Want to load up your Kindle or bookbag with some meaning and entertainment as we head into the June summer travel season? Here are three picks I suggested to Outlaw‘s readers recently:
The Imperfectionists – Tom Rachman’s funny and touching novel is “a celebration of the beloved and endangered role of newspapers and the original 24/7 news cycle,” according to the book’s Amazon description. It was loaned to me by someone I care deeply about, and I found the pace and the style to be great for a leisure read. You don’t need to be fascinated by the business of journalism to get a kick out of this book, but it certainly helps.
Meditations – Written by the famed ancient Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, this new 2012 translation by Gregory Hays is getting rave reviews online. I had read an earlier translation (the Penguin Classics edition) during a particularly rough patch of my life, and it was enlightening — Aurelius was a great mind, and arguably one of the Western world’s first credible self-help authors. Here’s a top-rated review from a reader on Amazon: “Reading this book is like taking a cold shower, or visiting a favourite bartender, who insists on serving you coffee, not drink. Hays has brought us a Marcus Aurelius who puts his hand on your shoulder, looks you in the eye, and tells you like it is: Get over yourself. You can’t change the world. Do your best and realise you are of this earth. Human experience is muddy, so what? This book is best read in tough times, when you could use a little steel in your spine.”
The 48 Laws of Power – Definitely one of the best books to read this summer. Robert Greene’s absurdly good tome on the nature of power. This is “must-read” territory for aspiring Internet moguls, politicians, and anyone who wants to gain control — even if it’s for benevolent purposes — over others.
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