Tag: Books

Now thinking like a Roman emperor – @DonJRobertson

Highly recommended!

This week, I finished Donald Robertson’s new book How To Think Like a Roman Emperor. And, what a remarkable book it is.

It succeeds in being a practical introduction to Stoicism whilst combining biography, history, psychotherapy and philosophy. Each chapter uses a period in Marcus’s life to illustrate an issue, for example, conquering desire or relinquishing fear. It describes Marcus’s situation, then demonstrates Stoic exercises that deal with the topic in question.

The result is both engaging and practical. It takes you beyond a “words to live by” approach and towards a Stoic routine and practice.

Definitely worth a read.

I also found this interview with the author.

Who’s afraid of Machiavelli? – BBC

Should everyone, or at least every sovereign professional, read Machiavelli’s notorious book, The Prince?

From the BBC’s Imagine series, this programme explores the history and contemporary impact of Nicolo Machiavelli’s most famous book.

Continue reading “Who’s afraid of Machiavelli? – BBC”

Time to read

Nicholas Bate offers essential advice on finding time to read:

1.Always read for 30 minutes before any Netflix viewing.

3.Read for 20 minutes before settling to sleep.

5.Take a couple of real books on the business trip. Read in line, on the transfer bus, in Starbucks, while waiting for buddies in the lobby to get the uber to the conference.

Read the full list in Basics 7: Finding More Time for Reading, here.

I’m interested that so many of the blogs I follow have also re-blogged this. Either  we have a common love of reading, or face a common challenge of insufficient time.

Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Jagged – the necessarily uncomfortable thoughts of Nicholas Bate

I’m currently enjoying a new, mini-book collection, Jagged Thoughts for Jagged Times 101, from the irrepressible Nicholas Bate.

Snagging my eye are the following:

6. What is the purpose of work? Purpose.

21. Changing your language will change how you think; changing your posture will change how you feel.

30. Long read more by short reading less.

33. This day deliberately left blank.

44. No doughnut is ever free.

76. Procrastination is so tomorrow.

Nicholas is always thought-provoking and inspiring (though I fret for those poor, indentured doughnuts). Catch his live and jagged thoughts, here.

 

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Poetry: The Icelandic Language

The Hammock Papers shares an evocative poem from Bill Holm, The Icelandic Language:

In this language, no industrial revolution;
no pasteurized milk; no oxygen, no telephone;
only sheep, fish, horses, water falling.
The middle class can hardly speak it.

In this language, no flush toilet; you stumble
through dark and rain with a handful of rags.
The door groans; the old smell comes
up from under the earth to meet you.

Read the rest, here.

More on Holm, here and here.

This poem, apparently, comes from a collection, The Dead Get By With Everything.

 

Photo by Ghost Presenter on Unsplash

The coddling of the American mind – Economist

The Economist has a review of a new book: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. By Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt.

It looks fascinating though, sadly, my Must Read shelf is currently creaking at its limit.

Yet, in a week when Manchester University Student Union bans clapping and cheering (to reduce anxiety), the book offers a crumb of comfort:

In reality, only a minority of students take part in the more egregious sorts of disorder that “The Coddling” documents. In the spectrum of threats to Western democracy, cock-eyed campus politics may not entirely deserve the attention it attracts.

Maybe, I can still find a little space …