Saturday, 28 January 2012

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Bust of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (121–180...

Image via Wikipedia

Without the book cover or title, Marcus AureliusMeditations can pass for an 18th century manuscript; it reads like a modern religious text. Robin Hard’s translation is a masterpiece in clarity and conciseness.

Meditations is a private and self-addressed journal of Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor around 161AD. The journal is written mostly during his military campaign in Germany. This particular edition of Meditations is divided into twelve books and includes a selection of private letters between Marcus Aurelius and his mentor, Fronto.


One of the central themes of Meditations is finding one’s place in the universe, as a living being with a purpose. As one of quotes in Meditations illustrates:

“Early in the morning, when you find it so hard to rouse yourself from sleep, have these thoughts ready at hand: Why, then, am I so irritable if I am going out to do what I was born to do….Do you not see how the little plants,….the spiders, the bees, each do their own work and play their part in the proper running of the universe? And will you, then, for your part, refuse to do the work of a human being?”

You may not be able to breeze through Mediations like you do other books. The book is full of difficult sayings that compel deep thoughts. Meditations is for thinkers and for anyone who wants to see human existence from a Stoic point of view.

Publisher: Oxford World Classics
ISBN: 978-0-19-957320-2
Published Date: Thu 15th Sep 2011
Format: Paperback

 

Meditations (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Horse at the Gates by DC Alden



The Horse at the Gates majors on one of the primary fears of western governments: a world of uncontrolled immigration. After a nuclear bomb destroys Islamabad, millions travel to Europe seeking sanctuary. Because of the sheer size of the influx, there are reports of violence and deaths in refugee camps in Britain. But there is more trouble brewing in London where another explosion destroys a mosque, causing chaos and condemnation across the Islamic world. At the root of all the intercontinental commotion is a terrorist plot aiming at shifting power from old hands, ushering in a new age of Islamic rule.

It is clear that DC Alden spent an enormous time researching his plot, characters, and location. The story is gripping, deep, controversial, and bold in its construction. Many critics look at the political events happening in our time and wonder if DC Alden is making a statement through The Horse at the Gates. However, as a work of fiction, it is a pleasant read.



Publisher: Self Published
ISBN: 978-0-9569080-2-5
Published Date: Thu 01st Sep 2011
Format: Paperback

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Review - The Lazy Tour Of Two Idle Apprentices




The Lazy Tour Of Two Idle Apprentices was an account of Wilkie Collins' and Charles Dickens's escapades around Cumberland in 1857. Collins was portrayed as Mr. Idle (a born-and-bred idler) while Dickens was Mr. Goodchild (laboriously idle). The highlights of the journey include Mr. Idle's accident at Carrock Fell (a mountain) where he sprained his ankle. This accident caused Mr. Idle to reflect on the single cause of most his misfortunes in life - being deluded into activity and labour. This conclusion led him to believe being idle is the safest and best course of life for him.

There was also the story of a man who caused the death of his bride and inherited all her property. He killed her secret admirer as well and buried him underneath a tree in his garden. Though he had wanted to sell the house before the murder, he decided not to. He lived in the house for a long time and tended the garden himself instead of his gardener.

The Lazy Tour Of Two Idle Apprentices reads like a self- indulgent journal (especially the first chapter). If you are able to get past that chapter, then good things await you. I would not bother with this book if you are looking for a fast-paced thriller or an engaging book to exercise your faculties. This book is for "idle" people who want to lie down and daydream with an open book on their chest.






 

Destiny Life - All things creative. © 2008. Chaotic Soul :: Converted by Randomness