Philosophers come in all shapes and sizes. Some prefer to ask questions, others prefer to dive into metaphysics and explore the origins of the universe. Michel de Montaigne was a patchwork quilt of worldviews, weaving together his own unique perspective that turned him into one of the most celebrated thinkers in history.
Sarah Bakewell’s How To Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer is a remarkable book recounting Montaigne’s philosophy, his life and how it can be applied to the modern day.
Continue reading How To Live: A Life Of Montaigne Review: Modern Day Essays, Timeless Wisdom
A train journey can be a time of reflection, of watching the world go by. For Eric Weiner it’s a time for grappling with life’s most existentialist experiences and questions, which he brings to life aboard The Socrates Express: In Search Of Life Lessons From Dead Philosophers.
In the book, Weiner delves into the lives of 14 of history’s most diverse thinkers and translates their actions into steps to apply to our own lives. From Michel de Montaigne to Simone Weil, Weiner brings the figures within his pages to life in stunning detail.
Continue reading The Socrates Express Review: Finding Wisdom On A Train Journey And Applying It To Our Everyday Lives
When it comes to philosophers, it’s arguable that few set the bar higher than Socrates. His habit of questioning and relentless desire to root out the truth of human nature won him friends, enemies, detractors, admirers and apostles.
Thousands of years later Socrates is still held up as an exemplar of what true philosophy is and that has made his story open to countless interpretations. It’s through the lens of Plato and Xenophon that we’ve come to know Socrates’ story as the man he was in later life.
Yet little has been recorded of a young Socrates and author Armand D’Angour sets out to change that in his epic Socrates In Love: The Making Of A Philosopher. This revisionist biography paints the picture of a man who was more than just a philosopher. We see Socrates as a warrior, son, mentor, wrestler, dancer and lover.
Continue reading Socrates In Love Review: A Wonderful Reframing Of The Life Of One Of History’s Greatest Philosophers
Ryan Holiday is one of the most well-known names in Stoicism and mainstream philosophy books, with his approach to explaining Stoic precepts striking a great balance between relatability and tradition. Holiday’s latest work, Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favours The Bold, continues his path of writing inspirational books that will resonate for years to come.
The first book in a series that covers the four Stoic virtues of courage, temperance, wisdom and justice, Courage Is Calling dives into the backbone of Stoicism and highlights people who’ve truly extolled the virtue.
Continue reading Courage Is Calling Review: An Inspiring Book For Applying The Backbone Of Stoicism
Throughout history, philosophy has been a guiding force for people all over the world, shaping opinions and crafting ideologies. The same can be said for Stoicism, a school of philosophy that can be traced back to Ancient Greece and started with Zeno of Citium.
Thousands of years later, Stoicism continues to play a role in the way people live their lives and learn from the lessons that stoics like Zeno and Marcus Aurelius preached. These lessons are captured in great detail by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman in Lives Of The Stoics.
Continue reading Lives Of The Stoics Review: A Gripping Introduction To Stoicism And Building A Routine For Self-Improvement
Transitions are a natural part of life. They are transformative moments that make us reevaluate the path we’re walking and move in a new direction for better or worse. Transitions connect people from across the world, young, old, poor, rich, and 2020 has been a year where many of us have had to adapt to changing circumstances.
Bruce Feiler’s Life Is In The Transitions: Mastering Change At Any Age is a timely book that delves into the process of reframing your life story and coming out stronger. From sharing the personal tales of 225 people from across America, to explaining transition superpowers and kryptonite, this book reveals some great insight into personal development.
Continue reading Life Is In The Transitions: Mastering Change At Any Age Review: Turning Self-Transformation Into Your Superpower
In the arena of philosophy, practices are always evolving and being updated. Stoicism is no different and through the centuries, the original ideas laid out by Zeno of Citium were adapted and changed by later Stoics like Cleanthes, Chrysippus and Epictetus.
Epictetus in particular is of note for his focus on the dichotomy of control and his teachings in The Enchiridion have influenced countless generations.
A modern Stoic who’s been influenced by Epitectetus is Massimo Pigliucci and in his book The Stoic Guide To A Happy Life: 53 Brief Lessons For Living, Pigliucci reinterprets The Enchiridion for a modern audience and introduces his own take on how Stoicism should be updated.
Continue reading The Stoic Guide To A Happy Live Review: Reinterpreting Epictetus And The Introduction Of Stoicism 2.0
The philosophy of Stoicism has changed the lives of many people, from ancient practitioners like Epictetus, to modern day Stoics like Ryan Holiday, who have shared it with new generations.
Another modern Stoic who’s made a name for himself is psychotherapist Donald Robertson and one of his most well-known books is How To Think Like A Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy Of Marcus Aurelius.
In the book, Robertson dives deep into the practices that Marcus Aurelius embodied in his everyday life and brings it into a modern context. The end result is a book that will surely continue to inspire readers for decades to come.
Continue reading How To Think Like A Roman Emperor Review: Showcasing The Power Of Stoicism In A Modern Context
“Here we are at the top of a mountain we worked hard to climb – or at least the summit is in sight. Now we face new temptations and problems. We breathe thinner air in an unforgiving environment. Why is success so ephemeral? Ego shortens it.
Whether a collapse is dramatic or a slow erosion, it’s always possible and often unnecessary. We stop learning, we stop listening, and we lose our grasp on what matters. We become victims of ourselves and the competition. Sobriety, open-mindedness, organisation, and purpose – these are the great stabilisers. They balance out the ego and pride that comes with achievement and recognition.”
This is one such passage from Ryan Holiday’s Ego Is The Enemy, a book that details all the pitfalls and dangers of believing in our own bullshit and thinking we have everything figured out. Packed full of real-world examples of people who fought against their ego and who let it consume them, Ego Is The Enemy is a fantastic book to read.
Continue reading Ego Is The Enemy Review: A Book For Challenging Expectations And Shifting Mindsets
Stoicism has touched the lives of many, and it continues to be shared across the world through podcasts, videos, comics and literature. The philosophy has been transformative in the lives of Kai Whiting and Leonidas Konstantakos, the authors of Being Better: Stoicism For A World Worth Living In.
Through examining the lives and examples of people like Marcus Aurelius, Zeno and Sphaerus, Whiting and Konstantakos provide insight into how Stoicism can be interpreted today and why it’s more relevant than ever before.
Continue reading Being Better: Stoicism For A World Worth Living In Review: A Moving, Inspirational Read