This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin (Plume, $16). This is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between music and the mind. Since our planet essentially moves to music, you might want to get to know a few things about music and its history.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (Harper Perennial, $15). If this book doesn’t make you eat better, I don’t know what will. By changing from consuming chemically ridden mass-produced food to eating locally grown organic food, we can give ourselves a longer and healthier life.

The Brain That Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge (Penguin, $16). A book that everybody should read. When your brain is damaged, another part of the brain rewires itself and takes over the same function, making it possible for you to resume normalcy in your life. It is nothing short of miraculous.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (Plume, $15). This book gives you a true picture of American world politics that we have not been told. While at consulting firm Chas T. Main, Perkins claims to have worked as an “economic hit man,” cheating developing nations out of trillions by convincing their leaders to accept development loans that ultimately turned into massive debts.

The Slave Next Door by Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter (University of California, $25). Believe it or not, human trafficking happens here in the United States. It’s a disturbing phenomenon. Bales and Soodalter’s riveting account of modern-day slavery is a call to action. We can stop this crime. We must.

Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s by Otto Friedrich (Harper Perennial, $18). Friedrich’s detailed book will show you how the most incredible culture of the 20th century was destroyed and lost by racism. Let’s hope we won’t do this again.