Tag: Lessons

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.

 


Andrzej Sapkowski – Time of Contempt | Review

Title: Time of Contempt

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 348

Rating: 3.5/5

Having got this far with this series, I’m starting to lose a little faith in Sapkowski. Even back when I picked up the first couple of books, I said I was a little worried that he was going to be a better short story writer than a novelist, a prophecy that looked like it was going to be true with Blood of Elves. Unfortunately, I thought the same thing here.

I think the issue for me is that the Witcher is all about morality, for me at least, and when Sapkowski is writing short story collections, he can ask more questions of his readers. The novels just feel like a drawn out short story, and so while they’re by no means bad, they’re not quite as good, either. At least in my opinion.

I think I also feel as though the looming Nilfgaardian war has been cranking up the tension book after book and yet nothing is really happening. Build up is all well and good, but if there’s no payoff at the end then it risks just feeling a little cheap. But hey, what do I know? Sapkowski has sold way more books than I have, so he must be doing something right.

The good thing here is that Ciri takes centre stage of a character and she has some pretty good quirks to her. I particularly liked the way that she subverted one of her lessons about never failing to seize an advantage by sneaking off to go and see Geralt. It said a lot about her that she did that, and it was also believable enough to feel true to character. Kind of important really, because it also helps to set up the rest of the novel.

Overall, if you’ve read this far into the series then for sure keep going, but I do still think that the short story collections were better. Oh, and I’ve never played the games. Or watched the Netflix show.

Learn more about Time of Contempt.