Sep 12

Reading Around: Meditations of Marcus Aurelius


MMD-2016-Reading-ChallengeI continue to progress with the 2016 Reading Challenge. Anne launched this project at her Modern Mrs Darcy blog.




I completed my eighth challenge last week. This qualified under number six: a book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF. The book was Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. The source was BFF Phil-the-Artist.


Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is available from Penguin Random House. The product page describes it as follows:


Written in Greek by an intellectual Roman emperor without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius offer a wide range of fascinating spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the leader struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. Spanning from doubt and despair to conviction and exaltation, they cover such diverse topics as the question of virtue, human rationality, the nature of the gods and the values of leadership.


Find out more at the Penguin Random House website


meditations-marcus-aDespite the short, pithy sentiments, I found Meditations slow going. Parts of it were repetitive, while at other times it made classical allusions I did not understand. The basic principles of being good to others and appreciating what you have struck a chord with me. I would read the book again, which is a good sign. However, I am dismayed at the length of time it took to read the book. Also, some sections were too dense and failed to hold my attention.



Where next?

This now completes eight books for the Reading Challenge, putting me 2/3 the way through. As categories 9 and 11 are likely to be troublesome, I feel the pressure to complete the challenge in 2016. I am now left with the final four options:


9. A book you previously abandoned
10. A book you own but have never read
11. A book that intimidates you
12. A book you have already read at least once


After the struggle with Meditations, I want an easy one next. Much as number 12 appeals, I will plump for option 10, and dive into a fantasy novel I recently bought from a National Trust second hand bookshop. After that, I will tackle one of the tricky options.


The previous 2016 Reading Challenge book was Hamlet’s Hit Points.




1 ping

  1. Well I spent considerable time last year reading Ulysses by James Joyce. Unless you have read it before, it should certainly qualify under number 11. I did learn something from it about writing in English but I shall certainly never read it again!

      • Phil on September 13, 2016 at 9:39 pm
      • Reply

      Hi Steve,

      I prefer my Ulysses by Tennyson.

      Joyce would certainly qualify under 11, but I fear it would take me beyond the confines of 2016 to finish. To meet the deadline, I might just fudge the two tricky options.

      In other news, I really need to find more time for reading.

      All the best

  1. […] The previous 2016 Reading Challenge book was Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. […]

Leave a Reply