Stoicism Books Destined to Strengthen Your Virtues

There are plenty of articles discussing books that cover stoic philosophy and its concepts. While these stoicism books are certainly helpful, some may not encompass the full depth of each of the stoic principles.

Once a certain level of understanding in any subject is reached, it’s common to plateau and sometimes even veer off course.

To remedy this, let’s look beyond the basis of just stoicism books. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books based on themes closely related to stoic principles. Consider a few of these stoicism concepts for example:

If you deconstruct stoicism by these key concepts, the number of stoicism books available becomes nearly endless.

This isn’t meant to discount the work done by the many great authors who have focused on stoic philosophy over time.

Ancient philosophers such as Marcus Aurelius set a strong foundation for many of the stoic principles still practiced today.

Authors such as Ryan Holiday have continued this discipline, reshaping these principles to be more relatable in the modern world.

That being said, this post will start with a few stoicism books that will fully encapsulate the core concepts of stoic philosophy. These books will set the groundwork for your understanding of stoic principles.

Beyond that, emphasis will be placed on stoicism books that, while not directly discussed, encompass the themes and principles of stoicism.

Stoic adjacent, if you will.

These books will encapsulate each of the principles mentioned above and more.

Nothing is permanent, and that includes this list. There are many books encompassing stoic principles that you think should be included here. If that’s the case, please submit them to for consideration.

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This page does contain affiliate links to each of these books. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Rest assured this does not impact the integrity of these recommendations.

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Author: Marcus Aurelius

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is considered one of the most prominent stoicism books of all time.

This is a series of personal journal entries recorded during his time as a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180AD. The journal entries are broken down into 12 short books, as outlined here.

Get the book here.

The Daily Stoic, The Obstacle Is The Way, etc.

Author: Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday has a collection of books that fully encompass the core principles of stoic philosophy. The benefit of his books is their updated language, which rejuvenates these ancient writings making them more approachable.

The Daily Stoic, as the title suggests, provides daily, digestible pieces of stoic philosophy. (more info)

The Obstacle Is The Way is a book about the art of turning trials into triumph. It calls upon true stories of individuals throughout history that have applied this concept successfully. (more info)

Ego Is The Enemy explains that many problems in life are caused not by external factors, but rather by the ego. This supports the principles discussed in book eight of Meditations. (more info)

Lives of the Stoics is his latest books and and worthwhile read if you’ve just discovered stoicism. The books takes a speculative look at 26 ancient Stoics and summarizes their stories. Additionally, the books discusses the core values of stoicism and relates them back to each Stoic figure. (more info)

Make Your Bed

Author: William H. McRaven

In Make Your Bed, Admiral William H. McRaven discusses universally applicable concepts that anyone can implement daily to improve their life.

The basis of the “make your bed” thesis is that by achieving one small task as soon as you wake, you set the foundation for continued productivity.

Other ideas discussed in this book include the inevitably of dependence on others, moving forward through hardship, and enacting courage to change the world around you.

These principles and more make this book well worth the read for those studying stoic philosophy.

Get the book here.

12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos

Author: Jordan Peterson

Dr. Jordan Peterson has become popular in recent years among philosophers and stoics alike. His core beliefs are closely aligned with and often intersect with stoicism.

12 Rules For Life is a culmination of his study around the principles of living a meaningful life. At its core, the book is derived from the theory that everyone has within themself the ability to create order out of chaos.

Get the book here.

For more insight, a sequel to this book is now available – Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life.

Can’t Hurt Me

Author: David Goggins

David Goggins is another famous author and influencer who has gained a massive following in recent years. His philosophy of hardening your mind resonates with the core stoic concepts of discipline and ambition.

In this autobiographical account, David Goggins discusses how his early years set the groundwork for a weak mind and how he overcame this flaw.

Once he gained control of his mind, the possibilities were limitless for him. From becoming a Navy SEAL to participating in ultramarathons, conquering his mind is what truly sets David Goggins apart from the rest.

Get the book here.

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck

Author: Mark Manson

This is another stoic adjacent book that puts a modern twist on ancient stoic principles. This stoicism book breaks the seemingly infinity ‘positivity’ loop common in modern society.

Instead of trying to be more positive, your focus should be placed on finding and pursuing something meaningful in life. Hardship will always exist at one point or another in life.

This approach remedies that by promoting the idea that finding meaning within your life will assist in overcoming these obstacles.

Get the book here.

Tribe: On Homecoming And Belonging

Author: Sebastian Junger

Sebastian Junger is a renowned journalist, author, and filmmaker with multiple #1 New York Times Bestsellers. His most common work relates to his time as a journalist in Afghanistan, where he is widely considered to have transformed war reporting.

This book discusses the strong proclivity human beings have to belong to small groups. This discovery is based on his work in Afghanistan where soldiers gravitated towards deployment in contrast to a return to modern society.

The book contemplates the history of close-knit communities and their impact on human beings’ sense of purpose and belonging. Tribe is an attempt to answer the phenomenon of people’s instinct to gravitate towards these small, connected communities.

Book nine of Meditations promotes this same philosophy, where connecting with others is essential to lead a healthy life. The link between this concept and Tribe is the practice of more genuine and meaningful connections.

Get the book here.

Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance

Author: Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth is a psychologist, CEO, and New York Times best-selling author. She is the founder of Character Lab, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to further scientific insights that help children thrive.

She is also a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where she studies and teaches on topics such as grit and self-control.

This book changed the way people view the term grit. Angela defines grit as a combination of passion and perseverance.

The book covers what grit is, why it’s an important characteristic to possess, and how to inspire it in yourself and others. If you struggle with finding and maintaining ambition or drive, this book is worth the read.

Get the book here.

Fortitude: American Resilience In The Era Of Outrage

Author: Dan Crenshaw

Dan Crenshaw is a U.S. congressman and former U.S. Navy SEAL. His book, Fortitude, plays directly into stoicism as it applies to current societal and political issues. Crenshaw draws on his military experience to inspire courage and strength as an antidote to ‘victim’ mentality.

This story was inspired by the current outrage culture, where objectivity is ignored and emotional reaction thrives. The book combines Crenshaw’s story, our collective history, and an alternative to the current ‘triggered’ culture. If developing strength of mind is something you’re interested in, this book may be of value to you.

Get the book here.

Discipline Equals Freedom

Author: Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink is an author, podcaster, and former U.S. Navy SEAL. His book, Discipline Equals Freedom, cuts straight to the point. There are no shortcuts. Whether you struggle from a lack of self-control, motivation, or discipline, you’re sure to gain useful knowledge.

The story highlights a key distinction – the difference between motivation and discipline. Motivation has a finite nature, coming and going with no rhyme or reason. Discipline on the other hand creates a sense of steadfast perseverance. Along with this key difference, the book insists that this mindset must be derived from within.

Get the book here.

Maps of Meaning

Author: Jordan Peterson

If you enjoyed 12 Rules For Life and 12 More Rules For Life, this book provides more insight from the same great author. Dr. Peterson has found a way to articulate his thoughts on his journey of self-discovery that makes it possible for readers to better navigate their own.

The story highlights the connection between psychological and sociological processes and patterns that we experience in everyday life. Are you curious about how humans have developed to create societies and cultures? This text may help you in your journey of self-development by understanding how and why we interact in our current social functions.

Get the book here.

The Science of Self-Discipline

Author: Peter Hollins

Peter Hollins is an author and psychology researcher. His research around behavior and human psychology is evident throughout this book. You’ll receive a straightforward, practical approach to self-discipline with easy-to-implement tactics.

Not only does this book cover the “why” behind procrastination and a lack of discipline, but it also provides actionable steps to get you back on track. If you enjoyed the other disciplined focused books on this list but still struggle, give this one a read.

Get the book here.

The Richest Man In Babylon

Author: George S. Clason

This may not be the most intricate or thought-provoking read on the list, but the simple concepts are useful for anyone. While the main premise of the book is focused on finance, the ties to self-discipline and mindset make this a worthwhile read.

This isn’t a “get rich quick” type book, but rather a practical theory to grow wealth over time. If you struggle with financial discipline and find historical stories intriguing, check this one out.

Get the book here.

Atomic Habits

Author: James Clear

This is probably a book you’ve read before, but it’s definitely worth consuming a second or third time. As the title suggests, this book is all about habits – what they are, how they’re formed, and how you can bend them to your will.

This book provides a practical, straightforward approach to forming new habits and breaking old ones. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to start (or stop) doing, pick up Atomic Habits for some inspiration.

Get the book here.

If you’ve made it this far, you might be ready to jumpstart your stoicism journey by speeding through all of these books. Audible makes it incredibly easy. It’s free to try it out, plus you’ll get two free books with your free trial. And if you find it’s not for you, you still get to keep your two free books. Click here to get started.

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