I finished a couple of books this week – Dying Every Day about Seneca and Nero and The Sisters Brothers, a striking novel about brothers who work as hired killers on a mission to track down their victim during the California gold rush.

Both are impressively written, and both are a bit disturbing and dark. Death around almost every page.

Nero was brutal, having his own mother and wife murdered among many other victims who fell out of his favor. The glory of Rome is hard to see under such a monster, and the Stoic sage, Seneca, was unable to do much as Nero’s chief adviser to moderate his worst instincts.

The characters in The Sisters Brothers had a gentler, occasionally comic approach to their killings. But, still, I’ve read enough for now about violence and despair.

I’m moving on to continue making a dent in the pile of books I purchased earlier in the month. Here’s my current reading list not including a novel I just downloaded, Beautiful Ruins, which is only $2 right now for the Kindle version.

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