- Here's a hack: Choose books that are already over 100 years old. Meditations by Aurelius, Essays by Montaigne, On the Origin of Species by Darwin, etc. Old ideas have passed a lot of tests. The longer a book has been around, the more likely it will be to continue to stay around.
In 1572 Montaigne retired to his estates in order to devote himself to leisure, reading and reflection. There he wrote his constantly expanding 'essays', inspired by the ideas he found in books from his library and his own experience. He discusses subjects as diverse as war-horses and cannibals, poetry and politics, sex and religion, love and friendship, ecstasy and experience. Above all, Montaigne studied himself to find his own inner nature and that of humanity. The Essays are among the most idiosyncratic and personal works in all literature. An insight into a wise Renaissance mind, they continue to engage, enlighten and entertain modern readers.