Monday, November 30, 2015

Books on Stoicism

I recently read The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking and it has me interested in Stoicism, Buddhism and meditation. I came across this list on Reddit but couldn't get it to link to Pinterest. So I copied it here for my own reference. I may update this with my reviews as I actually read these (if I actually read all of them). I may take some off the list and add in some different books on meditation and Buddhism along the way, but rather than overload my goodreads list with all of these books - I decided to list them here and then add them to goodreads as I decide which ones I am actually going to read ;)

1) A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
     by William Braxton Irvine
This was my re-introduction to stoicism and led me to think that I should incorporate stoic practice into my life. It is not academic but I have not found major contradictions with my understanding of the ancient texts. Review by Walter M. Roberts III here
2) Stoic Serenity: A Practical Course on Finding Inner Peace
     by Keith Seddon
Originally intended as a correspondence course, this book has writing assignments and uses Meditations and Letters from a Stoic as references. You will want to use the versions I have listed below if possible since the page numbers and paragraph references are specific to those editions.
3) Meditations (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature)
     by Marcus Aurelius (Robin Hard translation)
Edition used by Seddon's book/course above.
4) Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)
     by Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Robert Campbell translation)
Edition used by Seddon's book/course above.
5) Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life
     by A. A. Long
This is extremely valuable for intermediate/advanced study. I recommend it after having a good understanding of stoicism and Epictetus so that the issues and interpretations have some context. Review by William O. Stephens here
6) Stoic Studies (Hellenistic Culture and Society)
     by A. A. Long
Review by William O. Stephens here
7) The Hellenistic Philosophers, Vol. 1: Translations of the Principal Sources, with Philosophical Commentary
     by A. A. Long and David Sedley
AA Long is one of the living experts, if not THE living expert on Stoicism. I have seen this text referenced multiple times.
8) The Hellenistic Philosophers: Volume 2, Greek and Latin Texts with Notes and Bibliography
     by A. A. Long and David Sedley

9) Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics, Second edition
     by A. A. Long
According to one of the comments, this contains different material from the The Hellenistic Philosophers Vol 1 & 2.
10) Stoicism (Ancient Philosophies)
     by John Sellars
This is an introductory academic text that is used in the College of Stoic Philosophers - the online course offered by NewStoa.
11) The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy (Bristol Classical Paperbacks)
     by John Sellars
Review by Brad Inwood here
12) Musonius Rufus: Lectures and Sayings
     by Cynthia King
Rufus was Epictetus' Stoic teacher, and this recent book is the first translation of his complete extant works. Review by William O Stephens here
13) The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
     by Pierre Hadot
Review by Rachana Kamtekar here
14) What Is Ancient Philosophy?
     by Pierre Hadot
Review by Donald Zeyl here
15) Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault
      by Arnold I. Davidson

16) The Stoics Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia
      by Brad Inwood
Review by Tiberiu Popa here
17) Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome
      by Brad Inwood
Review by Katja Maria Vogt here
18) The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
      by Brad Inwood
Review by Joachim Lukoschus here
19) A New Stoicism
     by Lawrence C. Becker
Review by R.W. Sharples here
20) The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy
     by Donald Robertson
A summary of a review is on the books website here
21) The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate
     by Tad Brennan
Review by Andrew Smith here Review by Gretchen Reydams-Schils here
22) Epictetus' Handbook and the Tablet of Cebes: Guides to Stoic Living
     by Epictetus
Review by Michael Trapp here
23) Discourses, Books 1-2 (Loeb Classical Library)
     by Epictetus

24) Epictetus: Discourses, Books 3-4. The Encheiridion. (Loeb Classical Library No. 218)
     by Epictetus
Everyone who has read multiple translations recommends these two volumes.
25) Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot (Reprint ed.)
     by James B. Stockdale
I read the text of two lectures Stockdale gave along these lines, I am interested in reading more.
26) A Man in Full
      by Tom Wolfe
Stoicism in a modern narrative format, my understanding is that Wolfe's conversations with Stockdale inspired this book.
27) Everything Has Two Handles: The Stoic's Guide to the Art of Living
     by Ronald W. Pies
Apparently this work is meant to show the confluence of other Religious ideas and Stoicism along with examples from modern therapy. Pies is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts Medical School.
28) The Philosophy of Epictetus
     by Theodore Scaltsas
Review by Brad Inwood here
29) Stoicism: Traditions and Transformations
     by Steven K. Strange
Review by Jon Miller here
30) The Meaning of Stoicism (Martin Classical Lectures. Volume XXI)
     by Ludwig Edelstein
From the NewStoa College of Stoic Philosopher's reading list
31) Heraclitus: Fragments (Phoenix Supplementary Volumes)
     by T.M. Robinson
From the NewStoa College of Stoic Philosopher's reading list

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Easy Pepper, Potato and Sausage Skillet

I have been looking for a good recipe to use some of my garden peppers. I couldn't find one recipe that stuck out to me, so I came up with my own variation on a couple of different recipes. Here it is:

Prep Time: 20 Minutes     Total Time: 80 Minutes
Serving Size:  1 Cup       Calories per Serving: 300 (may vary depending on type of sausage used)

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 1/2 cup Peppers, diced
1 1/2 lbs Red Potatoes, diced 
14oz Pre-Cooked Chicken Sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick *I used Chipotle Jack chicken sausage, but you could really use any flavor
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
Instructions: Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add potatoes to skillet. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 40 minutes or until potatoes are soft, mixing regularly. Set the potatoes aside on a plate and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and peppers. Cook, mixing regularly, until the sausage is heated through and the peppers are soft, 5-10 minutes. Return potatoes to the skillet and add the seasoning to taste. Cover and let all heat together for about two minutes. 
*When I make this again (and I am sure I will) I think I will try minced garlic with the potatoes from the beginning instead of the garlic powder. This may also be good with some onion in addition to the peppers. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Cinnamon Chicken

I don't normally blog recipes, but this one needs to be blogged! I found it in Runner's World magazine. And it is from the Runner's World website that I found the above picture (the one I made I ate too fast to take a picture of it). I am re-posting this recipe because they have left out a very important step from their recipe. I think my dinner would have turned out even better had I read through all the instructions first and realized they forgot to mention a step. So, mostly for myself, I am rewriting the recipe here intact. (I would have thought they'd have corrected their mistake on their website but it also has the error. Here is their recipe). 

The missing step is to remove the chicken from the pan after browning. I didn't realize that this needed to happen until I had already gone through the next two steps and the chicken had been cooking for an extra 20-30 minutes, at a higher temperature than intended. So I pulled the chicken out and didn't add it back in until the very end - so the chicken and spices did not all stew together the way they were supposed to.

This recipe takes a while. It took me 2 HOURS tonight. So be prepared for it to take that long with prep and all. But an hour of that time is simmering on the stovetop, so settle in and find yourself something to for that hour while your delicious meal is stewing. 


1 chicken (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into eight pieces
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 peeled garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 peeled, coarsely chopped medium yellow onions
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

Boil water with some sea salt and set aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Mix the cinnamon, kosher salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken pieces.

Mince three of the garlic cloves. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat (a 12-inch skillet with sides about 2 1/2 to 3 inches high will allow you to brown all the chicken at once). Add the chicken to the oil and brown for about four to five minutes on each side, until it is well browned all over. 

**This is the missing step: REMOVE CHICKEN FROM PAN 

Lower the heat to medium-high and add the onions and minced garlic. Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly, until the onions have softened and are a rich golden brown. Add the wine. When the wine has evaporated, add the water, chicken stock, tomato paste, oregano, and remaining two garlic cloves. Return the chicken to the pan. The liquid should cover about 3/4 of the chicken pieces. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for about an hour or until the chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked. Season the finished sauce with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a bed of quinoa or another favorite grain. Serves four.
If prepared without the skin:
Calories: 360
Protein: 40 g
Carbs: 18 g
Fat: 11 g
If prepared with the skin:
Calories: 650
Protein: 47 g
Carbs: 18 g
Fat: 41 g