Category: Books

From Moral Letters to Lucilius/Letter 59:

“The wise man is joyful, happy and calm, unshaken, he lives on a plane with the gods.  Now go, question yourself; if you are never downcast, if your mind is not harassed by my apprehension, through anticipation of what is to come, if day and night your soul keeps on its even and unswerving course, upright and content with itself, then you have attained to the greatest good that mortals can possess.  If, however, you seek pleasures of all kinds in all directions, you must know that you are as far short of wisdom as you are short of joy.  Joy is the goal which you desire to reach, but you are wandering from the path, if you expect to reach your goal while you are in the midst of riches and official titles, – in other words, if you seek joy in the midst of cares, these objects for which you strive so eagerly, as if they would give you happiness and pleasure, are merely causes of grief.”

Dangerous Billionaires Read…

Picking a new book for DMR often feels like a Sophie’s Choice of sorts. We’re overcome with joy to jump into something new, and consumed by sorrow that we can’t read everything.

…So it comes as no surprise that our reading wish-lists have ballooned to grotesque lengths. To add insult to injury, we consistently discover reading lists of other mentors / achievers / thinkers that we feel inclined to attach to our own.

One such list was recently published which collects all of Marc Andreessen’s tweet-endorsed reads. We’re big fans of his colleague Ben Horowitz’s Hard Part About Hard Things — turns out so is Marc — but otherwise this list is fresh territory for the DMR crew.

Topics span business, politics, history, finance, art, fiction, and more.  Happy reading.

Andreessen’s Favorite Books

Getting Ready to Live?

From Seneca, Letter 13 – On Groundless Fears:

“The fool, with all his other faults, has this also…he is always getting ready to live.”

 How often do you set plans for change in you life that will start…wait for it…tomorrow?

RIP Wolf

ripwolf

I didn’t come to know Jim Harrison like so many around the release — literary or theatrical — of Legends of the Fall, the epic drama of the American west that ushered the author into his greatest period of financial success and critical acknowledgement.  In fact, it was an episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain — a terrific author in his own right —  that introduced me to this callous American storyteller.  Bourdain’s interview encouraged me to pick up Wolf, Harrison’s (supposedly) semi-autobiographical book about a young man wandering America in search of his identity (and sex).  Once completed, I proceeded to devour everything else he’d published.  His prose reminded me of a soft-spoken Cormac McCarthy, with a layer of compassion and wonder for the natural world.  His stories are haunting and visceral, but somehow keep the reader in awe of the small beauties that impart all the meaning to our lives.

I suppose I’ve been drawn to Harrison not only for the quality of his writing, but also for his unapologetic hunger for life.  Few have the courage to live with the relish that Harrison did over the course of his 79 years.  Beyond his reputation as a poet, essayist, and author, Harrison was also an avid gourmand and enjoyer of the finer tastes that life has to offer (check out his memoir The Raw and the Cooked for more on this facet of his life).  Margalit Fox of The New York Times cleverly summarized the pursuits that defined his life in a series of monosyllabic words: walk, drive, hunt, fish, cook, drink, smoke, write.  Could there be anything more pastoral, idyllic, and wildly inviting than a life lived to pursue these tasks?

Harrison leaves this world having had a permanent impact on my life, but also, and far more importantly, on the landscape of American literature.    He was a dangerous man in every sense, and I hope I’ll have learned to live just a bit more bravely and authentically having read his words.

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