Cover Image: Stand Firm

Stand Firm

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Member Reviews

I must apologise for not being able to review this book after you so kindly accepted my request.   I have had an unfortunately challenging time, but am now free to resume reading and reviewing.  I hope that you will not hold my difficulties against me in future requests
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I began this book unsure of what it would hold and what it would teach. I try all sorts of books, fiction, and nonfiction and this was obviously one that caught my eye. I liked the premise of the book, I liked the idea of resisting the urge to copy every new thought on positive psychology. 
However, the book seems to be a precursor, an introductory course on Seneca without many original thoughts of the authors. It's a great book for people who don't like philosophy heavy books but would still like to be in touch with philosophy.
I recommend it to anyone looking for a pop psychology book that has little to do with positive psychology and gives you a reason to happily complain!
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It was a very information and honest. I liked it but there isn't much to say you just need to read it and decide if its a live it.
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Stand Firm is a quick, funny and enjoyable read. Svend Brinkmann has written an anti self help book in the tried and true seven steps method. He explains why self improvement and inward focus isn’t helpful to anyone in the long run. Using the philosophy of Stoicism he explains alternative approaches to life. His edgy chapter titles are - Cut out the navel gazing; focus on the negative; put on your No hat; suppress your feelings; sack your coach; read a novel; dwell on the past. Put in perspective they are all very sensible ideas. The appendix on stoicism is really interesting too.
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A self help book that says stop reading self help books. Bit of a conundrum there. This book is an application of Stoic philosophy to the modern era and while I agree  that our society is trying to do too much and makes too many demands on people I'm not sure if this book is the answer. 

I struggled with reading it and gave up several times only really finishing because I'm stubborn and hate not finishing books. Another book that's sadly not for me

Free arc from netgalley
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Takes on a different spin to other self help books. It was an interesting and informative book
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Interesting book, with recognition from the author of the conflicting nature of a book telling us to reject self help. Some musings on the nature of the world, with its constant need to change, develop and improve ourselves and how a simple 'no' might affect those around us. Sometimes seems a bit moany and the author seems to have an issue with counselling and life coaching in particular which grated slightly, and doesn't take into account the ways these things can help people. He rejects introspection and what he calls 'navel gazing' quite heavily!
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I really enjoyed this title. I found it frank, honest and refreshing. It really stands alone amongst titles in this genre and for the best possible reason.
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An interesting take on self help, development and improvement books.
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This was not the book for me at all, but it was excellently written. Basically, Stand Firm is an application of Stoic philosophy to the modern era. It is serious anti-self help as opposed to the joke-y anti-self help of Sara Knight.

Brinkmann provides seven steps that outline his plan to apply Stoicism to your life and free yourself from the (as he sees it) needless, endless introspection and self improvement that plagues modern society.

I guess I figured out that I'm not a Stoic. Not a huge surprise there, but if you think that you may be or you're just generally interested in Stoic philosophy- you should read this book.
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I absolutely love the premise of this book. Professor Svend Brinkmann had me at ‘anti-self-help guide’. Finally, a voice challenging the culture of ‘you can’ and ‘you must’ (and ‘quickly, quickly, before you fall behind’).

You might think this is a bold, game-changing book, and in a sense it is (if everyone were to read this book, understand it and live by it, that could creative massive and fantastic social change). But Professor Brinkmann isn’t disrupting the ‘we must progress’ culture with a new, bonkers idea; he’s drawing on the very old ideas of the Stoics. Sensible. Common sense. Applicable still today.

This book is clever, it’s witty, it’s informative and, if you are convinced by the author’s arguments, it is immensely liberating. Was I convinced? I wanted to be, very much, and I certainly agreed with many points and was inspired by Professor Brinkmann’s arguments. Some of his seven steps spoke to me – especially the one that advocates reading novels, not self-helps books and memoirs. But I didn’t put down the book determined to live by all seven steps, a convert to the Stoic philosophy that is expounded here.

Perhaps, I thought, I am not the target reader for the book. Perhaps this is a book for academics. But the style (though admittedly a touch academic in places) is generally light and chatty, talking to he or she who is caught up in the self-improvement craze – not academics, then, but Joe Public. Such readers may be better reached, and convinced, by a slightly simpler and more direct approach, in the vein of Dr Jessamy Hibberd and Jo Usmar’s ‘This Book Will Make You…’ series (the sleep one actually did help my insomnia).

Still, while this book didn’t cure me entirely of all that comes with our modern ways of thinking (Can I just ditch mindfulness? Can I quit looking inwards for answers?), it did instil one very important thing in me: doubt – that the accepted modern culture of introspection and self-growth is valid. And that seed planted has grown already, I’ve noticed, since reading the book – which is why I fully expect this will be a book for the shelf that will end up yellowed with age and well-thumbed.

(** This review will be published on 28/2 at http://www.thebookspecialist.com/blog/stand-firm/ **)
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