Teaser Tuesday: At The Existentialist Cafe

Like your name announced at a restaurant, the Wheel of Time has turned ’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.

Back in April I put my name on the library list to read At The Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Maxwell. Well, yesterday I received the long-awaited phone call that my turn had arrived – and on the very day I returned my previous book, too! I certainly hope the read is worth the wait.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 296:

More directly, Patočka became an activist himself. In 1976, aged nearly seventy and in fragile health, he joined Havel and others in signing the famous declaration of political opposition known as Charter 77. It could almost have been called the Philosophers' Charter: of its main representatives during the next thirteen years, almost a third (twelve out of thirty-eight) were either philosophers or former students of philosophy, many of them having studied with Patočka.

Existentialist Cafe cover

In Retrospect:

Breakfast with Socrates

This charming little book is a good philosophical way to start your day. The short chapters are just the right length for my morning cup of coffee and toast/pastry/bagel.

However, the essays are just like breakfast: a way to start a conversation rather than a heavy, full-course meal. Smith attempts to break down ordinary, everyday actions into their philosophical parts. Some succeed more than others; I particularly enjoyed the sections on reading and eating. I didn’t care much for the gym chapter (I’m a runner, after all).

There are many times a line or phrase could spark a larger discussion; perhaps a sequel will be written: Socrates the House Guest.

4 stars

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