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  1. Letters from a Stoic

    by Seneca
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    Readership: Very niche

    The power and wealth which Seneca the Younger (c.4 B.C. - A.D. 65) acquired as Nero's minister were in conflict with his Stoic beliefs. Nevertheless he was the outstanding figure of his age. The Stoic philosophy which Seneca professed in his writings, later supported by Marcus Aurelius, provided Rome with a passable bridge to Christianity. Seneca's major contribution to Stoicism was to spiritualize and humanize a system which could appear cold and unrealistic. Selected from the ,Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium,, these letters illustrate the upright ideals admired by the Stoics and extol the good way of life as seen from … (Goodreads)

  2. Tao Te Ching

    by Lao Tzu
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    A lucid translation of the well-known Taoist classic by a leading scholar-now in a Shambhala Pocket Library edition. Written more than two thousand years ago, the Tao Teh Ching , or -The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue, - is one of the true classics of the world of spiritual literature. Traditionally attributed to the legendary -Old Master, - Lao Tzu, the Tao Teh Ching teaches that the qualities of the enlightened sage or ideal ruler are identical with those of the perfected individual. Today, Lao Tzu's words are as useful in mastering the arts of leadership in business … (Goodreads)

  3. The Complete Essays

    by Michel de Montaigne
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    Michel de Montaigne was one of the most influential figures of the Renaissance, singlehandedly responsible for popularising the essay as a literary form. This Penguin Classics edition of The Complete Essays is translated from the French and edited with an introduction and notes by M.A. Screech. In 1572 Montaigne retired to his estates in order to devote himself to leisure, reading and reflection. There he wrote his constantly expanding 'assays', inspired by the ideas he found in books contained in his library and from his own experience. He discusses subjects as diverse as war-horses and cannibals, poetry and politics, sex … (Goodreads)

  4. Gorgias

    by Plato
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    Taking the form of a dialogue between Socrates, Gorgias, Polus and Callicles, GORGIAS debates perennial questions about the nature of government and those who aspire to public office. Are high moral standards essential or should we give our preference to the pragmatist who gets things done or negotiates successfully? Should individuals be motivated by a desire for personal power and prestige, or genuine concern for the moral betterment of the citizens? These questions go to the heart of Athenian democratic principles and are more relevant than ever in today's political climate. … (Goodreads)

  5. Thinking, Fast and Slow

    by Daniel Kahneman
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    Readership: Popular

    In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow , Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at … (Goodreads)

  6. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

    by Ashlee Vance
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Elon Musk, the entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, sold one of his internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius's life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits. Vance uses Musk's story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk is an … (Goodreads)

  7. The Dhammapada

    by Anonymous
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    Readership: Very niche

    The Dhammapada (Pāli; Prakrit: धम्मपद Dhammapada; Sanskrit: धर्मपद Dharmapada) is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. The original version of the Dhammapada is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a division of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. The Buddhist scholar and commentator Buddhaghosa explains that each saying recorded in the collection was made on a different occasion in response to a unique situation that had arisen in the life of the Buddha and his monastic community. His commentary, the Dhammapada Atthakatha, presents the details of … (Goodreads)

  8. The Elements of Style

    by William Strunk Jr.
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    Readership: Eclectic

    This style manual offers practical advice on improving writing skills. Throughout, the emphasis is on promoting a plain English style. This little book can help you communicate more effectively by showing you how to enliven your sentences. … (Goodreads)

  9. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

    by Jordan B. Peterson
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising, and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street. What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) … (Goodreads)

  10. Mastery

    by Robert Greene
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    Readership: Very niche

    In this book, Robert Greene demonstrates that the ultimate form of power is mastery itself. By analyzing the lives of such past masters as Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Leonard da Vinci, as well as by interviewing nine contemporary masters, including tech guru Paul Graham and animal rights advocate Temple Grandin, Greene debunks our culture’s many myths about genius and distills the wisdom of the ages to reveal the secret to greatness. With this seminal text as a guide, readers will learn how to unlock the passion within and become masters. … (Goodreads)

  11. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

    by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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    Readership: Eclectic

    A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives. Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans … (Goodreads)

  12. On the Shortness of Life

    by Seneca
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    Readership: Very niche

    The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca offer powerful insights into the art of living, the importance of reason and morality, and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their eloquence, lucidity and timeless wisdom. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives—and destroyed them. Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. … (Goodreads)

  13. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

    by Ryan Holiday
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    Readership: Eclectic

    “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” — Marcus Aurelius We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. There is a formula for success that’s been followed by the icons of history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek. These men and women were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success came from timeless philosophical principles laid down by a Roman emperor who … (Goodreads)

  14. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

    by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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    From the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost philosophers of our time, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a book on how some systems actually benefit from disorder. In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem; in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what he calls the "antifragile" is one step beyond robust, as it benefits from adversity, uncertainty and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, … (Goodreads)

  15. Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo

    by Plato
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    Readership: Very niche

    The second edition of Five Dialogues presents G. M. A. Grube's distinguished translations, as revised by John Cooper for Plato, Complete Works (Hacket, 1997). Cooper has also contributed a number of new or expanded footnotes and updated Suggestions for Further Reading. … (Goodreads)

  16. The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness

    by Epictetus
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    Readership: Very niche

    Epictetus was born into slavery about 55 C.E. in the eastern outreaches of the Roman Empire. Sold as a child and crippled from the beatings of his master, Epictetus was eventually freed, rising from his humble roots to establish an influential school of Stoic philosophy. Stressing that human beings cannot control life, only how they respond to it, Epictetus dedicated his life to outlining the simple way to happiness, fulfillment, and tranquility. By putting into practice the ninety-three witty, wise, and razor-sharp instructions that make up ,The Art of Living,, readers learn to successfully meet the challenges of everyday life … (Goodreads)

  17. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

    by David Allen
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    ,The book ,,,Lifehack ,calls ,,"The Bible of business and personal productivity.",,,,,"A completely revised and updated edition of the blockbuster bestseller from 'the personal productivity guru'",—,,Fast Company, Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots. Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic … (Barnes & Noble)

  18. The Art of War

    by Sun Tzu
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    Readership: Popular

    Twenty-Five Hundred years ago, Sun Tzu wrote this classic book of military strategy based on Chinese warfare and military thought. Since that time, all levels of military have used the teaching on Sun Tzu to warfare and civilization have adapted these teachings for use in politics, business and everyday life. The Art of War is a book which should be used to gain advantage of opponents in the boardroom and battlefield alike. … (Goodreads)

  19. Leonardo da Vinci

    by Walter Isaacson
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The #1 ,New York Times, bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography that is “a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it...Most important, it is a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life” (,The New Yorker,). Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo da Vinci’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson “deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo” ( San Francisco Chronicle ) in a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we … (Barnes & Noble)

  20. Walden

    by Henry David Thoreau
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Originally published in 1854, Walden; or, Life in the Woods, is a vivid account of the time that Henry D. Thoreau lived alone in a secluded cabin at Walden Pond. It is one of the most influential and compelling books in American literature. This new paperback edition-introduced by noted American writer John Updike-celebrates the 150th anniversary of this classic work. Much of Walden's material is derived from Thoreau's journals and contains such engaging pieces as "Reading" and "The Pond in the Winter" Other famous sections involve Thoreau's visits with a Canadian woodcutter and with an Irish family, a trip to … (Goodreads)