Rick Sanchez—TV’s beloved sociopathic grandpa—has made his loathing for the modern schooling system clear on several episodic occasions. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t well-read. Books, after all, are a form of self-learning that Rick Sanchez himself probably does a lot of when he’s not off on life-threatening sci-fi adventures with his grandson, Morty. In fact, reading—as a way of learning about the world and the ways of navigating it—is probably one of the few things Rick can agree on with the rest of society…and even the government.
With that said, his shelves are probably lacking in Danielle Steel paperbacks and cookbooks (unless for making homemade Eyeholes); instead, you are likely to find a stack of strange volumes containing practical philosophies about how to live and thrive in a universe that just doesn’t care. These are 10 books Rick Sanchez, the smartest man in the multiverse, would recommend if you’re interested in becoming the master of your own reality.
The Will to Power, by Friedrich Nietzsche
This book basically sums up the philosophy of Rick Sanchez, which he has acted out through every episode of every season: all living things want and strive toward power and actualization. We have seen Rick pursue numerous goals—all in the name of amassing personal power, pleasure, or domination over others. Despite being the smartest being in the universe, he continues to sharpen his mind and physical abilities through science, technology, and action; he maintains near total control over his grandson, Morty, which he did by manipulating Beth and Jerry; and he has demonstrated the capacity to out-match individuals and organizations whose own wills would have him be subservient. The Will to Power is a standard that Rick Sanchez embodies to the logical conclusion.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche
It seems that Rick Sanchez’s life, in a way, mirror’s the character Zarathustra; for one thing, they are both drifters with no spatial attachments (although Rick technically resides with the Smiths). This powerful book is full of ideas and values that Rick is all about. The most notable of such is the übermensch, or “superman,” which serves as the next evolutionary phase in the growth of humankind, on the individual scale. Despite being relatively secure in his physical and intellectual prowess, Rick Sanchez never stops developing (except in regard to the more human aspects of life). With this book in your hands, you can embark on the path to becoming the greatest, most powerful version of yourself.
The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli
Though this book discusses how to successfully run governments—something Rick is abhorrent towards—it is safe to assume that he knows everything about how they work, right down to their ugliest parts. This was seen when he exercised the power of economics and greed to almost effortlessly destroy a galaxy-spanning government. Told with an heir of ruthless pragmatism, Machiavelli lays out what people must do to maintain domination over the people they rule, involving actions both sensible and bloody. Though Rick might reject the idea of being an all-powerful ruler, he probably has this book tucked away in the pocket of his lab coat, ready for use against whatever galactic civilization may oppose him next.
The Virtue of Selfishness, by Ayn Rand
This book provides an analysis on why morality is something unneeded—an idea that Rick Sanchez would raise his flask to. In it, Ayn Rand discusses the workings of her philosophy called Objectivism, which prizes practicality over the altruism that so many have preached over the years. On multiple occasions, we’ve seen Rick Sanchez try and explain this view of the world to his grandson, with it usually backfiring. But it’s a safe bet that, at one time or another, Rick drunkenly tossed this volume into Morty’s face.
Being and Nothingness, by Jean-Paul Sartre
We all know Rick for being a supposed master of the multiverse and its many strange facets, but how did he get to become so competent? This book by philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre may contain insights allowing you to achieve a level of mastery over your fate and stake a claim to your freedom in this wild universe—something Rick openly values.
On The Contrary, by Patricia and Paul Churchland
Occasionally, Rick Sanchez will blather on about the lack of meaning of things most humans hold dear, such as the emotions they feel and their pursuit of abstract states of being, as explained in a video essay by the YouTube channel Wisecrack. In it, authors Patricia and Paul Churchland are mentioned. In their book of essays, they systematically dismantle the shiny exteriors of all the wonderful experiences that we cherish in life, revealing that there is literally nothing magical behind any of it…unless you believe that atomic and chemical reactions are their own kind of magic. Considering how deeply Rick resonates with such a view of life, it would be no surprise to see him standing in protest for this volume to be included in a high-school curriculum.
Rick Sanchez fits the term ‘mad scientist’ pretty well, but he has, on a number of occasions, taken his talents to whole new levels. From forming intimate relationships with whole planets to creating world-destroying love potions, Rick is not above trying out the unconventional. It turns out, there’ve been some mad scientists whose creations went a little beyond what was intended. Ever wonder how LSD was invented? Ever wanted to learn the hidden evolutionary workings of the human sexual experience? Are you a wannabe mad scientist looking for a place to start? There’s no doubt that Rick has stumbled upon this book at some point in his turbulent cosmic career.
A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
You all know the saying: “To create a universe, you first have to know the universe.” On second thought, I don’t think anyone has said those exact words, but they apply to Rick Sanchez and this book by the world-famous scientist who discovered that black holes do indeed die. It tells the entire history of the universe from the Big Bang to all the strange and frightening aspects it contains. If you want any chance of saddling this reality, this is a must read.
The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus
It seems that Rick Sanchez is a megaphone, drunkenly spewing the philosophy of absurdism. It is a view that attempts to demonstrate just how precarious and silly our existence in the universe really is. For one thing, stars, galaxies, and black holes exist in the same place as Coldstone Creamery, Nintendo, and The Bachelor. If you’re interested in grappling with how absurd life really is, pick up Albert Camus’s novel—but be prepared to undergo a reevaluation of everything you once thought of your existence.
Diogenes the Cynic: The War Against The World, by Luis E. ‘Navia
It seems that Rick, like the character of Zarathustra mentioned earlier, has a thing for living the nomad’s life—crashing in on unsuspecting people and shaking up their world with his partially alien viewpoint. That lifestyle is remarkably similar to the Ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes, a member of a group of thinkers who deemed themselves ‘cynics’ or dogs, as the translation reveals. In this book, you will find a stockpile of information regarding the ‘Rickest’ philosopher there ever was and all kinds of cynical ideas.
While it is difficult to pin down exactly what type of reader Rick Sanchez is, these 10 books are the ones that best fit with the teachings we have seen him force into his grandson and many other unwilling bystanders. Due to his impulsive proactivity and experiences in many thousands of alternative realities, there is a potentially countless number of books that he’s at least skimmed through—and most probably weren’t written on this planet; however, this list is a start and will help you along on your journey to becoming more than just a speck of matter in this pointless cosmic storm that we call life.
Featured Image Via Adult Swim & St. Thomas Newsroom