HackerNews Readings
40,000 HackerNews book recommendations identified using NLP and deep learning

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The Soul of A New Machine

Tracy Kidder

4.6 on Amazon

177 HN comments

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series)

Christopher Alexander , Sara Ishikawa , et al.

4.7 on Amazon

176 HN comments

Meditations: A New Translation

Marcus Aurelius and Gregory Hays

4.8 on Amazon

172 HN comments

The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

Clayton M. Christensen, L.J. Ganser, et al.

4.5 on Amazon

168 HN comments

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy

Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

4.6 on Amazon

166 HN comments

Infinite Jest: Part I With a Foreword by Dave Eggers

Sean Pratt, David Foster Wallace, et al.

4.3 on Amazon

166 HN comments

The Elements of Style: Annotated Edition

William Strunk Jr. and James McGill

4.7 on Amazon

155 HN comments

Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell

4.7 on Amazon

152 HN comments

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

William B. Irvine

4.6 on Amazon

151 HN comments

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Neil Postman and Andrew Postman

4.6 on Amazon

151 HN comments

Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein, Christopher Hurt, et al.

4.4 on Amazon

151 HN comments

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Joe Ochman, et al.

4.5 on Amazon

150 HN comments

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg, Mike Chamberlain, et al.

4.6 on Amazon

149 HN comments

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Jonathan Haidt and Gildan Media, LLC

4.6 on Amazon

144 HN comments

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Roger Fisher , William L. Ury, et al.

4.6 on Amazon

143 HN comments

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bytefaceonDec 5, 2019

Tribes by Seth Godin is good as it talks about how communities grow around ideas not individuals.

Also read things written by great leaders. i.e. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

blowskionDec 10, 2019

Fabulous bit of advice. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a good start, though I suspect many here have already heard of it.

jonathansorumonMay 11, 2018

Meditations easily has my highest rate of highlighted words in relation to total book length. Seems like every page (almost) has some eternal and profound in it.

tomcooksonDec 5, 2020

Marcus Aurelius' Meditations is a great introduction to Stoicism

undefined_user6onDec 29, 2019

Wherever you go, there you are by Jon Kabat-Zin

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Neither were written this decade but they influenced my worldview the most, by far.

countersixteonMar 20, 2014

I recently read the Gregory Hays translation [1] and thought it was great. Meditations was Marcus Aurelius's "notes to self" and the Hays edition captures this informal nature. It makes for an easy and delightful read.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Meditations-New-Translation-Marcus-Aur...

JoeC3onAug 25, 2017

Oooh. Great question.

I'd vote for Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

buggy-cyborgonFeb 3, 2015

Anyone who enjoyed this article should pick up the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. My all time favorite book and a good intro to Stoic ethics.

jyellinonSep 16, 2009

That is a great recommendation...I have actually read pieces from Meditations which is extremely congruent with my statement...I am happy that you enjoyed my neologism!

mordraxonJuly 3, 2015

I started reading this article and ended up reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius... totally forgot about the original article

jazonJune 10, 2011

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Some translations are better than others, but I have found The Emperor's Handbook[1] to be the best so far.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/dp/0743233832/

steerpikeonSep 9, 2019

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a pretty obvious one for this demographic.

quietthrowonSep 15, 2018

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Mans Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl.

I know you asked for 1 and I am giving 2 recommendations but nothing wrong with being generous with good things.

tirantonApr 27, 2020

Interesting. I also came across Meditations from M.A. when reading Flow by M.C. I downloaded a license-free ebook of Meditations, but found the translation to be excessively complicated and ended up abandoning it. I really appreciate your recommendations now, and will fore sure give them a try again.

2OEH8eoCRo0onDec 29, 2019

Great suggestions. Your post reads like the first part of Meditations by Aurelius.

chillacyonJune 11, 2017

I'd like to throw in that Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is quite a famous staple of stoic reading, but it's mainly a compilation of lessons from other great stoic teachers that resonated with him.

nuggetonNov 29, 2015

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius definitely changed my life. I found it as relevant today as it must have been two thousand years ago when it was written.

DanielBMarkhamonAug 12, 2009

Absolutely. I've always been an admirer of the stoics (reading Meditations right now)

I'll let Hart speak for himself when it comes to outlining all of those. You'll have to read the book. I can't do justice to his argument as I'm still processing all of it.

peter_severinonNov 4, 2010

My latest reading list:

* Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

* Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor E. Frankl. This one was very good. Psychology can actually be logical and accessible.

askafriendonMay 13, 2018

Seneca's On the Shortness of Life was a profound read for me. I wish I read it earlier. That and Marcus Aurelius' Meditations.

antmanonFeb 25, 2017

A very important book, and especially if someone gets "Meditations: A new translation" by Hays. The translations available online don't explain the context of Aurelius life, and are hard to read.

gordon_freemanonJuly 2, 2019

I would recommend Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Hays Translation) along with On the Shortness of Life by Seneca. These 2 books together will introduce you to the Stoic philosophy which I just found a couple of years ago and it has made my life much better.

krzysztofonMar 1, 2019

I also find this book really nicely written. Worth checking out if someone is interested more.

Also Mark Aurelius Meditations are interesting read. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditations

koolhead17onMay 11, 2018

1. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

2. Total Freedom by J Krisnamurti

newman8ronMay 26, 2015

It's not a business book but read Meditations - Marcus Aurelius - if you have not already. I think it can make anyone better

dome82onJuly 15, 2016

- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

- A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by Irvine

staunchonNov 15, 2012

I re-read Julius Caesar's Commentaries at least five times a year. I find them some of the most absolutely fascinating texts that exist. Discovered them when I was maybe 15 and they sparked my love of ancient history.

Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations" is interesting in some similar ways.

ScarblaconDec 16, 2019

I read Meditations this year, and found it very repetitive and only occasionally inspiring.

It might be good to spread out reading it over a long time. Read until you find something that clicks with you. Repeat after a few weeks.

EvgenyonDec 8, 2014

you'd be better off reading something like Marcus Aurelius' Meditations instead, or some of the other classics.

Incidentally, I'm trying to read Meditations now, but it's not an easy reading and it goes very slowly. Maybe I'll be able to put in on my 2015 list of influential books?

meeritaonFeb 25, 2017

I will download Meditations right away. It's a pending book to read.

nindalfonSep 9, 2019

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius has been mentioned 5 times in this thread so far. I endorse it as well. This book is the private diary of the Roman Emperor. He doesn’t say anything about politics or much about other people, just exhorting himself to do better and be better. This man walked the walk.

nt591onDec 8, 2014

The first time I read Meditations I read the Gregory Hays translation. It's written with very colloquial language and makes for a great entrance to the book.

bdibsonJuly 9, 2017

I’m not the original poster, but I recommend Meditations by Marcus Aurelius highly.

I’d also check out A Guide to the Good Life by William Irvine, it’s an overview and a much less tedious read (wrote this century, haha).

petereteponFeb 4, 2013

I found the opposite; Meditations felt like immediate practical wisdom, Letters from a Stoic I struggled to keep reading.

Also: if you're going to take self-help advice from anyone, might as well be the World's Most Important Man (at time of writing).

untothebreachonApr 9, 2015

Can't recommend "Meditations" highly enough, it is a great read. The first part takes a little bit of discipline to get through (at least, for me it did), but stick with it if it puts you off, it gets better. You should check out Seneca and Epictetus as well.

evoxedonFeb 3, 2013

If you enjoyed Meditations please keep a lookout for anything by Epictetus. Depending on the publisher titles may vary, but Discourses is common (iirc they were notes compiled from his many stories and teachings). You won't be disappointed.

ErikAugustonAug 16, 2016

Just read "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, and "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus.

This article hints at both - and they were my biggest eye-openers on the question of how* to live.

sundarurfriendonDec 26, 2015

> Meditations - Marcus Aurelius -- A fine classic I enjoyed.

Which version did read, and where did you get it? The translation I found on Gutenberg was too archaic and hard to understand.

koolhead17onFeb 3, 2018

* Total Freedom by J Krishnamurti

* Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

* Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard's Almanack by
Benjamin Franklin

* Influence by Robert B. Cialdini

gordon_freemanonJan 4, 2020

a lot of good comments here and I'd like to add some book suggestions here. You could start with some high-quality classics such as Meditations by Marcus Aurelius or other philosophy books such as from Epictetus or Seneca and see for yourself how much wisdom you can get out of these books.

palerdotonDec 29, 2019


I read Robin Buss Unabridged version from penguin for "The Count of Monte Cristo".

Also, some of other interesting books I forgot to mention in my original list

- How to Change Your Mind (don't be put off by title)

- Meditations, Marcus Aurelius (good peek into the mind of one of the greatest emperors of all time)

DataGataonJan 6, 2020

Well obviously you wouldn't do Nietzche (though I think you probably could). Meditations is probably the book to read in those cases.

intertextualityonMay 6, 2019

Marcus Aurelius Meditations: A New Translation by Gregory Hays.

The Discourses of Epictetus

deanalevittonMar 28, 2019

I found Meditations: A New Translation by Gregory Hays to be quite accessible.

seizethecheeseonMay 22, 2014

If you'd rather not pay for a copy of Meditations it's available here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2680.

ChickenosaurusonJuly 13, 2017

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD) helped me to keep going in tough times and to be a happier person.

edoonMar 29, 2010

Think & Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

Taiko - Eiji Yoshikawa

Alexander of Macedon - Peter Green

and +1 for Staunch's choice:

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

unmoleonSep 5, 2018

I would actually suggest buying the Hays translation of Meditations instead of reading the free versions. The language in every other version is overly verbose and archaic.

infiniteseekeronOct 30, 2014

- The Enchihirdion by Epictetus

- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

- Letters of a Stoic by Seneca

- Dhammapada (various translations)

- Bhagavad Gita (various translations)

codeafinonAug 6, 2018

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, definitely.

kthejoker2onSep 9, 2019

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Essays by Michel de Montaigne

Self Reliance by Emerson

Theory of Moral Sentiment by Adam Smith

A Treatise of Human Nature by Hume

And the memoir of my vote for the most interesting man who ever lived, Humphry Davy's Consolations in Travel

rouellineonJuly 12, 2018

The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa.

On the Road by Kerouac.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

I read Pessoa to feel not so alone. I read Kerouac to feel alive. I read Meditations to not lose my head.

puszczykonDec 16, 2019

I look forward to read “Meditations”[1] by Marcus Aurelius and re-read “Black Swan”[2]. On the _craftsperson_ front I’ve heard good things about “Designing Data-Intensive Applications”[3] by Martin Kleppman.

Also hope to get some good recommendations here :)

[1]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30659.Meditations?ac=1&f...

[2]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/242472.The_Black_Swan?ac...

[3]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23463279-designing-data-...

srikonDec 10, 2018

Meditations by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius is a must read as well. Another addition to your modern approach recommendation of the stoicism theme is Ryan Holiday's Ego is the Enemy.

PS - There's a really captivating lecture on stoicism in the context of the life of Marcus Aurelius

lihaciudanielonFeb 2, 2020

If you like to read more about Seneca, I can't recommend enough Tao Of Seneca [1] by Tim Ferris. Other classical text that are must read include Enchiridion by Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius Meditations

[1] https://tim.blog/2017/07/06/tao-of-seneca/

needzonMay 11, 2018

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Letters from a Stoic by Seneca.

I guess you could say any book on Stoicism, really, as the others I would mention also fit that bill.

staunchonMar 29, 2010

You will not be wasting your time poking around the great stuff in http://classics.mit.edu/Browse/index.html

One of my favorites is Caesar's The Gallic Wars, because it's so amazing that we have his very own account: http://classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.html

Josephus' account of The Jewish Wars is amazing.

Marcus Aurelius' Meditations is a must-read: http://classics.mit.edu/Antoninus/meditations.html

peacemakeronDec 10, 2014

Thanks for that. Meditations is a book on my 'to read' list I guess I should get around to it soon.

I agree about the insight into their mind and part of me feels like they wouldn't have sent the email if they didn't feel at least a little threatened by what I'm doing - a positive takeaway.

charleshmorseonApr 16, 2015

I would say the 'changed your mind' value of a book comes from how analogous it is to your current life situation and the number of habits it imbues on you thereafter. Two of those for me are:
1. Marcus Aurelius's Meditations
2. Isaacson's Benjamin Franklin

roflmyeggoonOct 12, 2015

Meditations is the usual go-to read by Marcus Aurelius. Then if you are still interested check out the writings of Seneca, Epictetus, etc.

freshfeyonOct 12, 2015

I'd start with "Letters from a Stoic" by Seneca, then read "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius. If you're looking for a modern interpretation of these thoughts check out "The Obstacle is the Way" by Ryan Holiday

monkmartinezonMar 1, 2016

Read; Marcus Aurelius ~ Meditations

There is a ton of value in Stoic philosophy that has been lost in modern society. The same modern society that worships "looks", "Celebrity", and countless other craptacular "things" that haven't materially changed the human condition for the better.

razibogonMay 21, 2014

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is also available under public domain and available here: http://classics.mit.edu/Antoninus/meditations.html

kj01aonNov 7, 2016

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

A few different sections in the D&D 5ed DMG and PHB

A couple of comic books.

indwelleronDec 12, 2018

I'd recommend all of these:

Freakonomics- Interesting book if you're into Game theory and economics kind of stuff, though it has no prerequisites

Meditations- Great views of a stoic thinker

Zero to one- Interesting take on startups and how to build them

Foundation and empire- Amazing sci-fi book. Second book in the foundation series

tugberkkonJune 16, 2020

Marcus Aurelius - Meditations

I really think this book should be read every day for at least 10 minutes.

acabalonNov 28, 2017

You can download Marcus Aurelius' Meditations for free at my project, Standard Ebooks: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/marcus-aurelius/meditation...

The translation is good and Meditations is one of my favorite books. Super interesting to get an inside look at how the most powerful man in the world used Stoicism to deal with both the weight of an empire, and with day-to-day trivialities.

The Enchiridion is another Stoic "manual" that's very short and just as good: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/epictetus/the-enchiridion/...

dome82onAug 19, 2014

I agree with you. I re-read it multiple times and doing it again in these days. The content has been so helpful in critical situations in my life like the death of my father.
I should probably buy the Audible version too...

Another great book that I would like to suggest is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

jasonlmkonAug 7, 2016

I'm surprised there aren't more philosophy-oriented books mentioned here. I think they make great gifts.

Many of my friends are straight out of university, and it's a period where most people seem to start asking existential questions. The two books which have affected me greatly (and which I regularly give as gifts) are:

* Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
* Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

JasonFruitonMay 11, 2018

I modernized a public-domain translation of Epictetus and had a nice printing done for my nephew's graduation. It's an amazing book on how to live.

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations reads like the daily thoughts of someone attempting to live according to Epictetus's handbook. (Obviously, they're both Stoic works, but they make a better pairing than that alone would make you expect.)

WJWonMay 25, 2021

> To me, this feels even more depressing, because now it reads like I can’t even do anything to fix it without having or being able to obtain an insane amount of influence.

I mean this in the kindest possible way, but why did you ever start thinking you could change the entire world without an insane amount of influence? There are typically two 'solutions' btw:

- Focus on happiness for yourself and those around you, changing the area of concern from "the entire world" to "a piece of the world".

- Find a group of likeminded people and together try to effect the change you seek. Even if you don't completely succeed, you will probably improve the lives of many along the way (including your own).

FWIW, whenever I start feeling like that I reread the book "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius. It is surprisingly relevant to todays society for a book that is 2000 years old. :)

TeMPOraLonSep 26, 2015

It's one of my favourites too.

There've been a few lists of his best posts created by readers, e.g. [0] and [1].

Personally, my absolute favourite is Meditations on Moloch [2]. It's long, but has high concept density and highlights the very important causes of problems in the world that many people miss entirely when discussing important issues.

[0] - http://nothingismere.com/2015/09/12/library-of-scott-alexand...

[1] - http://lesswrong.com/lw/mmg/yvains_most_important_articles/

[2] - http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/30/meditations-on-moloch/

asharkonFeb 2, 2015

Marcus Aurelius isn't that far from that point of view, at times. Many passages in Meditations can be paraphrased as: "In the blink of an eye you and all your enemies will be dead, and cease to exist. You will be dust, and your petty struggles forgotten. Why dwell on things that don't matter, and that make you unhappy?"

LatteLazyonJuly 24, 2020

Stocism (actually reading Meditations by Marcus Auralius, not just "stiff upper lip" BS) and exercise were all that worked for me. If you're suffering please try those and note how you feel the next day, 2 days, 3 days.

h34tonSep 15, 2008

"All of the people I've known that I consider brilliant have also had an amazing amount of humility about what they didn't know, and have been fast to praise the achievements of others."

I agree. I think this has something to do with the fact that a "learning attitude" is actually necessary to become brilliant in a field. If you haven't jigged your brain up to be really open and accepting to new ideas, you become too rigid quickly fall behind. By admitting what you don't know & praising achievements of others, you're not just doing the people around you a favour by being pleasant, you're also setting yourself up to become smarter.

I like how with this particular quality, "social" considerations (ie. being liked) overlap strongly with "mental/learning" considerations (ie. you become smarter). You win both ways.

I've definitely erred on this one too -- misjudged situations and thought they called for too much forcefulness/rigidity. Leadership and openness aren't mutually exclusive, but sometimes people make them out to be (eg/ "a good leader doesn't change his mind"). Probably because if you are in politics, you frequently have to abandon your intellectual ideals for pragmatic results.

(This is the reason why Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is one of my favorite books. He rose to the greatest position of power in the world of his day, without losing his ability to be thoughtful and aware, at least with himself.)

phren0logyonNov 28, 2017

For what it's worth, the Hays translation of Meditations is much easier reading.

jefflombardjronOct 13, 2017

To chose one hero would be too tough. I try to incorporate the best qualities of my heroes into my life. There are close family members and friends whom, I respect and love. For many reasons. There are everyday heroes, we just don't get to know as many of them. Impact on people's live is relative, alot of the people we read about have a small impact on many peoples lives. These people have had a huge impact on a couple of people's lives.

Speaking of small impact on many people's lives, I absolutely love to read biographies/profiles of people and companies. Some of my favorites include: Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Aldo Leopold, Jerry Garcia, Einstein, Alan Turing, Ted Turner, Brian Cranston, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Bernie Sanders, Richard Branson, and so many more...

And then there's people like Jesus, Marcus Aurelius, Marx, and the Budda. Who seem to have made an impact on another order of magnitude.

(Not joking about Jesus... I'm not necessarily religious but Jesus was a radical dude who lived a radical life and spoke radical messages. Pretty cool when you think about it in a historical context. There are some valuable lessons to be learned from him.)

Even after knowing and reading about the stories of many great people who have lead unique and innovative lives. I still am blown away by the life of Marcus Aurelius. His life was a rare intersection of power, compassion, philosophy, and understanding. Reading Meditations was a major inflection point in my life. I try to emulate his example in some ways.

amasadonDec 3, 2018

Same for me with Stoicism: I read everything modern book on it and while it was useful nothing comes close to when I actually decided to pick up the classics, starting with Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

WheelsAtLargeonApr 29, 2018

I don't think people give enough credit as to how important it is to have personal connections. It's important for personal development and professional development. In that vein, I'd like to recommend "How to Win Friends and Influence People" It's short. If you follow its advice it will give you a lifetime of benefits.

"Meditations" of Marcus Aurelius is another must read. The book is full of advice on how to live your best life. It will help you now and it will help you for the rest of your life so make sure you read it.

lionheartedonMar 29, 2010

It's amazing how many good historical works are out of copyright and free. I got an Amazon Kindle as a gift, and it's been really wonderful for me.

If you like Roman history, you've got to check out Gibbons' History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It's just a masterpiece. I flip through my copy of Meditations from time to time (actually, now I look at it on my Kindle, but I used to flip through my paper copy) and just pick out random quotes. A great work. "It is not the thing itself that disturbs a man, but the man's perception of and reaction to the thing. The thing may not be able to be changed, but a man's perception and reaction may be changed." I'm butchering that quote, but it's incredibly meaningful to me, and I try to reflect on it when things seem to be going wrong or I get inconvenienced.

While talking about classics, there's a lot of good philosophy out of copyright. Beyond Good and Evil and Thus Spoke Zarathustra aren't perfect works and I disagree with a fair bit of it, but there's some absolute jewels in them too.

Lately I've been looking for a decent electronic copy of Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents and Kierkegaard's Either/Or, but I've been having a hard time finding copies that are decently formatted and readable.

Also, got any other recommendations Staunch? I'm going to get Gallic Wars, and it seems like you and I have similar taste if you have other recommendations.

jjaredsimpsononOct 12, 2015

Because everyone who cares eventually tries to read great literature and you make it to Meditations which is a great read for a 20+ year old immersed in a culture that tells you to connect your self worth to the score others give you. It's a self-help read for people who don't want to consume for profit self help. It's counterculture.

baristaGeekonDec 29, 2019

Best business books:

-Secrets of Sandhill Road

-Hackers and Painters

-The Great CEO within

-Venture Deals

-Predictable Revenue

-Zero to One

-The Hard Thing About Hard Things

-Lean customer development

-Lost and founder

-Lean B2B

-From Impossible to Inevitable


Best computer science books:

-Competitive programming 3

-Structure and interpretation of computer programs

Best for fun (non-fiction):



-How to win friends and influence people

-A brief history of time


-Frente a la estrella polar

petereteponJune 7, 2015

     > To be honest I always thought that these kind of books
> (i.e personal growth / motivational) were BS

I feel I've had a huge amount in my life out of self-help books, on a real variety of subjects. There's a lot of obvious bullshit out there (like The Secret), but also plenty of gold. Scanning through my notes, and in no particular order, I have extensive notes from (and thus enjoyed):

* 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

* Beyond Chocolate

* Driven From Within (Michael Jordan biography)

* Get Altitude

* How To Make Friends and Influence People

* Iron John (Robert Bly)

* Meditations (Marcus Aurelius)

* Never Eat Lunch Alone

* Psychocybernetics

* Pulling Your Own Strings

* Ready For Anything (same author as GTD)

* The Dip

* Ten Days to Self Discipline

* The Power of Now

* Personal Power (Tony Robbins)

* Warrior King Magician Lover

Some were easier reads than others, and I suspect I am unusual in that I have a pretty rigorous system for making sure I regularly review my notes, and implement exercises and ideas in the books, but I feel I'd be a very different person for the worse without the value these books have added to my life.

pranay01onJan 2, 2017

Favorite of the books I read in 2016:

1. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

2. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson - What was interesting for me to learn was that even though he was a great scientist, he was very humane in other aspects - and you can easily relate to.

3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - Fun read which is also deeply philosophical at the same time. Got me interested in science fictions as a genre.

4. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius - Great intro to stoic philosophy

nestorherreonDec 17, 2019

AH! So many books to read.. I always get excited when I see these type of threads (because I can get new worthy books to add to my list), but on the other hand I get depressed that it is pretty damn hard to catch up with everything that I want to read.

My list would be too long to post, but these are the ones next in line:
- Meditations
- Digital Minimalism
- I Ching
- Art of War
- Tao Te King
- Steppenwolf
- Think and grow rich

In general want to focus on books of: business, leadership, self development, productivity and spiritualism (mostly buddhism).

KenjionFeb 2, 2015

For people interested in Stoicism, I can recommend the book Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. There are a couple of very accessible English translations (the original text must be in Latin). The book is basically a collection of many thoughts that are roughly one sentence to a page long and self-contained. So you can read it any way you like, in any order. There are some really inspiring thoughts in the book, though some of them might be difficult to relate to since things have changed quite a bit in almost 2000 years.

asharkonDec 8, 2014

In the last year I replaced my copy of Meditations, which I didn't like very much, and surveyed most of the existing translations in the process, comparing them to each other and to the original Greek.

Maxwell Staniforth's was my favorite, being both faithful to the original and easy to read. Hammond plays too loosely with the material, IMO.

The only hardcover I know of:


A paperback:


ArubisonDec 22, 2016

Necessarily an incomplete list, because I haven't kept close track. 2016 was busy and much of what I read was programming language related, which I will exclude here.

In no particular order...

Cixin Liu -- The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest. Good read, as you'll see on everyone else's list.

Neal Stephenson -- Seveneves. Really good but arguably his weakest in some time; I wish the first three-quarters of the book were shorter and the final quarter a book in and of itself.

Cal Newport -- So Good They Can't Ignore You. I found this longer than necessary but an excellent kick in the pants.

Marcus Aurelius -- Meditations. Feels like a good "life reference" rather than a straight-through read.

Roald Dahl -- Boy, Going Solo. These were fun when I first went through them years ago, and they still _are_ fun, but the lens through which I view live has become one increasingly allergic to entitlement, and boy, if you want entitlement, look to the Brits at the end of the imperialist era.

Ed Catmull -- Creativity, Inc. Read this for work. Enjoyable but ehh.

Peter Tompkins -- The Secret Life of Plants (unfinished). I tried but couldn't get past the rampant bad science.

Steve Martin -- Born Standing Up. This was a fun profile of a comic that I appreciate; if you're already a fan it's worthwhile, otherwise skip it.

Derek Sivers -- Anything You Want. You can blow through this in a day and you should.

Worth highlighting, my most influential read this year:

Tara Brach -- Radical Acceptance. I loved this. No: I _needed_ this. Rather than the many philosophy-influenced books you'll find in this thread that are really business books with new buzzwords, this is just about loving yourself and building on that to live life fully. This will not (at least directly) help you build a startup. This will (directly) help you build important relationships.

vitomdonMay 25, 2017

Some more info: The site is made in Jekyll and the quotes are loaded in the page using Javascript to get the random quote. I like to read and write down quotes, so a lot of quotes came from that source, the other good source is goodreads.

It's a manual process but I make sure that the quote is really good. In the case of stoicism I have a personal collection of maxims from different sources like Meditations (Marcus Aurelius), Letters from a stoic(Seneca) , Enchiridion(Epictetus - my favourite author).

If you go to arandomquote.com/stoic you will get only stoicism quotes, or you can go to arandomquote.com/business to get just business quotes.

Today I will add around 100 quotes from 25 books, like Rework, Deep Work, E-myth, Show your work, Art of War, Meditations, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, Man's Search for Meaning , etc

cs702onSep 2, 2016

I agree with others on the "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius.

Off the top of my head, I would add:

* "The Way to Wealth," by Benjamin Franklin: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0918222885 (also available online for free; it's in the public domain) -- no-nonsense practical advice from a super-successful individual

* Warren Buffett's Letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders: http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/letters.html (also available organized by topic, in a bound book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1611637589 which some will find much easier to read)

* "The Intelligent Investor," by Benjamin Graham (specifically the chapters titled "The Investor and Market Fluctuations" and "Margin of Safety"): https://www.amazon.com/dp/0060555661

* "Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion," by Robert Cialdini: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0688128165


* "Devil Take the Hindmost," by Edward Chancellor: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0452281806

* "A Short History of Financial Euphoria," by John Kenneth Galbraith: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0140238565

* "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds," by Charles Mackay: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1586635581

ThrustVectoringonDec 23, 2015

Books I'm glad I've read:

The Inner Game of Tennis

Impro by Keith Johnstone

Seeing Like a State

The Timeless Way of Building

Linear and Geometric Algebra by Alan Macdonald

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (read this one thrice)

The Tao of Pooh

Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd

The Drama of the Gifted Child

Interaction Ritual

What Do You Say After You Say Hello?

Of niche use:

Mathematics: its Content, Methods and Meaning - mostly useful for figuring out what math you don't know. I recommend reading it at a fairly decent pace, and noting what subjects don't sound like an overview of something you've already learned.

humanarityonApr 9, 2015

Meditations (Marcus Aurelius) - incredibly clear ideas probably clear-up 80% of issues you have with everyday life

The Bible (& The Gnostic Gospels) - I love the idea that Jesus was a real guy who (literally) petrified his childhood playmates because they "vexed" him by dispersing his anti-gravity water :)

Atlas Shrugged - no excuses

Self and Others - personal pyschology

Seth Speaks - a lady channels an interdimensional being

The Road Less Travelled - a psychoanalyst's memoirs

Letters to a Young Artist - encouragement for going your own way, a series of letters

The Alchemist - help you read the signs from the heart of the World for your own path

An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, et al (T. Suzuki) - really interesting, non-duality, higher third unification of opposites

Hear the Wind Sing (Murakami) - really bizarre and pure, his first one written late nights at kitchen table after working in a bar, before he became famous

Rich Dad Poor Dad - solid advice

Discrete Maths (Rosen) - interesting and very learnable, a great reference

An Imaginary Life (Malouf) - great clarity of writing

The Solid Mandala (Patrick White) - amazing observation of people

niels_olsononMar 22, 2011

Humbly submitted to founders. Among people who have been in leadership positions or find themselves in a leadership position for the first time, I think many will agree reading a diverse set of perspectives is valuable, and a surprising number of leadership lessons translate between technical domains. This strives to contribute to the body of learning represented by Sun Tzu's Art of War and Marcus Aurelius's Meditations (also excellent reads).

gordon_freemanonApr 16, 2019

This always happens with various editions of books too especially for classic books. For example: I want to buy Meditations by Marcus Aurelius but there are so many editions of that book with different authors who translated these books but you'd see the same exact reviews on all of these editions. It is very hard for me in that case to choose the right book.

LA_BankeronJuly 22, 2016

1. "Meditations" – Marcus Aurelius

2. "The Practicing Mind" – Thomas Sterner

3. "Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance" – Atul Gawande (I'm not a surgeon; the principles herein are universal)

(honorable mention: "How to Win Friends and Influence People" – Dale Carnegie; various biographies by Caro and Chernow)

jayalphaonSep 14, 2018

Oh, lordy lord. Then don't read Gomez DaVila.

Meditations is an outstanding book. You don't have to read "through". You can browse and see what connects with you. What made a strong difference to me: the translation. First, I could not connect with the book. Then I found another translation and started liking it. Later I realized that the fist translation, while harder to read and understand, was much better. It was, like he wrote. Short. No unnecessary words.

trgnonFeb 25, 2017

I'll take a stab.

It is a very accessible work, still today. The writing is clear and simple.

It's always been a popular work across the centuries, but the form seems to work well for contemporary audiences. You can engage with at different levels, it doesn't require a deep commitment. You can read a few passages before bed time, leave it for years and pick it up again, leaf through it and skip back&forth. As you grow older, the depth of the work reveals itself.

Specifically, given the easy to digest form, Meditations is somewhat of a board room coffee table book, like Machiavelli or Sun Tzu. There is a lot in there about what it takes to be a good leader.

It is a primary work. As a reader, you will take a trip back in time, when people were, for lack of better word, different. The deep religiosity on display can come across as somewhat alien, especially since it is one that focuses on the importance of the observance of rites rather than on establishing a personal spiritual connection. It is very un-american, un-christian, and that journey is valuable in itself.

The breadth is wide. Stoicism is easily dismissed as being somewhat of a dour, pessimistic philosophy. There is undoubtedly a melancholy undercurrent in Meditations, but it is also full with love, joy, kindness, happiness. The opening sets the tone. A thoughtful thank you note to all the people who Marcus feels affectionate to. Near the end, after being reminded a great deal about your mortality, those bright colors will have lost their luster somewhat, but Meditationes leaves you with more confidence in humanity and love towards your fellow man than with less.

Marcus Aurelius was by all accounts an admirable man and an important historical figure. There is somewhat of a voyeuristic kick you get by reading something he never intended to publish. Especially when writing about his wife, his insecurities, his unpleasant views on sex, all are more personal passages than philosophical. It's been 2000 years, I'm sure we're forgiven.

sgentleonNov 10, 2014

The Gregory Hays translation is great. I didn't even finish Meditations the first time I tried because the language in my translation was dry and archaic to the point of being distracting. I basically had to read each page twice and couldn't get into the flow of actually understanding and enjoying what he was trying to say.

The original wasn't meant to be a dry treatise; it was a journal. I think a rendering that uses personal and simple language is more faithful than one that goes for the inscrutable ancient wisdom angle.

gashawonFeb 5, 2019

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, A Guide to Rational Living by Albert Ellis, Feeling Good by David Burns - changed the way I see and cope with things and people that used to "cause" me lots of stress in the past.

Behave by Robert Sapolsky, The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson, Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman - we are animals shaped by evolution. The human brain isn't perfect and makes lots of silly mistakes. I learned not to belive everything I think.

toumhionMar 5, 2016

Self-help/personal development/philosophy:

- The obstacle is the way (Ryan Holiday)

- Meditations (Marcus Aurelius)

- Level up your life: how to unlock adventure and happiness by becoming the hero of your own story

- the six pillars of self-esteem

- so good they can’t ignore you

- the power of habit

- how to fail at almost everything and still win big


- soft sell: the new art of selling

- essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less

- the magic of thinking big

- everything is negotiable

- making things happen

- lean customer development

- what customers want

- inspired: how to create products customers love

- delivering happiness

e_tm_onMay 11, 2018

Alan Watts
- The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
- The Wisdom of Insecurity
- Psychotherapy East & West

Herman Hesse
- Siddhartha
- The Journey to the East

Marcus Aurelius
- Meditations

- Letters to Lucilius

Daniel Quinn
- Ishmael

curi0ustttonOct 1, 2020

This a very personal opinion based on some popular classic book lists like those found on 4chan /lit/ etc.
(Note: All books are new and I calculated the price from Book Depository [0], you might be able to purchase more from Better World Books [1]):

- The Holy Bible
- Moby Dick by Melville
- The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
- The Master And Margarita by Bulgakov
- Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
- The Iliad by Homer
- The Odyssey by Homer
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandra Dumas
- The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler
- The Qur'an
- The Prince by Machiavelli
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu
- Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky
- The Confessions by Saint Augustine
- Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
- We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
- The Book Of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
- The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric
- Bosnian Chronicle by Ivo Andric
- Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun
- Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger
- All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque
- The Divine Comedy by Dante

--- This list totals out at 311.14EUR and has 23 books.
[0] - https://www.bookdepository.com/
[1] - https://www.betterworldbooks.com/

cerasonFeb 26, 2017

> It's a philosophy of inaction and accommodation to injustice and oppression.

This is not what I got out of reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and articles on Stoicism. In common English use, "stoic" sometimes implies what you said, but that's not the same as Stoicism-the-philosophy.

"The Stoics held that virtue is the only real good and so is both necessary and, contrary to Aristotle, sufficient for happiness; it in no way depends on luck."[0]

It's also true that Stoicism encourages acceptance of all outcomes, whatever they are, which people misconstrue to imply it's not worth doing your best. Here's a quote by Cicero on doing your best but not letting the outcome influence your emotions:

"Take the case of one whose task it is to shoot a spear or arrow straight at some target. One’s ultimate aim is to do all in one’s power to shoot straight, and the same applies with our ultimate goal. In this kind of example, it is to shoot straight that one must do all one can; none the less, it is to do all one can to accomplish the task that is really the ultimate aim. It is just the same with what we call the supreme good in life. To actually hit the target is, as we say, to be selected but not sought."

[0] http://www.iep.utm.edu/stoiceth/

lupatusonJune 9, 2011

_A Brief History of Time_ by Stephen Hawking

_The Way to Wealth_ by Benjamin Franklin

_The Book of Job_ by Job, from The Bible

_Meditations_ by Marcus Aurelius

_The Prince_ by Niccolo Machiavelli

_The Bill of Rights_ by James Madison

_The Gospel According to John_ by John, from The Bible

_The Gospel According to Luke_ by Luke, from The Bible

_The Acts of the Apostles_ by Luke, from The Bible

_The Song of Solomon_ by Solomon, from The Bible

_Heimskringla_ transcribed by Snorri Sturluson

These books have combined to make me the free-thinking, reactionary stoic that I am today. Most of them are old, but they contain much wisdom about life, work, politics, gender relations, spirtuality, and history. Please let me know if you have questions. :)

osulliponApr 12, 2021

I read Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.

Written around 2000, it is surprising how many of his verses are relevant today. These are translations of the original, so have picked up some contemporary interpretation.

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."

"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts."

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."


mfalcononMay 29, 2020

Antifragile by N.Taleb, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Enchiridion by Epictetus.

dtawfik1onAug 12, 2015

Hey there! Yes, I read Meditations regularly.

quietthrowonFeb 4, 2019

1) Man’s Search For Meaning - Viktor Frankl
2) Can’t hurt me - David Goggins
3) Meditations -Marcus Aurelius


JachonDec 23, 2015

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius -- A fine classic I enjoyed.

Might count, might not, since it finished in March but was going on before. I loved Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - Eliezer Yudkowsky - http://hpmor.com/

Loved Masters of Doom - David Kushner

I liked Worm - Wildbow - https://parahumans.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/ -- but it falls short of overall greatness and I don't think it's worth its 22-average-books length if I were to go back in time and decide on rereading...

Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game (Volume I) - Janice Kim -- I've been learning Go and thought this book was particularly excellent for beginners.

There are at least 4 other books I'm close to finishing and I might get one done before the end of the month... Volume 2 of the above Go series, Mythical Man-Month, A handbook of traditional living, or The Waking Dream.

jarrettchonNov 28, 2017

I've read The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy. I like his writing, but there is a business-y type of vibe to it.

I also recently picked up The Daily Stoic book, which does help me get into a Stoic "mindset" (for lack of a better term) to start my day. Although with the way Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is written, you could almost just open up to a random page each morning, read a passage and reflect. But so far I've enjoyed this book.

lddonNov 1, 2019

I'm surprised nobody has quoted Meditations by Marcus Aurelius yet.

> Thou sayest, Men cannot admire the sharpness of thy wits.- Be it so: but there are many other things of which thou canst not say, I am not formed for them by nature. Show those qualities then which are altogether in thy power, sincerity, gravity, endurance of labour, aversion to pleasure, contentment with thy portion and with few things, benevolence, frankness, no love of superfluity, freedom from trifling magnanimity.

Dost thou not see how many qualities thou art immediately able to exhibit, in which there is no excuse of natural incapacity and unfitness, and yet thou still remainest voluntarily below the mark? Or art thou compelled through being defectively furnished by nature to murmur, and to be stingy, and to flatter, and to find fault with thy poor body, and to try to please men, and to make great display, and to be so restless in thy mind?

No, by the gods: but thou mightest have been delivered from these things long ago. Only if in truth thou canst be charged with being rather slow and dull of comprehension, thou must exert thyself about this also, not neglecting it nor yet taking pleasure in thy dulness.

bionhowardonMar 18, 2020

My sales buddy played me this audiobook during a cross country road trip, it’s about the voice in your head, mostly the type of simple advice no one gives but it’s useful to hear spelled out explicitly, worth a listen

The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Power-of-Now-Audiobook/B002V0...

(The last part of the book gets a bit woo-woo but the earlier bits are useful for sure)

Another audiobook for stress is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius


You’re afraid because you predict things will worsen, and that’s normal...just remember we only control our own decisions, and that’s all we need to focus on right now

gordon_freemanonApr 13, 2019

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Basically the introduction to Stoicism philosophy)

asharkonNov 10, 2014

Unhappy with my existing copy and as part of a general effort to replace low-quality physical books with either higher-quality dead-trees or ebooks, I surveyed every translation of Meditations that I could find a few months ago, comparing key passages between them and with the original Greek.

I settled on Maxwell Staniforth's translation. The only hardcover of it I could find was from the Folio Society[1]. There may be paperbacks available from other publishers, I don't know.

Folios are somewhat cheaper on the used market, and used copies of Folio Society books tend to be exceptionally well-kept, probably because they're so pricey new.

As usual, most older (public domain) translations don't have much going for them for a modern reader. Several of the newer ones were OK, but Staniforth's manages to hold very close to the original while remaining easy to read, besting most other translations on both fronts, IMO.

The Hays translation linked by the parent strays, to my eye, exceptionally far from the form of the Greek text, so if fidelity to the original is important to you I'd avoid it.

Hopefully that helps save someone the three or four hours I lost to this :-)

[1] http://www.foliosociety.com/book/MDS/meditations

r2ronJuly 22, 2016

1. "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" by Robert Pirsig

2. "The art of war" by Sun Tzu

3. "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius

pmcpintoonDec 23, 2015

Thoughts on Design - Paul Rand, Design as Art - Bruno Munari, Meditations - Marcus Aurelius, Ways of Seeing - John Berger, The War of Art - Steven Pressfield

mmanfrinonAug 6, 2018

Four Agreements by Don Ruiz and Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

jotuxonAug 8, 2016

Meditations is a book I come back to over and over: http://classics.mit.edu/Antoninus/meditations.mb.txt

ZystonJune 20, 2018

>The issue of self esteem is confounded by millennia of religious dogma that tells people that "selflessness" is virtuous, when in fact quite the opposite is true. Virtue comes from the channeling of one's desire and one's life force toward noble ends, not by suppressing one's confidence and simply letting others (such as religious or political leaders) tell us that we are worthless and that they know what is best for us.

This mode of thinking is echoed in some Stoicism books I've read. Both "Meditations", and "A guide to the good life" include similar entries.

I really enjoy seeing the parallels between western(?) Meditation/mindfulness practice, and Stoicism. I do believe the meditation we predominantly practice in the west is at least slightly different from the more traditional eastern Buddhist meditation practice. But I do believe that is to be expected, the cultures are fairly different so the adaptation process was bound to create some offshoots.

There was a submission a while ago[0] that I believe does a great job of summarizing some of the cultural changes that meditation practice went through in the west, and how it contrasts to the more traditional eastern practice.

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16891276

whytaionMay 12, 2020

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

This book makes every bit of life advice you receive afterwards feel shallow. It feels like a reference to western thought.

It's also very well translated and reads very easily, and is very short. I read about a chapter every morning when I feel motivated, and certain passages really stick in my head.

It also helps to read whenever you feel overcome with emotion because of something.

aigoochamnaonApr 22, 2021

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

rammy1234onSep 9, 2019

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Art of war

robin_realaonMay 26, 2018

Slight self promotion, but Standard Ebooks has a few of the classics, and a few more of the classic fiction available as nicely formatted and accessible PD ebooks (epub, Kobo variant epub, and Kindle formats for each):

- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/benjamin-franklin/the-auto...

- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/marcus-aurelius/meditation...

- Don Quixote by Cervantes: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/miguel-de-cervantes-saaved...

- Pride and Predudice by Jane Austen: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/jane-austen/pride-and-prej...

- Vanity Fair by William Thackeray: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/william-makepeace-thackera...

- David Copperfield by Charles Dickens: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/charles-dickens/david-copp...

- Washington Irving collection: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/washington-irving/the-sket...

- Father Goriot by Balzac: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/honore-de-balzac/father-go...

- The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/j-w-von-goethe/the-sorrows...

- Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/fyodor-dostoevsky/crime-an...

These are nearly always taken from the Gutenberg source transcriptions, but tidied up typographically and marked up using modern technologies. If you notice any problems with any of these we’ll happily take PRs!

newman8ronJuly 10, 2015

I think a good but not impossible goal is to get my cost of living and happiness to under $600/month (non business expenses, food, health insurance, etc.).

There was a point my rent was only $370/month and I was pulling in quite a bit. I'm at $1400/month now and when I realized my next month of rent would be more than the down payment on a parcel. I don't really need comfort - just not to get heat stroke or hypothermia.

I'm interested in exploring basically any area of engineering, construction, building, materials, metallurgy/welding, any area in STEM not mentioned.

My basic personal philosophy is now to try to identify and analyze my shortcomings and be honest about them with myself and see how I can improve. I benefited a lot from reading and taking as much as I could from Aurelius' "Meditations" - I don't want an easy or comfortable life.

I don't think all of the points in Meditations apply to my ideals, and actually I think I go directly against some of them in a way - but in a macroscopic view, I like the idea of manning up and being a strong person and embracing logic, but at the same time remembering to appreciate family and friends.

Hopefully that adds a bit to this, I'll try not to add too much more as I have a habit of writing relatively long monologues and spending too much time on them

cjjuiceonDec 8, 2014

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Enchiridion of Epictetus

Parallel Lives by Plutarch ( Favorites are Cato the Younger and Julius Caesar)

Madzen__onJuly 16, 2020

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

chrisgarandonJan 28, 2020

I go through regular bouts of depression and burnout due to lifestyle, at this point they're more like colds as I handle them quickly with a system(due to how the business is doing/what's happening in life).

Others can feel free to agree or disagree with me, this is what works for me:

Read - A minor level of isolation is okay as long as it's not with your thoughts, read something uplifting or insightful (I recently read the Rosie Result, and Meditations post breakup).

Active - Physically, join a gym or running group, something social to at least be around people, you don't necessarily have to engage, but in climbing gyms for example, people tend to.

Active - Socially, like many have said: keep the job, join a group where you can help others, there are plenty of chances to volunteer, or join groups where you can help in Toronto, it's useful for distracting from what was, and thinking more about what can be. Talk to friends about your issues, maybe they're been through something like it and can help unlock an important facet as to why you're feeling the way you are.

Consistency - a pattern will help you to keep moving along, I can't stress enough that as long as there's no serious underlying psychological issue, only time and mental distractions will help.

Mental - Professional - Get help (I see that you are which is amazing, this is only to cover my suggestions). A good professional can help guide you along if you're willing to help them.

Mental - Personal - Meditation helps, I've recently been doing transcendental meditation, and honestly, it's pretty rad. It's not life changing, but it tones down the thoughts by a notch, at first the 20 minutes seems like forever, but after a couple of weeks, it's over in no time.

Time - Sometimes no matter how good your systems are, mental/emotional depression and burnout are no different that a cut, or broken bone. They need time, and no modern technology will accelerate it past the bodies maximum rate of healing.

Be patient, don't beat yourself up about not being productive, or positive, it's okay to feel like shit, or nothing at all, you win by not giving up, no matter how long it takes.

kornishonOct 12, 2015

The three best-known literary products of Stoic culture and philosophy are probably:

- Marcus Aurelius' Meditations (make sure to get the Hays translation! By far the best). Aurelius was an emperor of Rome; Meditations are his musings to himself in later life. It's interesting to reading the internal grapplings of a man who was, to his countrymen, basically a walking god.

- Lucius Annaeus Seneca's Letters from a Stoic

- Epictetus' Enchiridion, which translates roughly as "handbook" and was assembled from the teachings of Epictetus, an exiled former slave, to those who traveled to live and study with him.

I strongly recommend all three. If you're interested in more modern interpretations of the above, a couple good jumping off points would be A Guide to the Good Life by William Irvine (which was mostly pretty good) or The Inner Citadel by Pierre Hadot (which studies Meditations). Ryan Holiday also has a book called The Obstacle Is The Way, though I didn't enjoy it as much as any listed above, to be honest.

A personal favorite gem which, found several years ago: http://stoicletters.blogspot.com/. This blog bundles Seneca's letters into a modern style of prose and is much more accessible while conveying much of the same meaning as the original letters.

mindcrimeonDec 25, 2014

The Four Steps To The Epiphany - Steve Blank

Neuromancer - William Gibson

Predictable Revenue - Aaron Ross, Marylou Tyler

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand

The Ultimate Question 2.0 - Fred Reichheld‎

The Singularity is Near - Ray Kurzweil

Moonshot! - John Sculley

Zero To One - Peter Thiel

Republic - Plato

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

The Mysterious Island - Jules Verne

Discipline of Market Leaders - Michael Treacy, Fred Wiersema

False Memory - Dean Koontz

NOS4A2- Joe Hill

Revival - Stephen King

Barbarians At The Gate - John Helyar and Bryan Burrough

Into Thin Air - John Krakauer

How To Measure Anything - Douglas Hubbard

and any collection of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

wankelonApr 9, 2015

The only reason anyone needs to never read anything by Dan Brown is Dan Brown's writing.

I'm terrible at random-access, on-demand list building like this, but I strongly agree about a few of the other things mentioned here:

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Godel, Escher, Bach by Hofstadter

Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton

The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis

Walden by Thoreau

A few of the better and more philosophical bits out of the bible (especially in a good modern translation), including Ecclesiastes and 1 Corinthians 13

To this list, I would also add Ralph Waldo Emerson's classic essays, including Self-Reliance and Experience

artoriasonJuly 13, 2017

I recommend Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

bawiggaonJuly 26, 2017

I've just recently become fascinated with Stoicism after reading the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck!

I've since read through Meditations, Letters from a Stoic and The Art of Living, and am really enjoying The Daily Stoic every morning before work. r/stoicism is also great.

Do you have any other books/resources you recommend on the subject?

bg4onSep 13, 2018

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

cdiamandonMay 11, 2018

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

mbrownnyconAug 7, 2015

I'm surprised by the lack of philosophy writings mentioned here.

I'm averse to sociopathic and manipulative teachings such as my book-by-its-cover judgement of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and the like.

Instead, I began my journey several years ago reading through "Mindfulness in Plain English" by Guranatana. More recently I began frequenting the Farnam Street blog, being turned onto reading "The Obstacle is the Way," by Ryan Holiday, which lead me to "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, and I'll be picking up "Letters from a Stoic" as soon as I'm done with "The Kingdom of God Is Within You" by Tolstoy (having never read Tolstoy's non-fiction writing previous to "A Letter to a Hindu," which was posted to Hacker News a few weeks ago).

I would say that the most powerful book I've read is Meditations. The perspective the book holds is that you are a person, and people are pre-wired to do good for society and for other people (as entities); that this is innate in you, and you MUST use this to do good. It is a book focused on resilience in the face of circumstances, people and things that people do that aren't good.

thisisnotclearonNov 19, 2014

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

studiusonDec 5, 2020

You might try:

Introduction to Logic

Ancient Philosophy

For quick reference:

For the first few months at least, I'd suggest staying away from more modern philosophers like Kant, Nietzsche, etc. For the most part, classical education up until the last century studied the history and classics first, because they made more sense and endured that time for a reason.

Don't caught up in what can't be known, natural of reality, or getting stuck in a belief system which may feel grand, but is myopic or stunting. Don't force it- it can be like hard math. Some philosophy and (anti-)theology can even f- you up. If you feel like you're falling into a hole or learning the secrets of the universe in a way that is starting to make you feel like you don't belong, switch to something else or drop it completely. If you have nightmares or lose yourself, maybe try (self-)EMDR or get a hypnotist to help you forget it, like Peter Gibbons.

It sounds like you're interested in ethics, but I'd suggest not starting with that. Although I personally believe in having ethical and moral behavior, for me it developed from experience more than my studies; you don't need to be like Chidi from The Good Place, unless that's what you dig. If you get too pedantic, try Metaphysics or just take a break.

If you're looking for practical life guidance, and you can take a little stoicism, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is good gateway into that (Penguin Classics, or Munro's audiobook).

HavoconJan 22, 2017

Stoic teachings - when I'm facing dark times and feel I'm in dangerous territory psychologically...instinctively fall back of stoic mindsets in those situations. (e.g. "This too shall pass").

And yes I realise that quote isn't stoic per se - that's a simplified illustration of my point. Going into more detail - Meditations by M Aurelius.

Alex_MJonFeb 4, 2013

I love Meditations. I actually use it as a journalling tool.

I have about four copies of Meditations sitting on my bookshelf. What I really enjoy about reading it is that at any point, I can pore through a chapter, find something that "hits" and is relevant to something going on in my life, and I'll process it in pen, on the page, whether I actually agree or not with the line. I write down the date whenever I pick up the book, so it's a kind of diarying reflective process.

In my experience, reading it more than a chapter or two at a time is a bit of a waste. Too many ideas going in one ear and out the other - I hit two or three and that's all that's going to stick in my head.

rwnspaceonSep 20, 2017

I had a look. I recognise Allan Hazlett's name, but that's as much as I can say. Epistemology, PoM and stuff are all fairly interesting but depend a lot on the quality of teaching, in my experience.

If you don't want to just read Kenny's ANHWP, and I were to provide a reading list:

* Plato: Meno, Gorgias, Parmenides, Charmides, Apology. If you enjoy it, then try reading The Republic.

* Aurelius' Meditations. Democritus and Epicurus are worth reading about too, to summarise the Greeks. And Zeno's paradoxes.

* meaningness.com as an entry-point to Buddhist philosophy in general.

* Logicomix as an introduction to Russell & his project in Principia Mathematica.

* Mill's Utilitarianism, Hannah Arendt 'The Human Condition', and Henry George 'Progress & Poverty' for politics, history and economy, throw in a bit of Rawls. Schiller's 'The Robbers' is also very much worth reading.

* SEP articles for the classic writers: Augustine, Aquinas, Hume, Kant; then Kripke, Tyler Burge, and Searle present some interesting problems.

Other mentions off the top of my head: Dreyfus, Chalmers, Parfitt, Singer.

There are some great YouTube channels out there that teach to the intelligent adult. Gregory B Sadler, Mark Thorsby, Daniel Bonevac, Carneades.org are the ones I remember being useful. Some good series' are out there: Human, All Too Human; Alan Watts' TV series; The Reith Lectures...

I've missed a ton, of course, this is just stuff I remember enjoying or gaining something from. I hope this list isn't too overwhelming. I'd start with the Greeks, then flick around some YouTube channels, then meaningness, then off into whatever takes your fancy. I don't really fancy digging through MOOCs so sorry I can't recommend any in particular.

My personal favourite philosophers/philosophical writers: Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Darwin, Hegel, Camus, CS Pierce, Feyerabend, Epicurus.

bathMarm0tonJan 5, 2020

I am in love with books and the notion that you can talk with another person long dead without any distortion or distraction. Some rules I abide by:

1. Any book that you expect to read once and once only (popular science, pulp fiction, toilet-reading) rent from the library. Keep it by your bed at night and give-er by the lamplight.

2. Any book that you can read, word-over-word, end-on-end, without confusion or introspection can be consumed in condensed form. Condensed forms come in many guises:(audio-books, blog-feeds, wiki-pages etc.)

3. You are missing out on all the glories that are not defined by 1 and 2. A good book should be a conversation, held at length, over time.

You asked for philosphy in another comment:

Victor Frankyl: Man in search of meaning

Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

Jung: Development of Personality, Archetypes/Aion

Nietsche: all and any

For philosophical fiction:

Goethe: Faust

Hemingway: Death in the afternoon (this was my first glimpse into why books can provide lightness of body, displacement of time: wait for the 4th-wall-breaking-rapport with the old woman)

David Foster Wallace:Rise Simba, Infinite Jest, etc.


There have been studies that your brain scans feeds and webpages differently than text on a page. You set yourself up to not pay attention / are just "scraping the good bits"

Someone mentioned a while back that Infinite Jest (1000 page tome + 300 pages endnotes!) had ~50 pages that made the whole thing worth it. The immediate following comment was "why not just read the 50 pages?". It is the context around which we find our content that gives it worth. The internet allows you to bypass the context.

bramkromonDec 16, 2019

Bit of background - last January I read Marcus Aurelius' Meditations for the first time. There haven't been many books that I'd say changed by life, but this one certainly did. It resonated so strongly with struggles I was having (and still have), that it inspired me to dig as deep as I could into the topic. So that's what I did. I think I spent the last 8 months reading everything I could from Marcus, Epictetus and Seneca, and dissected their works into quotes that I then mapped to certain struggles I have. That resulted in a series of essays, of which this one is the first.
I doubted whether I should publish this, as I primarily wrote this for myself. But then a couple of people read it, and convinced me to share it with others. So, that's what I'm doing here.
The reason I wanted to share it here is because Stoicism has as its fundamental principles very similar ones to the ones I think many of us here at HN adhere to, which are 1) When in doubt, apply rationality, and 2) Life is about contributing to your community's well-being.
Hope it helps you then same way it helps me.

mattmanseronJuly 3, 2018

I've never struggled stopping with non-fiction, I think because at Uni when studying philosophy they often recommended a lot of books with "read chapter 10 + 14" of a book.

Often the rest of the book was a boring, pointless drudgery that rehashed arguments I'd already read and that really opened my eyes.

I remember more than once deciding to read the whole book instead of the recommended chapters. Descarte's Meditations springs to mind, the first half of the book is great (think therefore I am), the 2nd half is bad (trying to prove the existence of god, having just disproved him).

Also, I read Immanuel Kant and he is probably one of the worst famous writers in history. He was awful at expressing himself, and if you've had to endure that, you learn to skip chapters at a time looking for the crux of a book. Hegel was similarly bad I seem to remember.

LucianLMZonSep 11, 2017

In no particular order and probably not remembering all:

The signal and the noise - Nate Silver;

Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas Taleb;

Antifragile - Nassim Nicholas Taleb;

1984 - Orwell;

Man's search for meaning - Viktor Frankl;

Diplomacy - Henry Kissinger (not only international politics but also deep-thinking strategy that can be used anywhere);

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius;

Superforecasting - Philip Tetlock;

Propaganda - Edward Bernays;

Pitch anything - Oren Klaff;

Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond;

How to win friends and influence people& Stop worrying (both by Dale Carnegie);

The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins;

Trust - Francis Fukuyama;

smarrionJan 8, 2020

I'll take a look at this book, I haven't heard of it before. Thanks. I guess I don't see people as the enemy (but I'll watch out for that as it could be easily done), rather I try to see what they are trying to achieve, such as financial gain or otherwise, and make a decision from there. Rather than getting swept up in the reality they are projecting. In Meditations there's a passage about seeing things for what they are, like good wine is just grapes, the best steak is just a cow and so on.its about stripping away the layers of advertising/propaganda to see the objective truth.

hvassonSep 19, 2013

The Black Swan (anything by Taleb really), Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Letters from a Stoic by Seneca, Epictetus' Discourses, Fish that ate the whale by Rich Cohen, Man's Search for Meaning, Titan, Principles by Ray Dalio (not really a book, but really worth reading, plus it's free), 4HW by Tim Ferris, The Strategy Paradox.

Also Teddy Roosevelt's biography has been very influential.

goblin89onMay 28, 2014

Another magical thing (that I'm yet to try myself) is automated testing against live system. This ensures that the system actually works in production, not just on staging or test environment set up specifically for QA. I was initially against it, but reading about it recently[0] made me reconsider my opinion for some reason.

[0] Meditations by Sean Cassidy, http://blog.seancassidy.me/meditations.html

dccoolgaionOct 10, 2012

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius. Recommend it.

k4ch0wonNov 5, 2017

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius - A Roman emperor's private thoughts to himself. He was a philosopher and practiced stoicism. He had everything a human could want, money, women, power and yet he reminded himself daily how fleeting it all was. How easily a man can be swayed from his purpose. How not to look down on others. It's my all time favorite book for keeping life in perspective.

The Road Less Traveled - M. Scott Peck - When I was struggling with depression and not feeling worth anything and generally a piece of shit someone pointed this book out to me. It talks about how no one can shoulder your psychology burdens for you and fix them. You have to take the work on full force and fix yourself. You may have suffered wounds in your childhood and be playing them out in your adulthood. It's all subconscious behavior.

The Game - Neil Strauss - I was struggling to understand women and relationships. This book fundamentally changed the way I understood myself and relationships with other people. Another great book for understanding that external forces can't bring you the happiness or fill the void you're hoping for.

jotuxonJan 20, 2017

I think of Meditations like a daily journal or notebook. It's one of the few books I keep around my desk and occasionally just flip to a random page and read. Individual passages have a lot of meaning so often I'll isolate one and really think about it or talk to my wife about it for a while.

In general, though, I agree it's not very organized or easy to read. If you're looking for a better entry into stoicism I'd suggest A Guide to a Good Life[1]. It's a structured overview of stoicism with straight forward advice on actually using stoic ideas in your own life.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/0195...

Red_TarsiusonNov 28, 2017

How to be a Stoic changes the historical context of Stoicism to suit Pigliucci's personal views. I do not recommend that book, since his good bits are borrowed from The Inner Citadel. The author lost my respect when he supported the revisionism of the BBC. https://medium.com/opacity/comment-on-klueless-massimo-s-com...

This short essay by GILBERT MURRAY is the best introduction to Stoicism: http://ia600304.us.archive.org/13/items/thestoicphilosop00mu...

After that, you can dive into:

- EPICTETUS, Discourses, Fragments, Handbook (Oxford World's Classics. It features both Enchiridion and fragments)

- MARCUS AURELIUS, Meditations (Oxford World's Classics)

- Any collection of letters and essays written by SENECA

- PIERRE HADOT, The Inner Citadel (Harvard Press, Translated by Michael Chase)

Don't rush through the material, think deeply about every page you read. Don't forget to understand the life and history of each author. Context is extremely important. Don't let modern sensibilities fill the gaps. If you're looking for a solid introduction to traditional logic, I recommend you Socratic Logic, by Peter Kreeft. Lastly, the only way to truly understand Stoicism is to learn about Socrates and Plato as well.

hallidayjb13onMar 27, 2014

You may have already come across it if you've read a lot of Stoic philosophy, but 'Meditations' by Marcus Aurelius is a good read.

Other books I've really enjoyed are:
Talent is overrated, by Geoff Colvin (short version: working hard is more than half the battle)

Drive, by Daniel Pink (short version: to be motivated, you need to have/be working toward purpose, autonomy, and mastery)

How will you measure your life, by Clayton Christensen (short version: just read it - very good)

For the win - how game thinking can revolutionize your business, by Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter (Note: one of the authors offers a Gamification MOOC on Coursera)

And for fun:

Eastern Approaches, by Fitzroy Maclean (short version: a pseudo-biography about a british man who was a diplomat, politician, and special forces operator all in one lifetime. Incredible)

phren0logyonNov 28, 2017

How to be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci (author of the article)

A Guide to the Good Life by William Irvine

I also read The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday, which read too much like a self-help/business book to me. It might be to some people's tastes, but I found it lacked the substance of the two above. Ryan Holiday does have Daily Stoic email newsletter which is often interesting, though.

Edit: Also, the 2003 Hays translation of Meditations is a much more accessible version of the text. I wish it was still in print.

cpplinuxdudeonDec 8, 2014

Meditations is not a book you read cover to cover. It's rather repetitive, and says the same things in different ways, hence the name: meditations.

It's a book you dip into. I was once introduced to the esoteric art of bibliomancy; and as much as I can't take such a practice seriously, it does seem to work on books that are simply fantastic. Open up meditations, at any page, read it for 10 minutes and put it down. The chances are the passage will be highly pertinent and insightful.

wsc981onApr 9, 2015

I recently read 'The Lean Startup' and 'The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy'. I would recommend both books.

I think 'The Lean Startup' is not just a good read for startups in the usual sense; it's also a great advise on how to handle personal projects.

With regards to 'The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy' I think the stoic view of life is great and fits well into our western mindset while still being somewhat 'zen' like. I plan to read Marcus Aurelius' Meditations at some point since it's a bit like a diary of a stoic.

I will soon start with 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage'[0] which was recommended in a previous HN thread.


[0]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorless_Tsukuru_Tazaki_and_Hi...

yetiheheonMay 19, 2021

Have you tried Meditations by Marcus Aurelius? TL;DR - do something for other people, don't whine about your current position, don't whine about stupid people, believe in god(s). If you don't know what to do for other people, start at any local homeless shelter or food service. They always need someone to help. If you don't like my list, read that book yourself.

benrhughesonNov 10, 2014

I completely agree. It's not surprising though: Discourses and The Enchiridion were delivered as lectures; Meditations is a personal diary.

Marcus was obviously heavily influenced by Epictetus, and at times manages to state some of his ideas more poetically (esp in the Hays translation). Overall though, The Enchiridion is a much better base for Stoic philosophy. It's short, acerbic and almost every section can send you off into deep thought.

Meditations is mostly interesting as an example of someone trying to life a Stoic life - it shows Marcus' failures, his attempts to conquer his fears. It's well worth reading, but you'll learn more from Epictetus.

Edit: for Epictetus, I prefer the George Long over the Elizabeth Carter: http://www.ptypes.com/enchiridion.html

tbjohnstononSep 13, 2018

1. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius - practical advice on how to arm yourself every day.

2. Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl - no matter how bad you think you have it, it can be worse, and you can find meaning.

3. The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen - it's the journey (not the destination) and <i>pay attention!</i>

OsmiumonDec 8, 2014

> A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - William B. Irvine

I read this, and have nothing bad to say about it per se. I think Stoicism in the classic sense is very under-appreciated these days, and it's good to have a book to serve as an introduction. But I personally found it to be very repetitive. The historical context part is worth reading in my opinion, but apart from that you'd be better off reading something like Marcus Aurelius' Meditations instead, or some of the other classics.

Edit: Or if you're interested in a contemporary overview, I found AC Grayling's What is Good? to be much more insightful. Its central theme is also a search for some form of "philosophy of life", like Irvine's book, but it doesn't cover just Stoicism. Instead it covers many more philosophies, and I think it's a much richer book because of it since it gives you a much broader context, even if you end up adopting a Stoic outlook.

chosenbreed37onApr 24, 2020

> Read some philosophy. Buy a reliable used car. Look inward for contentment. Try therapy if your shitty childhood and shitty parents made inward a hard place to look.

I'd recommend the following:

1. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

2. 12 Rules for Life - Jordan B Peterson

3. Letters from a self made merchant - John Graham

sifaronMar 6, 2020

1) Meditations by Marcus Aurelius:

  "Leave the harm done by the other where it started !!"
This struck me like lightning. The crux of how to conduct oneself in one sentence.

2) Tao Te Ching:
- Feng/English translation for lyrical beauty
- Derek lin for accuracy.

   The Complete works of Zhuangzi - Burton Watson

- To meditate on life.

3) The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul

- This is a vaccine for modern life, the red pill. We are surrounded by what Ellul calls a technical milieu. After reading this, you will not look at the processes that operate in the society the same way. Warning, this and it's sibling The Propaganda are scary and depressing read. Perhaps you may want to balance it with something positive.

4) Early Retirement Extreme - Jacob Lund Fisker

- Specialization is for cockroaches. Looking at the first 2 books you named, may be you will like this.They are one his references.
The savings rate chart is worth it, to put things in perspective.

acconradonNov 6, 2018

I started reading things that were related to programming but weren't textbooks (i.e. The Pragmatic Programmer and The Mythical Man-Month).

Then I started reading books on skills I wanted to acquire (i.e. Traction for marketing and SPIN Selling for sales).

All of those books lead to recommendations into other books.

Listening to podcasts that recommend books increase the breadth of books I'm reading.

My wife brings home books from the library and I read whatever she reads (i.e. Hillbilly Elegy and The People vs Democracy), and those lead to other nonfiction books I become interested in. And then there are the "classic" novels I interleave from time to time (i.e. Siddhartha and Meditations).

It just starts with maybe a handful of books you are dying to read, try to read for 15 min before bed, and before you know it, you're 50 books into the year!

harshrealityonApr 16, 2019

You shouldn't have to do the following, but there is a way around that mingled-reviews problem: Go to the "all reviews" page, search that page for "filter by", and and change "all formats" to the format you're viewing.

My biggest complaint about books is not the review mixing problem, although that's bad. My biggest complaint is that different translations shouldn't be mixed at all, while identical translations by the same publisher (for instance, ebook and paperback versions) should always be comingled. On Amazon, both principles are routinely violated. For example, you can search the books category for "marcus aurelius hays meditations" and find the paperback (black cover red bird silhouette) as the first real result, but the ebook format under that entry is NOT the Hays translation. I don't see any way to get to the Hays translation from that search. If you search for the same keywords in the kindle category, the kindle edition is the first real result. (In both searches, you get two sponsored search results which are not the Hays translation but Amazon promotes them anyway).

There you have it... the world's biggest online bookstore is incapable of selling books properly.

An alternative would be to mix all editions, but have a clear well-designed selection interface so that it's clear which translation you're selecting, and then under each translation which edition (format, publishing date, and/or edition number if there are numbered editions) you're selecting.

A commercial modern translation of something like Meditations might only have one ebook and one paperback by the same publisher. An out-of-copyright translation might have a dozen different editions made by taking the gutenberg edition and slapping a more engaging cover on it.

If you're selling books and you make it difficult to navigate book editions in either of those common cases, you have utterly failed at being competent in your line of business. That incompetence might not show up in sales figures, because people who want a specific edition will grudgingly search until they find it, and people who don't want a specific edition will pay for whatever random awful edition catches their attention first.

alienjronMay 27, 2018

I can't give just one, but here are a few that had a strong influence on me:
"12 Rules for Life" by Jordan Peterson, "Why Switzerland?" Jonathan Steinberg, "Little Book of Common Sense Investing" by John C. Bogle, "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" by Butron Malkiel, "Liberalismus" by Ludwig von Mises, "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, "A Treatise of Human Nature" by David Hume, "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, "The Law" by Frédéric Bastiat, "Autobiography" by Benjamin Franklin, "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine, "Gespräche mit Goethe" by Johann Peter Eckermann, "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau, "The Old Regime and the Revolution" Alexis de Tocqueville, "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill, "A Treatise on Political Economy" by Jean-Baptiste Say, "The Man Versus the State" by Herbert Spencer, "The Revolt of the Masses" by José Ortega y Gasset, "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy" by Joseph Alois Schumpeter, "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" by Karl Popper, "The Machinery of Freedom" by David Friedman, "On Power" Bertrand de Jouvenel, "1984" by George Orwell, "The State" by Anthony de Jasay, "Sketched With the Quill" by Andrzej Bobkowski, "My Correct Views on Everything" by Leszek Kolakowski, "The Captive Mind" Czesław Miłosz, "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "The House of the Dead" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "Conversations with an Executioner" by Kazimierz Moczarski, "Diary 1954" by Leopold Tyrmand, "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov, "A World Apart: A Memoir of the Gulag" by Gustaw Herling-Grudziński

absconditusonJune 18, 2009

While I agree with your opinion of the submitted list, I feel your list is a bit unbalanced. Why only math, science and economics?

A few random suggestions:

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius


How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren


Building a Bridge to the 18th Century by Neil Postman


putzdownonAug 11, 2019

This argument always leaves me scratching my head. I can’t see a difference between arguments for our living in a simulator and arguments for George Berkeley’s Idealism. It really seems as if the simulator theory is an atheistic rediscovery of theism, with the word “God” scratched out and the word “aliens” or “future us” written in. And if so, there’s a very long history of philosophy and theology—Descartes’s Meditations come to mind—that can help inform our questioning and experimentation, not to mention ease (or redirect) our fears.

ohaideredevsonJune 4, 2019

I used to get a lot of "aha" moments from books - fiction, non-fiction, bigraphies, whatever. I almost never do anymore. I do feel like there is a point where books become passive entertainment with few exceptions. That's how I felt about Meditations by the time I read it - I knew every idea Aurelius presented. I don't read nearly as much as I used to.

dfconDec 6, 2012

Because I never heard anyone refer to him as Marc Aurel in any of my philosophy classes and could not find any references to "marc aurel" on the internet. The familiarity of the statement made it seem like "marc aurel" was a household name. I also could not find the sentence in any copy of Meditations I found on the internet.

Fyi: you can grab a copy of Meditations from a number of classics sites on the internet:


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