Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: How To Develop Emotional Health by Oliver James

This book is a part of The School of Life series and irrespective of that, it gives some good insight on ‘Emotional Health’ which make this book a good starting point, as the title suggests. James Oliver starts his book by defining emotional health as

Emotional Health is the sense that what is happening, is happening now.

Sometimes the clear and simple words hit you hard and that’s what I realise after reading the first lines of text in this book. I liked Oliver’s style of opening the text with what matters. There’s no abstraction in that. Most books of this kind are pretty and heavy in text but they lack where it matters most: straightforwardness. Often they are not plain-spoken, the words must strike the reader at the right place in his mind.

Happiness is a part of abstraction which consume our daily lives. It is the most arbitrary expression that has different set of meanings to different people. Satisfaction, joy are subsets of it. And this what James Oliver suggests in his book. Rather than to seek an abstraction, we should cultivate our own emotional health.

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Books, Non-Fiction, philosophy

Philippa Perry on Self Observation


How to be Sane by Philippa Perry is a short, and surprisingly a good book to read. This book is a part of The School of Life series which takes a different approach to introduce self-help genre, in an intelligent way.

Philippa Perry is psychotherapist and in her book she offers some pragmatic insight on observing one’s attitude, reactions or thought process. She argues that there are four cornerstones to being sane, to being conscious. Self-observation is one. She suggests, we should start with:

The ability to observe and listen to feelings and bodily sensations is essential to staying sane.

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Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Fearless and Free by Wendy Sachs

Published by Amacom Books | My Rating: 4/5

Often these days we see books with catchy covers that are entitled to one half of our species. Then many of us from the other half disown the notion of reading that book even though we know that it will do good to us, we will gather some better thoughts for our intellectual and conscience from that book. There isn’t any gender gap at start when we are naive. It’s a seed sown inside our heads. This is what we teach and preach from then on and that’s how our children begin to differ. And then it becomes a problem.

Both women and men are human beings. One species! How can someone differentiate between the workings of the two? I tell you to disown the “disowning notion” right now. Start it today. Start by reading some books like Wendy Sachs’s Fearless and Free: How Smart Women pivot & relaunch their careers.

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Authors, Books, Non-Fiction, philosophy

SENECA: On Shortness of Life

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.

– Seneca

Human beings are master of not thinking rationally over the time. We live in denial of recognition [of our conscious time] which then leads to us being unproductive procrastinators and our frequency of fantasizing about the outcome of a situation “in a perfect” manner turns into something we want to forgetfully avoid it and further leads to passivity.

Distracting ourselves, as we cruise through our daily lives, in this manner is strictly equal to being absent from our selves. Roman philosopher Seneca wrote in an essay about 2,000 years ago: On Shortness of Life.

He writes:

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Books, Non-Fiction, philosophy, Reviews

REVIEW: How to be Sane by Philippa Perry

How to be Sane written by Philippa Perry is a short, and surprisingly a good book to read. This book is a part of The School of Life series which takes a different approach to introduce self-help genre, in an intelligent way. For more information on The School of Life, please refer to my previous post.

Philippa Perry is psychotherapist and in this book she offers some pragmatic insight on observing one’s attitude, reactions or thought process. She argues that there are four cornerstones to being sane, to being conscious. Self-observation is one, other being your relationship with others (Man is a social being ~ Seneca), the Good Stress & our own perspective.

She starts with a short introduction to how a human being’s mind work, and then takes a reader to a number of pragmatic approaches through exercises that are designed to strength our capacity to recover from adversities. She clearly warns each reader that some of these approaches or exercises may work for some and may not work. It is similar to what is our perspective to the situation or adversity and the approach we take to overcome it.

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5 Stars, Books, Philosphy, Reviews

REVIEW: Seneca On Anger

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, or Seneca was a philosopher and is best known for his wisdom that may help one to rethink of his own perspectives on life. Seneca was a stoic and during his time embraced Stoicism. He was also an advisor to the Roman Emperor, Nero, in 54 AD. His essays such as On Shortness of Life, and On Anger clearly reflect his contribution to the Stoic philosophy.

Surprisingly, I was never introduced to the word Stoicism before. Not during my school years, nor my college years. I guess, it is my mistake that I was never curious enough to explore, open to ideas such as Stoicism posses, until recently when I first read Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.

On Anger is a book which is further divided into three books in which Seneca reflects how this passion, this feeling can make us endure for the rest of our lives. He describes anger as an emotion, “and under its possession any human being does remain not humane.” We have all felt anger, on various points. Sometimes it us, many a times it because of the others, we may think. Some follow it is quite pragmatically causing terror that reflect up on the rest of the humanity. Some just want to avenge on the injury they have become a victim to:

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Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins


Buy this Book on Amazon

We are all capable of thinking creatively. Why? It gives better productivity, more satisfaction than the mediocre, and improves visualisation. Rod Judkins, the author of The Art of Creative Thinking, is a lecturer and an academic on the arts. But this certainly doesn’t mean one has to attend or get some modern education on attaining the creativity. There is no fountain of creativity to drink from.

On reading The Art of Creative Thinking, I observed from Chap 1, that Judkins knows what he is talking about. He quotes, he para-phrases, and he writes mostly about the obstacle one intends to face when suffering from lack of creativity and how to develop some cues and turn them into habits as you progress in your daily life. This is not a self help, or is concluded in that way, this is my conclusion. You can have yours once you are done with it. That’s why Judkins’ book is so special. It doesn’t conclude in a definitive manner and rather leave that part up to you. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins”