Reading Taste Test · Reviews

Reading Taste Test | @jacksepticeye

Hello and welcome to a new thing I have been wanting to introduce on my blog for some time. I am always getting book recs and such from book blogs, bloggers, and friends who love reading a ton. While I LOVE the recommendations, I have always been curious to see if books recommended by those who are not known for their love of books would be just as enjoyable or maybe even a new favorite. So over the past few months as I watched youtubers or their other social media accounts who are not book centric and started to take some notes of books they mentioned. This month I decided to give jacksepticeye’s or Seán McLoughlin’s book recommendation a try.

This pick I came across in his video entitled, Jacksepticeye’s REAL Personality Revealed (Enneagram Test), who would have thought a book rec would have come from a title like that? lol. But, this just comes to show you that you can find books anywhere. Anyway, the book mentioned in this video is How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald J. Robertson. When I studied history for my degree I did take quite a few philosophy courses, but have not really touched it since then, a shame because I really liked those classes because they challenged your own thinking. So, when he mentioned this book, I knew it was one I was going to use in this series.

Description

“Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was the final famous Stoic philosopher of the ancient world. The Meditations, his personal journal, survives to this day as one of the most loved self-help and spiritual classics of all time. In How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, cognitive psychotherapist Donald Robertson weaves the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius together seamlessly to provide a compelling modern-day guide to the Stoic wisdom followed by countless individuals throughout the centuries as a path to achieving greater fulfillment and emotional resilience.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor takes readers on a transformative journey along with Marcus, following his progress from a young noble at the court of Hadrian—taken under the wing of some of the finest philosophers of his day—through to his reign as emperor of Rome at the height of its power. Robertson shows how Marcus used philosophical doctrines and therapeutic practices to build emotional resilience and endure tremendous adversity, and guides readers through applying the same methods to their own lives.

Combining remarkable stories from Marcus’s life with insights from modern psychology and the enduring wisdom of his philosophy, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor puts a human face on Stoicism and offers a timeless and essential guide to handling the ethical and psychological challenges we face today.” –goodreads.com

First Impressions

Even though I was already sold on this book because it is a topic I want to explore again I didn’t know too much about the book itself until I got my hands on it and read the above description. What stood out to me most was the fact that this book seems like a combination of a history, philosophy, and self help. On top of that it seems like the author is going to be taking ideas that many scoff at because they are “old” and revitalizing them though a modern lens. As someone who has studied history, you really can see a lot of parallels to old idea and civilizations and the modern day if you only took the time to really see the connections. Obviously, this is not to say the past is perfect in anyway, but nor are we perfect now. One thing for sure is that the past and present are connected.

What I Liked

While I really loved this book quite a bit, there are a few things that stood out the most while reading this book. The first being the authors ability to showcase ancient philosophy in a way that is easily understood. Not only was it easily understood, I liked how the author connected this philosophy to modern psychology. As someone who studied both of these a bit in the past, it really solidified my understanding as well as cementing the fact that this does in fact have a place in the modern world. I would like to make it clear that I feel like this book would still be easily understood and impactful if the reader does not have any background or previous interest in these fields. The authors plain language and explanations don’t come across as belittling or condescending, but like a friend talking to you and explain something new to you. Nothing is overly complicated in the slightest.

The second things that really stood out to me, I kind of already hinted at, but the authors way of telling the story of Marcus Aurelius or Stoicism was phenomenal. As someone who had no idea about either of these topics. Though his narrative way to telling the history combined with his friendly way of giving examples of how to bring these practices to your life it is an enjoyable read. It neither reads like someone knowledgeable talking down to someone or like you are in a lecture. When reading about ancient ways of thinking or individuals, this can often happen. But, Donald J. Robertson stands out in this regard.

What I Didn’t Like

I have to say I really don’t have anything specific to note in regards to dislikes when reading this book.

Overall

I am really glad that I came across this video by jacksepticeye because otherwise I would have never read this book. If you couldn’t tell already, I loved this book. I annotated it quite a lot. You would be hard pressed to find a page without a scribble or underlined passages. It was organized very well, the narrator/ author had a very clear and kind tone, and I learned quite a lot without feeling like I was attending a class or seminar. My personal opinion is this is a wonderful book and if you are interested in this topic, look further into this book.

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | July 2021

Hello and welcome to my monthly digest post where I talk about how the past month has gone in terms of reading, crafting, and random life events. This month was a really fun one. I did some reading I didn’t think I would get to and created quite a few things as well. I went on a few adventures, which was a great change of scenery since I have not really gone far from home over the last 15 months or so. Anyway, here is what happened over the past month!

Book stack of read books, current crochet project, and my D.I.Y. room spray.

Reading

  • Hauled The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil by Bill Sprouse
  • Hauled Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yu
  • Read Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
  • Read Later by Stephen King LOVED
  • Hauled The Field House by Robin Clifford Wood
  • Hauled The House of Lobster Cove by Jane Goodrich
  • Hauled Writing on Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis
  • Hauled A Haunting Fog by Heidi Martin Washburn
  • Hauled Wild! Weird! Wonderful Maine! by Earl D. Brechlin
  • Read Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker
  • Read How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson LOVED
  • Read The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Read Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power by Sady Doyle LOVED
  • Hauled and Read a story I cannot share, but know that it was great!

Total TBR Count: 35, Last Month: 33

Crochet & Crafting

Over this month I crocheted quite a bit, I made at least 4 market bags and gifted them to family members. I really need to make myself one in the future. Now that we can start using our own bags again I think it would be great to use for produce instead of the plastic bags. I did also made a ton of progress on the  Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. I am about 1/3 of the way done with it, but sadly I did not have the time to dedicate to it like I thought I would this month. I am planning on continuing this pattern in the upcoming month. Another crafting this I did this month was restore an antique picnic basket to use for my larger crochet projects because I have a few blankets I need to be making in the near future. I resealed it and even sewed a liner, a first for me! It even had button holes! As for the goal of making a room spray I ended up making the Mood-Boosting Blend room spray by Hello Glow. It included mixing up orange, lemon, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils with a little bit of vodka and filtered water. If you want to make some for yourself, I suggest checking out their post. I really loved how mine ended up smelling. I keep using it and I plan on making it again!

Life

Yard when staying with family.

This month was filled with a ton of really memorable things. As I mentioned in the start of this post, I went on a few adventures. The first being an almost 2 hour trip (one way) with a friend to a indie yarn store called Yarnia. I went a little over the top with picking up yarn because there were so many beautiful options I don’t see normally. Also, can I just say the name of this place is just perfect! A pun involving reading and yarn, not easily topped. I also decided while I was here I would attempt to maybe learn how to knit…it isn’t going so well. I am a crocheter and to be honest, I think it is going to be hard to break away from that.

Another thing I did was finally visit with family I have not seen in nearly 2 years. We got to spend a week together in the middle of the woods. It was so peaceful and calming. It was just great to spend quality time with them once again and also not have to deal with all of the people and congestion that goes on in my daily life. I ended up doing a lot of reading, relaxing, and just spending time outside. Spending time outside and in nature really is something I treasure because it also grounds me no matter what is going on in my life. I really wish I made it more of a priority because it makes such a difference. I will for sure need to work on that going forward.

I hope you had a wonderful July and have a few great memories to dwell upon in the future. I would love it if you shared something you tried or did over the past month. I also hope you have a wonderful month ahead!

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Let's Talk

Books I Took On Vacation and Did I finish Them?

Hello and welcome to a short post talking about the books I recently took with me when going out of state for the first time since everything went haywire in 2020. My household and I stayed in the middle of the woods, it was great to see different scenery and be in the middle of nature. Something I have not been able to do for a long time. Anyway, here is a list of the books I bought with me to read in the woods!

What I Took

Later by Stephen King

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella

What I Read

Later by Stephen King, finished, paperback, pictured

This is the first book I finished on vacation. I have a tradition of reading a King novel whenever I go away and this short one was perfect and did not disappoint. It was a great of traditional monsters in Kings writing. This book took it a bit further and sadly showed the monsters that humans can be as well. I read it within two days and I could not put it down once it really got going. I also really liked them POV that was used for this novel. I think it really lent itself to what King was going for.

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami, finished, ebook, not pictured

I don’t want to say too much about this novel because I am going to do a whole separate post about it soon. I will say that I really enjoyed reading this collection of short stories and was great to bring with me when I went on a walk or just sat outside for a bit.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald J. Robertson, started , paperback, pictured

As the heading says, I only started to read this book, but I will say I am really enjoying it. I decided that I wanted to take my time with this one and not rush too much because I think I could take a lot from this and I don’t want to miss out on anything. I am about 88 pages into it and looking forward to reading more soon.

What book has been your favorite vacation read?

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