The Great Books: where should I start? I seek timeless wisdom.
I've mostly read modern writers, and very little of the classics. I'm looking for books that have really affected your outlook on life. Western canon only. I'm sure the Bhagavadghita, the Art of War, and the Tao Te Ching have a lot of wisdom, but I'm looking for Western wisdom, not Eastern. Should I read the ancient Greeks? The Romans (Cicero maybe)? Proust? Machiavelli? Tennyson?
I am not looking for any recommendations that include postmodernists/deconstructionists, thanks all the same. Let's exclude anything written in the last 50 years.
I know this question is simultaneously overbroad and too picky. What I'm looking for is personal recommendations of books that changed your outlook, helped you grow as a person, helped you understand our society, and so on-because looking at this list,
there is no way in hell that I will ever get through it all. So help me out here by narrowing the field.