Further Readings in Ancient Rome
Points not made clear from the letters themselves (the Penguin editions being scarcely annotated) are clarified with some background information. I am half tempted, as a reviewer at Amazon suggested, to read both books concurrently (and chronologically), in all cases waiting until I reach that period in the biography. I suspect letters to other recipients than Atticus will be less personal and possibly less interesting; besides, I will have to cover the same (historical) ground a second time. Yet at this time it is not at all certain that I want to read the letters to other friends (which includes, I believe, to his brother), as that would be a massive undertaking and commitment.
Fortunately, I have already a sketchy sense of Cicero's biography and the events in Rome. When Shackleton Bailey discussed Cicero's "Emergence" (into the public eye), he recounted Cicero's defense of Sextus Roscius framed for murder. Tears practically welled in my eye as I recalled the injustice done to that young man and the eloquence of Cicero's speech in court, which I read five years ago. Ideally, I should stop everything, and read all the extant pieces of Cicero's authorship in the chronology of their composition, as pegged according to his biography: but that would be impractical.
However, tempus fugit. Best keep reasonable.