On Learning

Four Short Books That Will Change Your Life

The Unknown Unknown
By Mark Forsyth

32 pages

32 pages? What can someone say in 32 pages? Mark Forsyth proves that one can say quite a lot. This short book is so well written that even if it was devoid of content I’d find myself rereading it. Luckily, it is also rich with both rare and useful perspectives. Forsyth succinctly summarizes the purpose of this little treatise:

My point, and the whole point of this essay, is that it’s not enough to get what you already know you wanted. The best things are the things you never knew you wanted until you got them.

Now I know that everyone and their mother are hurling about book recommendations at you. You probably have a list of four or five that you “should” read. But are any of them so short as this? Give this little book a try and you risk only an hour or so in exchange for a chance to gain a whole new perspective on life.

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How to Think More Effectively
By The School of Life/Alain de Botton

127 pages

This small book is easily the most useful book on productivity that I’ve read. The writer contemplates the misconceptions that are imparted to us in schools and universities. It distinguishes between productivity and efficiency. It uses monasteries as a model for the types of environments that encourage insightful thoughts. All this and more in this tremendously useful, yet comfortably short read.

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A Field Guide to a Happy Life: 53 Brief Lessons for Living
By Massimo Pigliucci

160 pages

Massimo Pigliucci is one of the most interesting modern philosophers that I’ve encountered. In this wonderful little book, Massimo adapts Epictetus’s Enchiridion (or /Handbook/ in English) to the modern-day. He does this without cheapening the initial wealth of knowledge that Epictetus shared many centuries ago. Additionally, Massimo proposes a few tasteful and thought-provoking modern adaptations to traditional Stoic ideals. If you’re interested in learning more about living a peaceful, happy life, then I’m sure you’d find this book invaluable.

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By Epictetus

180 pages
Epictetus’s discourses may be the most perspective-altering book that I’ve read in my life. The bias towards action paired with tremendously useful information makes Epictetus deeply engrossing. I credit much of who I am today to this book. From it, I found a greater feeling of serenity, contentment, while also embracing greater responsibility. It both soothes and inspires.

Interested in any of these short books? Here are the links.*

*I do not receive any financial profit from your purchase(s)

Also, feel free to check out these wonderful authors

And lastly, if you found this content useful, I do hope that you’ll write a message or check out some of my other content. I’d truly love to hear from you.

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