Lessons in Stoicism by John Sellars
Lessons in Stoicism has been the perfect introduction to Stoicism for me.. The seven chapters look at how stoicism is not just a school of thought but has practical application in our lives.
“Empty is that philosopher’s argument by which no human suffering is therapeutically treated. For just as there is no use in a medical art that does not cast out the sicknesses of bodies, so too there is no use in philosophy, unless it casts out the suffering of the soul.”Epicurus
It discusses finding peace in learning the distinction between things which are and are not in our power to control, and outlines Seneca’s view to be prepared within oneself to face adversity.
I’d have liked a little more detail / context on Chapter 5 which looks at the idea of there being a rational principle within nature responsible for order and fate.
The book rounds off the main key principles by looking at the importance of developing beneficial habits which on a daily basis have the power to form or transform our lives.
In under a 100 pages this book has provided a useful overview and sparked my interest in freading more about stoicism, starting with Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
King Lear by William Shakespeare
The play tells us about the power struggles of two families fuelled by greed and spite. It also shows us loyal characters and talks of support and consolation. It’s melodramatic and would do well on the stage.
I had sympathy for King Lear who becomes vulnerable in his old age, and those he should be able to rely on are instead eager to use any perceived weaknesses against him.
I thought I was going to hate it and while it’s not converted me into loving Shakespeare’s tragedies (I prefer his comedies) I was pleasantly surprised to find it an OK read. It made think about the development of a plot within any story and that this play had some ‘oh-so-convenient events’ take place.
Weird side note: I struggled with Goneril’s name because in my mind I kept thinking of the word Gonorrhea.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Sunny was born in New York but lives in Nigeria, her features are West African but she’s Albino, she’s sporty but can’t play out in the sun. She feels as though she fits in no where until she discovers she has latent magic, and becomes a part of a magical quartet.
This is a young adult novel and I found the world-building really strong, the characters are well developed and I liked the pace until the three quarters of the way through the book when things happened far too quickly.
With that criticism out of the way, I thought this was an enjoyable read and am going on to read the next book in the duology – Akata Warrior.