Pick 1: A Shortness of Life by Seneca
In this book Seneca argues how much of our time is wasted on nonsense. If we could spend lesser time on the things that don’t matter in life, and remember that death is something that can happen any moment, we would be more cautious of how we spend our time. This book and its core message are still as relevant today as they were back then — perhaps even more!
Pick 2: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Originally published in French, Persepolis is a graphic novel set in 1970’s-80’s Iran with the backdrop of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Right from the political issues and problems faced by the common man in Iran to Marjane Satrapi’s teenage anxiety of being away from home and trying to fit in, the mental agony that stems from losing one’s cultural roots while growing up in a third culture- there’s not a single page that does not shock or move you in some way. All together, this is a piece of literature that leaves a mark on your mind that lasts and that’s everything I hope a book can be.
Pick 3: The Course of Love by Alain de Botton (last but not least!!)
The Course of Love (part novel, part case-study) is Rabih and Kirsten’s account of their relationship which kicks off with the end of their courtship. Having fallen deeply in love, the couple “will marry, they will suffer, they will frequently worry about money, one of them will have an affair, they’ll sometimes want to murder one another. This will be the real love story.”
Scattered through the chapters are italicised passages of essayistic ruminations on the nature and course of love that feel witty and real. This one’s essentially a story that likely mirrors our own and that of so many others we know.
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