: For knowing your rights so other people don’t stomp all over them
Martial Arts, Weapons Training and Self-Defense: For making sure other people don’t literally stomp all over you
Philosophy/Ethics: Make life make sense. Or not. It is possible that we do not have any idea what “ethics” actually means which is why I stuck it under the heading of “philosophy.” Good luck.
Reading: The equivalent of traveling or living someone else’s life, in order to get about a lifetime’s worth of wisdom in the span of about 2 weeks. Playing video games with a plot counts as reading. Reading manga and comic books counts too.
Religion: Our latest attempt as a species to force us to be ethical, which doesn’t appear to be working out very well. Since it governs so much of human behavior and subconscious motivations, it’ll help you understand how other people think and thus predict their actions. It’s human programming, really.
Writing and Grammar: It’s difficult and frustrating to read misspelled or grammatically incorrect work. More importantly, people will think you are a moron if you can’t use English correctly. It seems to be a baseline estimate of a person’s perceived intelligence when there is nothing else to gauge. You can’t tell me you don’t go online and facepalm whenever you see someone TYPIING IN ALL! CAPS AnD DIMANDNG THINGGS THAT KARENS DEMAND!!!!
Logic: What math is based on. What computers use in order to operate. Helps you make tough decisions very quickly for the best (most desirable-to-you) possible outcome. If you learn nothing else learn this. It’ll change your life.
Fun, Recreation, Relaxation, Games, Play: For a. not going crazy and b. improved mental/physical abilities
Socialization: For helping you not get stuck in unproductive mental patterns, and also for not going crazy

On another note you might find these study tips useful

UPDATED 6/12/2020 – found a sex ed comic that seems to know its stuff
UPDATED 6/11/2020 – added more good Youtube channels, man these are hard to find
UPDATED 5/24/2020 – added some more Youtube channels and TV shows, and put some things in alphabetic order
UPDATED 5/16/2020 – added some family planning and anime resources
UPDATED 5/9/2020 – added substantial amounts of stuff to the Adulting section
UPDATED 4/23/2020 – online learning resources, educational TV shows, and educational anime added
UPDATED 7/10/2020 and 8/23/2020 Made it less impossible to read
UPDATED 9/3/2020 – added why this page exists
UPDATED 9/3/2020 – how did you get to the bottom of this page, here, have some memes
UPDATED 9/9/2020 – added some trivial stuff and edited for brevity

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Please feel free to comment with a resource that you regularly use in your profession or which adequately prepared you for your work, or criticize what’s listed. If you comment, please list your degree and/or qualifications first.

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