“Dare to be Wise”— Horace, Immanuel Kant
At the ancient library of Alexandria, an inscription above the shelves of papyrus rolls read, “The Place of the Cure of the Soul.” Today, our knowledge goes well beyond anything imaginable in those days — if anything there is too much to read, rather than too little.
Five Books is building a comprehensive library of knowledge, curating recommendations on any topic you might want to read books about. We have covered 1,055 topics so far and aim to add at least two new ones every week.
We ask leaders in a field to make book recommendations in their area of work and explain their choices in an interview. Our interviews range from engaging introductions to specialist subjects—such as the Dutch Masters, Globalization, “Anti-memoirs”, Existentialism, Violence (or its decline)—to in-depth explorations of more personal themes and inspirations, from the likes of Woody Allen, Ian McEwan, Margaret Drabble and Elif Shafak.
Art & Architecture Editor
“True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing”— Socrates