in General

If you’ve been following my site the past five years, you will recognize the name of Ryan Holiday as being one of my favourite authors. His books on Stoicism have had a major influence on my way of thinking, The Obstacle is the Way, and Ego is the Enemy. On top of that, he compiled a free introductory series of reading to better understand stoicism. All of which are highly recommended.

Today, Ryan Holiday announced his latest book on his brilliant reading recommendation mailing list,

Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts. Not much more is known about it beyond the description on Amazon, but if it’s like his other books, it’ll be on my shelf this summer.

The description on Amazon starts off with a bunch of questions that Ryan will answer in the book:

How did the movie The Shawshank Redemption fail at the box office but go on to gross more than $100 million as a cult classic?

How did The 48 Laws of Power miss the bestseller lists for more than a decade and still sell more than a million copies?

How is Iron Maiden still filling stadiums worldwide without radio or TV exposure forty years after the band was founded?

It’s not for everyone, but I’m fairly confident in saying it will be of interest to me.

Quick note about his reading list, he sends out a list of around five books that he has read in the past month that he suggests people read. I have bought several of the books from his list in the past and almost always add a few of his books onto my wish list. For example, the book that stood out on his list this month for me was:

The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters by Tom Nichols

Based on the viral essay of the same name, this book is a refreshing reminder of intellectual virtue in a time of stupidity, arrogance and unearned certainty run wild. I admire people who take difficult stands, who stick with principles and Tom was an example of that throughout the 2016 election (not a political statement–it’s impressive to break ranks of any kind). Just because you read something on the internet doesn’t make you an expert. Just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. The epigraph for this book should have been Feynman’s line about how hard it is to really know something, how much work it takes to really understand difficult subjects and there are too many people in politics, in social sciences, in the media and your local internet echo chamber who are trying to get the credit without doing the work.

That gives you an idea of what he suggests in his newsletter each month. Sign up on his website.