Brian Cox recommends 6 classic reads about life and love

Screen and stage actor Brian Cox won his most recent Golden Globe Award for his starring role in the HBO drama “Succession,” which concludes May 28. His 2022 memoir, “Putting the Rabbit in the Hat,” is now out in paperback.

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (1886) 

One of the great novels about fate. Michael Henchard is a mayor with a past. And because he hasn’t dealt with his past, it slowly catches up with him, to his own peril. It’s why we can’t ignore this: that our past will always haunt us. Buy it here.

The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier (2000) 

Poitier became a major star of cinema, but this book is about roots and never forgetting who one is. His life was an amazing odyssey, taking him from Cat Island in the Bahamas to America. Poitier created a character of himself, but he never forgot his origins. One of the best autobiographies I have ever read. Buy it here.

In Search of Being by G.I. Gurdjieff (2012)

We are in such a strange time in our evolution, where we’re so busy projecting outward, through belief systems, and becoming attached to things. In this collection of philosophical teachings, Gurdjieff encourages us to look inward and to be present and conscious. Buy it here.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (1861)

Two of the great things about Dickens are his social awareness and the innocence of his heroes — they become observers of their own life’s journey. This novel is a reflection of early Victorian England. Despite impossible class divides, Pip manages to make the jump socially. Buy it here.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877) 

Tolstoy is always showing us the truth so that we’re capable of seeing what passes before our eyes — that life is truly lived in moments of great intensity and that romantic love is only one kind of love. Anna is told that love is romantic, not prosaic. She doesn’t recognize that what she feels for Karenin is also love and that she has a choice. Buy it here.

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart (1971) 

In this novel, a psychiatrist decides his daily decisions will be ruled by a roll of the dice. Once you hand over your life to the dice, anything can happen. Humorous, scary, shocking, and extremely subversive, it’s probably one of the best cult books of all time, and it has not dated one bit. Buy it here.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

Screen and stage actor Brian Cox won his most recent Golden Globe Award for his starring role in the HBO drama “Succession,” which concludes May 28. His 2022 memoir, “Putting the Rabbit in the Hat,” is now out in paperback. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (1886)  One of the great novels about fate.…

Screen and stage actor Brian Cox won his most recent Golden Globe Award for his starring role in the HBO drama “Succession,” which concludes May 28. His 2022 memoir, “Putting the Rabbit in the Hat,” is now out in paperback. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (1886)  One of the great novels about fate.…