A biweekly bookish newsletter for lifelong learners and wanderers alike. Full of timely, wise, and deliberately short assortments ranging from book recommendations and summaries, articles, introduction to thinkers, thinking concepts, and more. All shaped specifically for our morally confused and widely distracted age.
What's the problem with long-form content and lengthy newsletters in general (like this one)? In most cases, the problem is not the content - although there are surely situations where the problem is in the content and design of the content.
The problem, I think, is the moment the person receives the email. Since you are probably currently at work, you might open this email for just a second and decide to read some of the links at a later stage - after all, you're at work, and you have supposedly work to do. But this hypothetical later moment never arrives because there are already ~78 new emails all promising to make you feel better when you unlock your phone the next time. Plus, of course, all other notifications pilling on top of your smartphone.
Or in other words, we are often not deciding what to read and what to watch. We are simply responding to what's happening around us at the current moment.
That's why, don't feel bad about simply watching the recommended videos on YouTube - we all do it. We all choose the path of least resistance to get through the day. The problem, no doubt, is that most of what we really want to read and learn is left untouched.
Since learning new things requires following a certain predefined path and more alone time, this activity gets buried and unchecked because everything else around us feels more exciting.
That's partly why social media sites are so successful. When you're inside, you feel that you have a direct impact on the situation - on the now moment. You see immediate feedback after your interaction with others as opposed to reading something that might be useful 6 or 12 months from now.
But it might have a solution for those who want to concentrate on reading long-form content. Those who are looking for ways to think more about important topics. More time to practice and apply what's presented in great books.
Yes, something big is coming - 19.05.21.
With that being said, I want to thank all of the book lovers who participated in the survey I've shared in my last newsletter. (The form is still open if you want to complete it.)
It seems that we all don't have enough time to read the books that are quietly sitting on our reading lists. And, we all need some sort of accountability, exercises, and gentle nudges to keep us on track with our reading and doing goals.
Plus - another interesting takeaway from the survey - most people think that online communities quickly turn into huge time-wasting rabbit holes.
In the next newsletter (hopefully) I will share my response to the feedback I've gathered. I really do believe that it will be of value for people who are looking for ways to better interact with great books.
(If for some reason your email client decides to clip the email, click here to see the full content).
[NEW] The Undiscovered Self by Carl Gustav Jung: The recurring theme of the book is how individuality is often misinterpreted and neglected because it’s observed by the lens of the general, not individual understanding. You can’t clearly sense the real character in the surrounding people, because you compare them to others which corrupts your judgment about the individual person. Therefore, the more you isolate yourself from what you know, the better you’ll understand what you don’t know about yourself and others.
Support my work: My newsletter is sponsored by my dearest members. If you want to support my work and to get access to the whole library of summaries on my site, you can consider becoming a member yourself.
Interesting books I recently added to my reading list (and hopefully will read at some point):
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor: We all need to breathe to survive but it seems that we're all doing it wrong. Yes, I know, it sounds strange but according to journalist James Nestor, at some point, humans have lost their ability to breathe correctly.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond: In this "artful, informative, and delightful" - as famous reviewers state - book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. But I'm not going to say more about the book, I'll simply add this: Guns, Germs and Steel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
This treasure will prevent you from destroying your life and help you stay cool amidst turbulent emotions.
You probably heard of this title.
Emotional Intelligence is not a secret, it's actually quite popular among book clubs and psychology nerds like me. But I always avoided it for some reason. I'm glad I decided to finally pick it up and read it.
The question the author is trying to answer is: How can we bring intelligence to our emotions—and civility to our streets and caring to our communal life?
Daniel Goleman is on a mission to improve our EQ, which he argues is far more important than our IQ. It will not only help you better handle situations of emotional exhaustion, but it will also help you understand why you are emotionally drained all the time and what you can do to improve in this field.
Can't wait to start writing about this book.
Interesting words from books and around the web:
Sophrosyne [noun]: An ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, decorum, and self-control.
Ukiyo [noun]: A word used to describe the urban lifestyle and culture, especially the pleasure-seeking aspects. Living in the moment, detached from the bothers of life. "The Floating World."
Heliophilia [noun]: Desire to stay in the sun. Love if sunlight. Originates from the Greek hēlios (sun) and philia (fondness).
William James was an original thinker in the disciplines of physiology, psychology, and philosophy.
Hs is considered to be a leading thinker of the late nineteenth century, one of the most influential philosophers of the United States, and the "Father of American psychology".
James trained as a physician and taught anatomy at Harvard, but never practiced medicine. Instead, he pursued his interests in psychology and then philosophy. His twelve-hundred-page masterwork, The Principles of Psychology, a groundbreaking text in the field of psychology is among the most influential books in the field.
The Theory of The Self
James' theory of the self categorizes the mental picture of a person into two sections: the "Me" and the "I". The "Me" can be thought of as a separate object or individual a person refers to when describing their personal experiences; while the "I" is the self that knows who they are and what they have done in their life. Both concepts are expressed in the statement; "I know it was me who ate the cookie."
Plainly, the "I" part of ourselves is the genuine person - the thinking self and the chief commander. However, we often use the "Me" self because it's the part of ourselves that we can mold according to the situation. For example, our social "Me" selves are who we are in a given social setting. For James, people change how they act depending on the social situation that they are in.
From around the web:
99 Additional Bits of Unsolicited Advice: Following up on his previous (extremely inspiring) list-post, Kevin Kelly published yet another blog post full of valuable general life advice for his birthday. My favorite are: "A problem that can be solved with money is not really a problem."; "The greatest breakthroughs are missed because they look like hard work."; "The greatest teacher is called “doing”."
The Paradoxes of Modern Life: A cool list of very true paradoxes: "The Paradox of Reading: The books you read will profoundly change you even though you’ll forget the vast majority of what you read."; "The Paradox of Originality: Many of history’s greatest artists have found their voice by copying others. We discover who we are by imitating others and watching our uniqueness emerge over time." and more.
100 Blocks a Day: "Most people sleep about seven or eight hours a night. That leaves 16 or 17 hours awake each day. Or about 1,000 minutes. Let’s think about those 1,000 minutes as 100 10-minute blocks. It’s always good to step back and think about how we’re using those 100 blocks we get each day. How many of them are put towards making your future better, and how many of them are just there to be enjoyed?"
The avoidance of being a "passion's slave" has been praised as a virtue since the time of Plato. But what exactly is the meaning of the term? In short, it portrays a person who is a "slave" for his "passions". A person unable to resist the things he desires, always prioritizing his deep longings and neglecting all else. As you can imagine, this usually leads to a not-so-balanced way of living - addiction, obesity, and all other sorts of discomforts. But the opposite extreme is also not favorable: people who think more than they act tend to refrain from taking any form of action.
Worth thinking about:
"If you do not work on important problems, how can you expect to do important work?"
― Richard Hamming
My son just turned 2!
Last year, due to the pandemic, we weren't able to celebrate appropriately - at all to be honest.
This year, though, while things are still not all that safe, we gathered with our closes friends to properly celebrate his 24 months of existence.
It was awesome!
My wife created a unique digital invitation featuring my son's favorite celebrities - he's a Marvel fan.