Tag: Chapters

Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman – Lives of the Stoics | Review

Title: Lives of the Stoics

Author: Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 334

Rating: 5/5

I picked this book up after hearing about it on BookTube, which was a happy little coincidence because I’d already been getting into stoicism after being introduced to it by my girlfriend. I just wish I could remember whose channel I saw the video on.

What we have here is essentially a cracking little introduction to the key figures of stoicism in ancient Rome and Greece, and it’s written by a well-known figure in contemporary stoic circles. In fact, at the same time that I ordered this book, I also subscribed to a bunch of Stoic YouTube channels, and it turns out that the host of one of them is one of the authors of this book.

I found it to be super accessible, with the story told slowly but surely through short chapters on some of the key figures of the Stoic movement. After a while, it gets a little difficult to remember who was who, but that doesn’t really matter. The important thing here is the lessons that are on offer, and the interesting thing about the figures that are profiled is that as well as writing about and teaching their beliefs, they also lived them.

All in all, it’s a pretty accessible read whether you’re new to stoicism or not, and if you’ve been looking to learn more about the philosophy then this is a pretty good place to look. I enjoyed reading it, and I also ended up tabbing out half of the pages for my video review, which meant that I had a lot to say about it. It’s definitely food for thought.

Now that I’ve read this, I’m keen to learn more about stoicism, and I’m also looking forward to watching some more of the author’s videos. You should give it a Google and check out both the book and the YouTube channel.

Learn more about Lives of the Stoics.

 


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The White Company | Review

Title: The White Company

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 338

Rating: 3/5

This is some more of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s historic fiction, but unfortunately I didn’t quite find it as gripping as his Brigadier Gerard stories. I liked the accuracy and the research that he’d put in clearly comes across, but the plot itself wasn’t quite as gripping, perhaps because Sir Nigel Loring is less gripping than Gerard was. And both are pretty much standard old school colonialist types fighting for queen and country, which I can’t exactly relate to.

As you might expect from the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the plotting and the pacing was pretty good. Some of the dialogue was questionable because he spent a lot of time trying to imitate dialects etc, but overall it was readable enough. If anything, it was more the setting and the characters that held me back from loving it, although I did appreciate it for what it is.

There’s always something kind of fascinating about reading historical fiction that itself is historical, and I’ve always thought it was kind of cool that as well as writing the Holmes books, Conan Doyle also wrote The Lost World (a cracking read) and some historical fiction. Let’s just not talk about when he started to believe in fairies and stuff.

So this isn’t really something for the general reader, and it’s probably best avoided if you only know of Conan Doyle because of Holmes. If you’re a long-term fan and want to delve deeper into his work though, or if you’re particularly interested in historical fiction, it might be worth checking out.

For my part, I’m glad I read it, but I’m also glad that I read it as a bedtime book and so I didn’t have to spend huge chunks of time with it. I could dip in and out at will, often reading chapters instead of entire stories, so there was plenty there to enjoy – just over time.

Learn more about The White Company.

 


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