Seneca: A Life by Emily Wilson. A well-researched book on the life of Seneca – giving insights into his writings and the historical context in which they were written. Seneca, like all humans, is a deeply complicated character who struggled between wanting to lead a quiet life of solitude while at the same time, harbouring desire for fame, power and fortune.
Discourses and Selected Writings by Epictetus. While overtly preachy and rhetorical at times, nothing hits harder than the principle of distinguishing between what is within our control and that which is not.
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I liked his books on Crime and Punishment and the Brothers Karamazov. This one is no exception as he tells the fictional story of the anti-hero, the underground man, as he struggles with negativity, anger, self hating and despair.
Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard. A difficult book to read. I had to skip through various paragraphs of meandering and ended up reading it on Wikipedia to cut through the noise. At the crux of it, it’s about the paradoxical nature of Faith recounted through the story of Abraham being called to sacrifice Isaac.
I’m also midway through The Essays: A Selection by Montaigne.
Next up: Seneca’s Dialogues and Essays.