Well-Read Wednesday – 100 Days

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June 24, 2020 – Day 100 of my quarantine

As I mark my 100th day alone in isolation I thought it would be appropriate to feature 2 books from my personal library that talk about the positive aspects of being alone.

SOLITUDE – A Return to the Self

Originally published in 1988, Anthony Storr’s bestselling meditation on the creative individual’s need for solitude has become a classic.

A pre-eminent work in self-help and popular psychology literature, Solitude was seminal in challenging the psychological paradigm that “interpersonal relationships of an intimate kind are the chief, if not the only, source of human happiness.” Indeed, most self-help literature still places relationships at the center of human existence. Lucid and lyrical, Storr’s book argues that solitude ranks alongside relationships in its impact on an individual’s well-being and productivity, as well as on society’s progress and health. Citing numerous examples of brilliant scholars and artists—from Beethoven and Kant to Anne Sexton and Beatrix Potter—he argues that solitary activity is essential not only for geniuses but often for the average person as well. For nearly three decades, readers have found inspiration and renewal in Storr’s erudite, compassionate vision of the human experience—and the benefits and joy of solitude.

PARTY OF ONE – The Loner’s Manifesto

An essential defense of the people the world loves to revile–the loners–yet without whom it would be lost.
The Buddha. Rene Descartes. Emily Dickinson. Greta Garbo. Bobby Fischer. J. D. Salinger: Loners, all–along with as many as 25 percent of the world’s population. Loners keep to themselves and like it that way.
Yet in the press, in films, in folklore, and nearly everywhere one looks, loners are tagged as losers and psychopaths, perverts and pity cases, ogres and mad bombers, elitists and wicked witches. Too often, loners buy into those messages and strive to change, making themselves miserable in the process by hiding their true nature–and hiding from it. Loners as a group deserve to be reassessed–to claim their rightful place, rather than be perceived as damaged goods that need to be “fixed.”
In Party of One Anneli Rufus–a prize-winning, critically acclaimed writer with talent to burn–has crafted a morally urgent, historically compelling tour de force–a long-overdue argument in defense of the loner, then and now. Marshaling a polymath’s easy erudition to make her case, assembling evidence from every conceivable arena of culture as well as interviews with experts and loners worldwide and her own acutely calibrated analysis, Rufus rebuts the prevailing notion that aloneness is indistinguishable from loneliness, the fallacy that all of those who are alone don’t want to be, and wouldn’t be, if only they knew how.

Sending you all my Love and Light. Stay Safe. Stay Smart. Stay Sane. Stay Strong out there.

Until next time … Here’s Chris Mann with My FAVORITE Quarantine Song –