Teaser Tuesday: Breakfast with Socrates

Like the Tardis in the time vortex, the Wheel of Time has come ’round to Teaser Tuesday.

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

This week I’m reading Breakfast with Socrates: An Extraordinary (Philosophical) Journey Through Your Ordinary Day by Robert Rowland Smith. I found this book for a good price on AbeBooks.

The Goodreads Blurb:

Former Oxford Philosophy Fellow Robert Rowland Smith whisks you through an ordinary day with history’s most extraordinary thinkers, explaining what they might have to say about your routine. From waking up in the morning through traveling to work, shopping, eating, going to a party, falling asleep, and dreaming, Smith connects our most mundane habits to the wider world of ideas.

Start with waking up: What does it really mean to be awake? How do we know we’re not still dreaming? Descartes argues that if you’re able to doubt whether you’re awake, you are at least thinking, and so you probably exist — no small achievement for first thing in the morning. Or take going to the gym: As you toil on the treadmill, is your panting a sign of virtue or of vice, of healthy exertion or of unhealthy narcissism? Working out is a version of what Max Weber called the Protestant work ethic — a kind of spiritual exercise, it also leads to worldly vanity.

With dry wit and marvelous invention, Smith draws on philosophy, literature, art, politics, and psychology to wake us up to a stunning range of ideas about how to live. Neither breakfast, lunch, nor dinner will ever be the same again.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 181:

What if I told you I despise you for giving yourself time off to read? For wasting time, when you should bethinking less of yourself and more about others? Does that make you feel good?

Breakfast with Socrates cover

In Retrospect: The Long Cosmos

Despite my dissatisfaction with the most recent entries in the Long Earth series, I fell in love again with this, the last in the series.

Joshua and Lobsang reunite for one more adventure – discovering the true nature of the Next’s “Thinker” project, discovering the purpose of Troll Librarians, and uncovering Douglas Black’s long game.

Revealing at last the underlying foundations of the Long Earth, The Long Comos is a fitting end.


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