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I have never studied philosophy as such but I thought I knew what stoic and stoicism meant. To my mind it was a description of the British 'stiff upper lip' but it seems that common usage has very much altered the original meaning of these terms. In 'The Modern Marcus: Stoic Meditations for the 21st Century', Jason Ball sets out to re-interpret the basics of this philosophy as if written in the present day. Marcus Aurelius wrote his 'Meditations' between 170 and 180 AD and they're personal reflections on what it means to live a good life, a life of doing not just thinking. Reason, fairness, justice, compassion and self-reliance are at the heart of the 12 books that make up the original work. Jason Ball's work is in two parts. Firstly, he explores the five core themes of the whole work: mortality, mindfulness, consumerism, indifference and interconnectedness, each section ending with five questions for the reader to ask himself about his own life. The second part is a rewrite of each of the 12 books, in a slightly changed order, in that the author feels the first book sits better at the end. The author also feels the reader can adopt one of two approaches to his book. It can either be read cover to cover to gain an overall picture or used as a daily source of food for thought by selecting a passage at random and meditating on it's personal application to what is going on at that moment. I have to say I found the latter far more rewarding and have abandoned the former. This interpretation of stoicism is interesting and relevant to modern life, well worth the time it takes to become even slightly acquainted with it. It's thinking is fundamental to CBT therapies and has many other applications in society. A serious but not over-taxing read. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador