I read the Alchemist for the first time around 1996, almost a decade after it was originally published. Like many books I’ve read long ago I had forgotten most of it. It was a chance encounter seeing it featured as a book to digitally borrow from my library app and I listened to it during a recent flight. I had forgotten how profound the book is so decided to re-read it and highlight my favorite parts as add my thoughts.
I just finished Montaillou by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie. This took me over half a year to finish not because it wasn’t great, but because I have two young boys and thus free time is non-existent.
I learned of this book in a Reddit post and quickly bought it as it is right up my alley. Montaillou is simply a study of medieval life in a small mountain town (Montaillou) in southern France around the year 1300. The records are drawn from the Inquisition which was very active in the region trying to put a stamp on the Cathar beliefs which were spreading. The Inquisitor, Jacques Fournier kept excellent records and thus have given us a peek into the normal, everyday life of the residents of this small village.
Finished the Dhammapada today.
Here are my highlights:
For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no companionship wtih a fool.
It is good to tame the mind, which is difficult to hold in and flighty, rushing wherever it listeth; a tamed mind brings happiness
Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
I just finished Meditations and have written down quotes from it that I wish to remember. As I’ve described in this post, I’m absolutely astounded at the knowledge of the Ancient World and just now realize what a disaster the fall of the Roman Empire was for the progress of human understanding about the universe. I’m fascinated by this knowledge and this is the first of many books I will be reading.
Failure to observe what is in the mind of another has seldom made a man unhappy; but those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy.
I just finished the White Witch of Rose Hall which I read in preparation for an upcoming trip to Jamaica. I love history and researching Montego Bay learned that one of the only surviving plantation estates is Rose Hall. According to my research the only reason it survives is that former slaves were afraid to go near the place and torch it due to the supposed ghost; they torched all the other slave owning plantations shortly after gaining freedom.