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The Beginner's Guide to Stoicism: Tools for Emotional Resilience and Positivity Paperback – October 8, 2019
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“The Beginner’s Guide To Stoicism is perfect for the beginner and experienced philosopher alike. Given the brief nature and simple style of this work, it’s an enjoyable read and it will enrich your life.”―J.R. Sedivy, Amazon reviewer“I picked up this book on a whim. I've never contemplated stoicism and it's place (or absence) in my life. . . . I learned a great deal, and I was very pleasantly surprised. It wasn't overwhelming and offered really good and really practical advice that is easy to implement. Filled with quotes, questions, exercises, anecdotes, and more, this little guide can have a big impact on how you view your life!”―Madam Librarian, Amazon reviewer
“I really liked the breakdown of Stoic disciplines and virtues, and I especially enjoyed the Toolkit. I think the Toolkit is a super useful way of pairing the disciplines with Stoic practices to help you respond to all aspects of life. I would prefer this as a physical book to carry in my bag and reference the Toolkit on those days I struggle and need guidance in keeping a Stoic mindset.”―Laura, Amazon reviewer
- Publisher : Althea Press (October 8, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 178 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1641527218
- ISBN-13 : 978-1641527217
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.9 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #18,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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There is wisdom in this book, but not of the kind that you would typically find in pure philosophical ideas. You see, in philosophy, what matters are the questions, and meditating on those questions is what conduct you to wisdom. However, in this book the author packs his own wisdom, derived from his study of some of the greatest stoic philosophers. It is my opinion that this deprives his readers of the valuable effort of thinking hard on the fundamental questions of the stoic philosophy themselves.
I think that as a self-help book, this book is not that bad. The author has some interesting and useful advice and perspectives. However, he is not yet at the height of the past great philosophers that he constantly quotes. His advice feels way too personal for me, and his writing still lacks that millennial wisdom and piercing shrewdness of the stoic philosophers of yore.
However, I do believe that his ”street wisdom” could be useful to many readers and my rating probably just means that I read the wrong starting book on stoicism.
There are a few points where the author slips in his own personal views and then makes the assumption that the reader will agree with them. In one example, the author discusses his time as a manager at a food shelter for Hurricane Sandy victims. Apparently the food that was being donated contained items that some of the victims refused to eat because of religious reasons, so the author says he started refusing all food donations completely until the shelter did something about it. Eventually the shelter relented and the author got what he wanted. He uses this as an example of standing up for what you believe in ("justice"), even if it means risking your livelihood. While I understand the value of telling that story, I also recognize that his predicament at the shelter is not as black-and-white as he makes it seem, and at the end of the day, he did prevent anybody from getting food until his demands were met. I'm not saying either way is right or wrong, but I am saying it's at least debatable, and I'm reading this like, "why is this even in the book at all?"...
In another example the author uses to demonstrate "justice", he basically encourages people to protest even when the protests are dangerous, because justice is worth it. I'm not really sure what's going on there, but again, deciding to attend a dangerous protest is at the very least a debatable issue (and at the most, well, dangerous... and potentially illegal) and not as obviously virtuous as the author makes it out to be.
In sum, the message is still good and the info is decent, but I wish I would have chosen a different book to be my introduction to Stoicism.
Top reviews from other countries
3 stars awarded as I found this book a little cumbersome and quite heavy going. The analogies and examples used to illustrate the basic stoic philosophies felt unnecessarily complex and overly worded.
If you’re looking for a good, easy to read introduction to Stoicisim, may I recommend The Pocket Stoic by John Sellars.