In 2012 I started publishing a suite of short books on wisdom thinkers who value personal excellence and human fulfillment. So far the series includes books on Nietzsche, Thoreau, Epicurus, and Rand. I’m now hard at work on a book about Aristotle’s views on human fulfillment. Many readers have found value in slow, meditative reading of these books, often as a form of bibliotherapy. I hope you’ll like them, too!
Songs of Zarathustra: Poetic Perspectives on Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Life
With Songs of Zarathustra (2018), we take a journey of exploration on the more practical side of Friedrich Nietzsche’s ideas in the form of 72 poems inspired by his life and writings, including fresh translations of some of Nietzsche’s own verse. Songs of Zarathustra presents a fresh, positive perspective on Nietzsche’s philosophy and its applications to living a full human life.
The Upland Farm: Thoreau on Cultivating a Better Life
The Upland Farm (2017) is an encounter with American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, presented as a series of 18 journal entries throughout the year. Although Thoreau is often thought of as a mountain man or noble savage because of his book Walden; or, Life in the Woods, in fact he favored a blending of civilization and wildness — and he still has much to teach us about the balance between work and leisure, society and solitude, nature and humanity, reflection and action, theory and practice.
“A lyrical and thoughtful work that is food for the spirit as well as the intellect.” – Paul Newton writing in the Thoreau Society Bulletin
“The Upland Farm is an artfully written evocation of the wisdom of Thoreau. Having read it several times, I can recommend it highly; one of my favorites.” – Adrian Lory, LPC
Letters on Happiness: An Epicurean Dialogue
Letters on Happiness (2013) provides a friendly, modern introduction to the ancient wisdom of Epicurus. According to Epicurus, the best life is a happy life, and a happy life is easy to achieve: all you need is to understand what is natural and needful for human beings (such as health, serenity, and companionship) and to avoid destructive emotions like anger and envy along with groundless desires for fame, power, honor, wealth, and immortality.
The Tao of Roark: Variations on a Theme by Ayn Rand
The Tao of Roark (2012) is an unexpectedly humanistic reading of the ideas of Ayn Rand. Millions of people have been inspired by The Fountainhead, Rand’s story of architect Howard Roark and his epic struggle for creative freedom. Yet inspiration is not enough: you need a blueprint for turning that vision into a flourishing life of joy and reason and meaning. The Tao of Roark provides that blueprint.