Book Discussion Group on “How to Live a Good Life”This is a book discussion group by Paul Baier that meets in Newton, MA
Readings and meeting times listed on this Meetup website.
Group Goal and Meeting Format
- The goal is to understand different views on how to live a good life. The group is aimed at adults age 45+. The key questions
- What is a “good life”? How is it defined?
- How do others advocate for finding happiness, contentment, and serenity?
- Practically, how should one best manage career, family, friendships, community?
- What can one learn from others about managing one’s life in their 40s, 50s and 60s?
- What are different concepts of the meaning of life?
- How does one age vibrantly and gracefully?
- 7p-8p Part 1: Moderated discussion 60 min
- Goal is to understand what the author is saying. Start with 3-5 written questions
- 8:p Part 2: Open discussion 30 min
- Do I agree or disagree with the author? Why?
- How does this reading change my view?
- 8:30p end
Readings (aim for <2hours of reading time)
We aim to use the same version of each reading to make it easier when referring to page numbers and to avoid translation issues (the links below are to a version sold on Amazon)
- On Contentment, by Plutarch. Ask Paul for PDF version
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- On Friendship by Cicero and Aristotle's 3 Types of Friendship
- Living a Life that Matters by Harold Kushner
- On Old Age by Cicero
- Wait, What? by James Ryan
- The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
- Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
- Letters to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
- The Manual or Enchiridion by Epictetus
- A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf
Other reading candidates
- Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
- On the Meaning of Life by Will Durant
- How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life, by Massimo Pagliucci
- Time of Our Lives, Mortimer Adler (summary of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics); first third
- 75-year-old Harvard longitudinal study
- Letter to Menoeceus by Epictetus
- Ecclesiastes, Hebrew Bible
- On The Shortness of Life by Seneca
- Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? by Harold Bloom (first two chapters)
- The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
- The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Tolstoy (75 pages)
- The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World, by David Malouf
- How Will you Measure you Life? By Clayton Christensen
- Why are Americans so restless in the midst of their prosperity (2:8), by Alexis de Tocqueville
- The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Bonnie Ware
- Road Less Travelled (first half) by M.Scott Peck
- Is Life Worth Living by William James