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philosophy

Maria Montessori (by Grazia Honegger Fresco)

Maria Montessori is more well-known and appreciated abroad than in Italy. There are many books about her biography written in English that seem to be very well read and reviewed. In fact, her teaching method, which focuses on the individuality and autonomy of the child, is still incredibly popular today all over the world. This book, full of references to facts and events, covers Maria Montessori’s entire life: her years of training in which she was one of the first female doctors in Italy, the… Read More »Maria Montessori (by Grazia Honegger Fresco)

The Little Book of Philosophy

The Little Book of Philosophy (by André Comte-Sponville)

The reason I chose to read this book is in its title: I was looking for something concise to read on the subject of philosophy. The author, a French philosopher, explores a variety of philosophical topics, including ethics, politics, love, death, knowledge, freedom, God, atheism, art, time, humanity, and wisdom. One aspect of the book that I particularly appreciated was its structure, with each chapter focused on a specific topic. This made the book easy to read in small chunks. Although the book is small… Read More »The Little Book of Philosophy (by André Comte-Sponville)

Peace Is Every Step (by Thich Nhat Hanh)

I kept having a smile on my face while I was reading this book. It made me feel calm and reminded me of “The wisdom of no escape” by Pema Chödrön. Thich Nhat Hanh was a Buddhist monk and peace activist who had a significant impact on Buddhism around the world and specifically he was one of the first to bring the concept of mindfulness to the West. In the 1960s, he worked to bring an end to the conflict in his native Vietnam through… Read More »Peace Is Every Step (by Thich Nhat Hanh)

The Alchemist

The Alchemist (by Paulo Coelho)

This is a story about a journey that conveys the message that if you really want something, the universe will help you to achieve it. The encouragement of following your dreams is very much in your face – there’s superficial philosophy that triggers some thoughts, but not deep ones, so I haven’t gained much from this book. Even though the story wasn’t intellectually challenging or inspiring, it was easy to read and very well-written. Overall, it was okay; however, I expected much more from this… Read More »The Alchemist (by Paulo Coelho)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (by Milan Kundera)

This is a toughie. While I definitely loved the poetic title and the style of alternating fiction with non-fiction, I found the plot challenging to follow. It’s not a typical plotline, it’s non-chronological and non-linear. You need to be fully immersed in the book to understand its structure, otherwise you easily get lost. At some point, I even felt overwhelmed and almost guilty that I was not dedicating to it the right amount of effort. There’s lots of deep philosophy in it that triggered many… Read More »The Unbearable Lightness of Being (by Milan Kundera)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (by Mark Manson)

The main message delivered by the author of this book, who is a popular blogger, is that we don’t have to be positive at all times and that what we should instead do is choose what deserves our attention. How many times have I been told in difficult situations: “Think positive!”, especially from people who have never been in that situation before and have zero idea what I might be feeling at that moment. Ironically, wanting to be positive implies that you’re not happy. It’s… Read More »The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (by Mark Manson)

The Universe in a Single Atom (by the Dalai Lama)

I don’t belong to Buddhism, but I have the highest admiration for its maximum authority, Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama XIV and, specifically, for his intelligence and openness towards others, including those who think differently from him. I always love listening to what he has to say, and I truly think his life enriches our world. This book is a confirmation of the consideration I have of him. The Dalai Lama’s genuine interest in science is well known and these pages are an opportunity to… Read More »The Universe in a Single Atom (by the Dalai Lama)

Flow

Flow (by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi)

This is one of those books that I kept finding cited in a number of others that I have been reading, so much so that I had already got the concept of “flow” long before I read it. The author with the unpronounceable name – until you learn how to pronounce it – is a Hungarian psychologist who, about 70 years ago, moved to the USA and spent his career there. He died last year (in 2021) at the age of 87. Csíkszentmihályi‘s research and… Read More »Flow (by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi)

Sapiens

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (by Yuval Noah Harari)

I was really looking forward to reading this book and I had high expectations given that there had been a lot of hype around it. Not only did it not disappoint, but it also even exceeded my expectations. The author, Yuval Noah Harari, is simply a genius. He’s a university professor of history in Israel, so the book is written by somebody who has qualified knowledge. He has made an entire course about the history of humankind too which is available for free on YouTube.… Read More »Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (by Yuval Noah Harari)

The Feeling of What Happens

The Feeling of What Happens

This book was, for me, revolutionary and revelatory as it significantly contributed to helping my quest for something I had been keeping asking myself for a very long period of time – who are we? Many self-help books out there say that we are our awareness – the ability to observe our body and what happens within it, including our thoughts and emotions. Thoughts and emotions are just products of our minds. Let’s explain this concept by adopting the opposite approach as these books do:… Read More »The Feeling of What Happens