1. “Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault” by Pierre Hadot. For centuries philosophy was a way of life, characterized by what Hadot calls “spiritual exercises.” Since much of modern philosophy is inextricably linked to academia and deconstructionism, these ancient and medieval spiritual exercises remind us of philosophy’s roots, namely the love of wisdom and cultivation of virtue.
2. “Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday. Ego is not just an enemy, but THE enemy. It’s the enemy “of what you want and of what you have: Of mastering a craft. Of real creative insight. Of working well with others. Of building loyalty and support. Of longevity. Of repeating and retaining your success.” You’d do well to read this book, especially if you’re a hard-working, ambitious person.
3. “Why the Allies Won” by Richard Overy. I’m not into specific combat/battle details, so I glossed over some of the book. But Overy is a must-read for WWII history buffs. This won’t be the last book of his that I read.
4. “Eternal Life: What You Need to Know About Death, Judgment, and Life Everlasting” by Romano Guardini. One of my theology professors has been reading lots of Guardini lately and recommended him to me. Guardini’s writing is simple yet profound—and therefore spiritually enriching. I also have his “Meditations on the Christ” on my to-read list.
5. “The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson” by Kevin J. Hayes. This one I just started. Combines Jefferson’s biography with the teachers and books which impacted his political philosophy and overall worldview. I love exploring the intellectual influences behind great historical figures. Hayes also just published a similar book on George Washington.