The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson

A Review

What is a psychopath? Should I be scared of them? How can I know if somebody is one? Am I one?

These and many others are the questions that Jon Ronson try to answer in this book: The Psychopath Test!

This book is far from the usual philosophical book present here, but I think it is interesting to see another aspect of human mind. It’s interesting to see how genetic and upbringing can produce certain individual completely different from the great majority of human beings.

Ronson started his interest in psychopathy almost by random, by a strange book contained inside an unanimous parcel.

He is not the only one who encountered this mysterious book and, around the world, psychiatric and journalist have already received it.

This episode kicks off a spiral of research, interviews and paranoias that last for almost two years, and that is summarised in this book.

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“Stillness is the Key” by R. Holiday

Stillness is the key is the latest book by the American author and entrepreneur Ryan Holiday.

I already wrote about one of his previous books the Daily Stoics (2016) in my post on the best book for Stoicism.

With this book Holiday completes an ideal trilogy of books: The Obstacle is the Way (2014) and Ego is the Enemy (2016).

I found this book in the gift bag of the latest Stoicon in Athens, and despite having a huge backlog of books I started reading immediately. I was not particularly familiar with Holiday’s assays, as I haven’t read the other two books of this trilogy.

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Best books on Stoicism

In this post, I want to list the best books on Stoicism, that I have encounter so far.

Besides the classic three Stoic authors that have come down to us (i.e. Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus), I have also listed the most influential contemporary authors that are contributing to bringing Stoicism back to the general public.

This is of course not an exhaustive list of all books out there, but I hope that this could help you to discover, internalize and practice a philosophy and school of life that can help you live a fulfilled life.

Modern Authors

Recently (in the last 20 years or so) , many philosophers and authors have rediscovered Stoicism as a way through life.

While ancient sources are the authorities to quote, a modern beginner interested in Stoicism should probably start with one of the most recent books on the topic.

These books are wrote in plain English, and they give a 360 degree explanation of the philosophy and its history. As such they offer an accessible introduction to the philosophy, and provide a good foundation from which to develop ones understanding.

A Guide to the Good Life

A guide to the good life: the ancient art of Stoic joy, by William B Irvine

Truly one of my favourite books on Stoicism. The author, William Irvine, explains how he discovered Stoicism, in the later part of his life despite being a university professor of philosophy, and how by applying it he managed to improve his life.

Not only does he give his take of Stoicism in a very beautiful style, but he also develops it forward, exploring new techniques and redefining the old ones. Truly beautiful, strongly suggested.

Stoicism and the Art of Happiness

Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: Practical wisdom for everyday life: embrace perseverance, strength and happiness with stoic philosophy (Teach Yourself: Philosophy & Religion) by Donald Robertson

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